Welcome to Schiaparelli Observatory Spectroscopy Pages

Contact for Spectroscopy:
Paolo Valisa

We recorded our first astronomical spectra in 1997 on comet Hale Bopp with a spectrometer installed in a wood box at the focus of the 0.6m telescope. The detector was B/W film and we had success only because of the exceptional luminosity of this comet.
Soon we replaced film with CCD and were able to record a lot of spectra of planets, stars and galaxies. These spectra are still available in Spectroscopy Old Pages.
In October 2005 we met prof. Ulisse Munari (Asiago Observatory) that give us a lot of suggestions on how to improve further our spectrograph and by April 2006 we entered ANS collaboration (coordinated by Ulisse Munari and Alessandro Siviero) and started spectroscopic observations of galactic novae with V2362 Cyg that resulted in our first IAU Circular and published paper. Since then we are following novae and symbiotic stars both in quiescence and outburst. September 2008 was the first light for a new echelle spectrograph that can be easily switched also to longslit. Design and performance of this instrument is described above.

Observatory and Telescopes

Schiaparelli Observatory is atop mount Campo dei Fiori (1226m), 8 Km North of Varese (Italy) and was built in 1964 by Salvatore Furia. Since then it is mainly devoted to popular astronomy. Two research groups are active in astrometry (mainly comets and NEO - MPC204 our code) and spectroscopy.
Telescopes available for research are 0.60m Newton Cassegrain, 0.38m Newton, 0.35m C14.


An Echelle Spectrograph is installed at Cassegrain F20 focus of the 0.6m reflector. It has been completely designed and built by Paolo Valisa and took first light on sept 2008. It is equipped with a 2192x1472 SBIG XME CCD Camera. Echelle grating is an R2 79 lines/mm and with 100mm camera lens gives 0.15 (bin 1) or 0.3 (bin 2) A/pixel dispersion at Halfa. Cross disperser is a 300 l/mm transmission grating and from order 57 to order 26 covers the 3900-8600 range. Spectral resolution is usually 12'000 (with 2.5 arcsec slit) but can attain 18'000 for bright sources (1 arcsec slit). Radial velocity measurements routinely attain 1 Km/sec precision with a RMS error of 0.7 Km/sec.
Echelle optics can be substituded with simple dispersion grating for low dispersion long slit operation. The full range 3900-8500 A is recorded with 600 l/mm grating on a single frame with 2.1 A/pix dispersion. A 1200 l/mm grating is also available for medium resolution 0.7 A/pix.
Calibration lamp is a Th-Ar HCL for echelle and Ar-Ne lamp for low dispersion mode.