The correspondence of Giovanni Santini and Giuseppe Lorenzoni, directors of the Astronomical Observatory of Padua in the 19th century

Luisa Pigatto


Giovanni Santini was appointed director of the Astronomical Observatory of Padova from 1817 to 1877. His scientific correspondence covers a period from 1807 to 1874. Most of the letters are from Italian and European astronomers, mainly concerning astronomical subjects. In actual fact, all Santini’s activity was devoted to the classical astronomy, mainly to the new comets and planets orbit calculation, as far as to the compilation of a catalogue of almost ten thousand stars. From 1821 to 1828, he was involved in geodetic observations in order to determine the difference of longitude between Milan-Padua and Padua-Fiume. Giuseppe Lorenzoni was appointed director after Santini’s death, from 1877 to 1913. Since 1873, he took part in the Italian Geodetic Commission to which he devoted almost all his scientific activity. Lorenzoni’s scientific correspondence was partly lost for war reasons. A partial correspondence with Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli and almost the complete correspondence with Pietro Tacchini, were recovered after the second World War. Santini and Lorenzoni correspondence cover a period about a hundred years long. So, it is an important tool of knowledge for the history of Padova Astronomical Observatory in the 19th century, for its scientific activity, and for the relationship among Italian and European astronomers and institutions.

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X