Polvere di stelle (Stardust) is the web portal devoted to the historical archives of the Italian astronomical observatories that are part of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The archives of the Department of Astronomy at University of Bologna , the custodian of the city's astronomical traditions, are also included.

The project for the portal began at the end of 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, thanks to a special fund provided by the National Institute for Astrophysics. It is a contribution of the Libraries and Historical Archives Service of INAF for the valorisation and study the prestigious archival heritage and diffusion of the scientific knowledge.

The portal

Polvere di stelle (Stardust) is the instrument that present the archives of astronomical observatories, the progress of the reorganization work, and the new tools available for historical research. ...view details

The archives

Diaries of astronomical observations that tell of countless nights spent on the telescope, fascinating sketches of nebulae, comets, planets and other celestial objects, letters revealing the secrets of extraordinary scientific discoveries, journey logbooks, meteorological observations that continue uninterrupted throughout the centuries, settled bills, book receipts, recipes for ink making, portraits of colleagues never met.

The images

eclisse sole
Total solar eclipse of 1842 observed at the Brera Observatory by Francesco Carlini, famous for his studies on the lunar motion. A student, Giovanni Capelli, notes: To the naked eye, the Capella and the Aldebaran were observed, and some even claimed to have seen the planet Mars .... An intense cold was felt ...
Brera Archive
eclisse sole
Private letter to Luigi Carnera from the US Headquarters of the air control zone, in which it communicates the occupation of the Capodimonte Observatory for military operations.
This organisation is doing everything possible to preserve the valuable records and installations so that it may continue with the same efficiency when peace returns.
Capodimonte Archive
eclisse sole
The scientific expedition to Augusta for the total solar eclipse observation on 22 December, 1870, the first to be financed by the Italian government after unification. In the while Tacchini and Nobile determined the longitude difference between Palermo and Naples.
Palermo Archive