Starlight on show: a constellation of initiatives on the birth of Astrophysics
The Starlight, the Birth of Astrophysics exhibition is now open: organized by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), the exhibition will be open until 21 June 2016 at the INAF facilities in Arcetri (near Florence), Rome, Capodimonte (near Naples), Palermo and Padua.
The exhibition, divided into 5 sections – each of which hosted in a different place – will allow visitors to discover and learn more about Italy’s contribution to the birth of Astrophysics: a decisive contribution made, in the second half of the nineteenth century, by “pioneers” of this discipline, such as Giovan Battista Donati in Florence, Angelo Secchi and Lorenzo Respighi in Rome, Pietro Tacchini in Palermo and Giuseppe Lorenzoni in Padua. These scientists carried out the first analysis of starlight by astronomical spectroscopy, developed the first spectral classification of stars, astronomical spectroscopy tools and methods, solar physics and established the first scientific society devoted to Astrophysics.
The exhibition reconstructs Italy’s contribution to the development of Astrophysics through a “diffused” path that presents the work of the Italian “fathers” of this discipline in the places where they lived and worked. The initiative offers a unique opportunity for the public to delve into the rich historical-scientific heritage of INAF to discover tools, books and archive documents, many of which are exhibited and available to the public for the first time. Many are the events scheduled related to the exhibition, which can be also visited taking a virtual tour available on the initiative's website.