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INAF Astronomical Observatory of Rome


It was 1938 when the Astronomical Observatory of Rome was founded in the historic Villa Mellini, on the Monte Mario promontory in Rome. In the same year, a new observatory was established in Monteporzio Catone, where a large refracting telescope would be installed. However, the outbreak of World War II brought the project to a halt. In 1948, the Monteporzio building was assigned to the Astronomical Observatory of Rome, while in 1965, an observatory station was inaugurated at Campo Imperatore, which is located 2200 m above sea level, on the Gran Sasso d'Italia, about 100 km from Rome. It initially housed a Schmidt telescope with a diameter of 60 cm, but in 1997 an infrared telescope with an aperture of 1.1 m was installed, the result of a collaboration with the Pulkovo Observatory and the Teramo Observatory. This equipment is now used both for scientific purposes and for educational and outreach initiatives.
Since 1988, researchers from the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (OAR) have been working at the Monteporzio Catone site. The site includes a number of infrastructures dedicated to promoting science, such as the AstroLAB, an interactive Astronomy Laboratory open to the public and school visits, and the Monteporzio Telescope (MPT). In addition, at the Monte Mario site, the OAR coordinates the outreach activities of the Museo Astronomia and Copernicano and the Torre Solare, while the main building houses the headquarters of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF). Until the foundation of INAF in 2002, the Rome Observatory was an independent institute of the Ministry of Education and Research (MIUR).
Today, it is part of the 20 Astronomical Observatories and Institutes of the INAF, and is characterised by a wide range of cultural interests, ranging from the study of the Solar System to the study of distant galaxies and the Universe as a whole. The OAR provides a wide range of teaching opportunities at the three universities in Rome, on the request of the Physics Departments of the universities in Rome, holding courses and seminars. There are currently 40 researchers and 38 technical-administrative staff members employed by the OAR, consisting of 6 Full Astronomers, 9 Associate Astronomers, 25 Research Astronomers, 25 research fellows and 14 PhD students. The headquarters of the OAR are equipped with a scientific library, adequate computing facilities and a guesthouse for scientific collaborators.
The OAR is one of the most productive INAF institutes and the research activities carried out there are often included in strategic scientific programmes in Europe and across the world. The total number of referenced publications between 2004 and 2007 was 547 while the number of citations was approximately 7200. The research carried out at the OAR involves the five main areas of
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INAF Astronomical Observatory of Rome
Via Frascati, 33, 00078 Monte Porzio Catone RM, Italia
Call +390694286457 Website

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