"It is not enough to look, it is necessary to look with eyes that want to see": this famous sentence by Galileo Galilei perfectly reflects the spirit animating "FOAM13" Astronomical Observatory Foundation in Tradate; a real advanced technological jewel, a promotional and scientific research center known all over the world.
The Astronomical Observatory in Tradate, inaugurated in May 2007, consists of the three below-mentioned elements.
The Main Telescope has a 65cm diameter and a f/5 focal (3,250mm), the glass frame is in carbon fibre with "Closet Serrourier" structures (the same technology used for the Formula 1 chassis). The steel-fork frame has motorized and computerized movements on both axes to have an automatic aiming control directly from the PC. The dome, protecting the main telescope and providing a climatized area, has a diameter of 7.5 meters and its interior is beaded with 1,700 wooden ledges.
The Solar Tower, the one and only solar tower in our Region and the second one in Italy, consists of a siderostat conducting a beam of light to a refracting lens situated in a completely dark room. In this room, the beam of light is broken into various directions, observing our star, the Sun, in various wavelengths on two screens.
The Radio Telescopes are used to study the Sun, the biggest planet of the solar system Jupiter, the center of our galaxy, and the meteor showers. Moreover, the Center takes part in the SETI project (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intellingence) in association with "Medicina Radio Astronomical Station".
Near the Observatory there are an accommodation structure, a multimedia Conference Hall with 60 seats and computers, a giant-screen video projector, an audio system, and microphones.
FOAM13 has already started study, research, and collaboration projects at a national and international level with famous and historical Astronomical Research Institutes including Brera Astronomical Observatory, Arecibo Radio Telescope, the University of Geneva, the University of Indiana, the University of Helsinki, the Observatory of Mt. Palomar, and the Radio Telescopes in Bologna.
This surprising structure is open to the public, on Sundays or in the evenings when observation activities are organized. It is also open to visits and didactic projects for schools.