The fantastic landscapes that our province has to offer are not the only object of observation from the heights of the Gulf: from strategic location, there are those who roll their eyes and look farther, sometimes light years away, and dit through the telescope: it is the IRAS (La Spezia Astronomical Research Institute), non-profit astronomical association, founded in 1991, member of ‘Italian Amateur Astronomers Union (IAU) and the Italian Astronomical Society (SAIt.), conductsing research, observation, astronomical photography, digital astronomy, organizes and participates in conferences of national importance.
We learn to see what goes on our heads: teaching and dissemination
The love for astronomical sciences is not only grown and deepened within the association, but it is tirelessly disseminated through educational activities in schools of La Spezia and Lunigiana and shared with the public through presentations and astronomy courses, public comments on the territory and at the astronomical observatory of Mount Viseggi.
Among the many activities, you can subscribe to basic and advanced courses, follow the practical and theoretical lessons on astronomy (orientation, solar system. Stars, galaxies), learn the techniques of observation, using telescopes visually and photographically, follow the astrophotography courses (filming of celestial objects, both in high resolution for the planets, both long exposure, for galaxies, nebulae and faint objects, star clusters, and techniques for shooting intended for astronomical research) , enter the world of science and fun.
If you do not want to miss the next public event, you can find all the activities in the IRAS calendar.
The Astronomical Observatory
The Astronomical Observatory is located on Mount Viseggi, just minutes from the mouth, and IRAs, the new area dealer, is recovering the property in all its functions, in order to equip the city of La Spezia a cultural center scientific value, popular science, education and tourism. The astronomical observatory in its scientific value, will also be equipped with instruments for meteorological and geophysical survey, to monitor telluric activity in the area. The relevant data will be made available to the city. In this sense, the observatory will, at the same time, as well as astronomical, meteorological and geophysical Also, a big plus available as a public service for the citizens.
A great discovery on extrasolar planets
On the occasion of the discovery of the transit of the extrasolar planet HD 17156, in the constellation Cassiopeia, that is 255 light years, performed by the IRAS President Claudio Lopresti (in collaboration with the Observatory of Marseille), with a small telescope, from his home terrace in la Spezia, the American magazine “Sky & Telescope“ wrote:
“An international team of astronomers has announced one of the largest discoveries ever made by amateur astronomers. The group found an extrasolar planet that crosses the disk of its parent star, event known as “transit.” This discovery is also historic because for the first time in history non-professionals discovered the transit of an exoplanet.”
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