English | 17 Apr. 2017 | ISBN: 3319414852 | 196 Pages | PDF | 9 MB
This book comprises a fascinating collection of contributions on the Merz telescopes in Italy that collectively offer the first survey on historical large refracting telescopes in the country, drawing on original documents and photographs. It opens with a general introduction on the importance of Merz telescopes in the history of astronomy and analyses of the local and international contexts in which the telescopes were made. After examination of an example of the interaction between the maker and the astronomer in the construction and maintenance of these refractors, the history of the Merz telescopes at the main Italian observatories in the nineteenth century is described in detail. Expert testimony is also provided on how these telescopes were successfully used until the second half of the twentieth century for research purposes, thus proving their excellent optical qualities.