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"Breakfast with the Comet," encounter at dawn at the Asiago Observatory

Published 8 Feb 2016 - 06.00
Colazione con la cometa Osservatorio astronomico di Asiago

Great success for "Breakfast with the comet", an interesting initiative proposed location Pennar Observatory to observe the Comet Catalina

  • Giornale l'Altopiano 30 gennaio 2016
  • The article is based on the number of fortnightly Saturday January 30, 2016 Plateau, available in all newsstands of the plateau.
  • Press the button to other articles of the newspaper the plateau and more information.

"Prefer tea or coffee? And pastries like chocolate or jam wants: empty?". Normal questions if it comes to order breakfast at a coffee shop, but sentirsele do from an astronomer is at least curious!

"Breakfast with the Comet" is a wonderful initiative proposed at theAsiago Observatory Sunday January 17 (second event of this kind after the one in 20 December). Creator of the unique encounter on Dr. Paul Ochner, that deals with the science of astronomical research center plateau, and that, on this morning tour, has made use of the precious collaboration of the staff of the Centre.

A great success given the numerous participation, both the first and second date: over 50 onlookers and fans who gathered at 5.30 a tersissima Sunday-observing site of locality Pennar where is the multimedia room of the Observatory in which, throughout the year, are offered numerous meetings on different topics relating to the sky and celestial bodies. An audience interested and attentive formed by some resident in Plateau and especially by tourists, some who came on purpose from different peers of the Veneto, but also from neighbouring regions.

You start with a good breakfast with tea or coffee and buns fresh from the oven. Delish! Then you go out to observe the sky led byastronomer indicating the various constellations, stars , the planets visible and also the transit of a space station in orbit. While you are all with upturned nose, between the generals exclamations of wonder, to see even a few shooting stars.

And the Comet? Catalina is the two-tailed star that for some months now is crossing the Earth's orbit. Sunday, January 17 was the day when he reached the minimum distance from the Earth (about 108 million kilometers).
Despite the beautiful night out you are unable, however, to see it with the naked eye, need a binocular or a telescope. With the Shimdt, one of two telescopes located at Cima Ekar, you get clear frames of the star in his quick crossing of our sky.
From the media room, where you have moved to a nice lesson about comets and their characteristics, Paolo Ochner remotely control the powerful tool of cima Ekar positioning it, to the astonishment of those present, and showing not only Catalina but also some other body, such as the planet Jupiter for example.

"Breakfast with the Comet" is just one of the many wonderful opportunities that are offered at theAsiago Observatory and astronomers to know a little better the solar system with all its charm.
"There are thousands every year (something like 7/8 thousand entries) visitors who come to our Centre. – says Paolo Ochner – Many schools but also many fans, amateur astronomers, and also who comes close to this world for the first time. The interest around these themes is high and the great participation in events like this are a tangible. Our dream would be to establish in Asiago a Parco delle Stelle. An ambitious idea that would give safe impulse to tourism all year and that can be achieved only in close cooperation with the municipalities of Highland and also of its inhabitants called to engage in first person against light pollution ".
"On our part – close Ochner – we continue with the dissemination and outreach. In the coming months we will propose again the dark night in collaboration with municipalities and private individuals to have a few nights with the minimum of lighting in order to reclaim the night sky and observe it in the best way possible. Here the sky is darker than the Italian average, but have even more dark allows us to make him known better and also promotes the work of our researchers. Remember that here at Asiago are held important research carried out by the Department of astronomy at the University of Padua and theObservatory of Padua for example about supernovae, asteroids, black holes, comets, astronomy experiments with quantum optimum utilization of all three existing telescopes to Asiago: the Galileo to the Pennar, the first to be installed in 1942 , still working, and then the Schmidt and Copernicus at Cima Ekar. The latter also is still the largest telescope on Italian soil "

Stefania Longhini

Photos of Winner P

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