Meeting on Asteroids and Comets in Europe

MACE 2006 - May 12-14 - Vienna, Austria


Guided tour trough the Vienna University Observatory
by Thomas Posch
Institute for Astronomy, University of Vienna, Austria

Inaugurated by Emperor Franz Josef I in 1883, the University Observatory still hosts the most important astronomical research and teaching institution of Austria. It combines - in a unique fashion - the beauty and representative architecture of the late 19th century with modern international research. A visit to the observatory will provide a historical overview of both science and architecture, a presentation of treasures from our rare book collection starting from the 15th century, including authors like Peuerbach, Copernicus, Kepler, Hevelius, Cellarius, Newton, and many others, and a chance to observe with the large 68cm-refractor, weather allowing.

A final note: Between 1881 and 1923, a total of 96 minor planets where discovered at the observatory - the majority studied by Johann Palisa using the 68cm-refracting telescope that will be shown during the tour.

Guided tour through the Kuffner Observatory
by Günther Wuchterl
Verein Kuffner Sternwarte, Vienna, Austria

The Kuffner Observatory, founded in 1884, hosts the MACE 2006 meeting. The dome of the main building houses a double refractor for visual and photographic use, with apertures of 27 cm and 15.6 cm, respectively. Working on this instrument, Karl Schwarzschild discovered the reciprocity failure of photographic emulsions. The second dome houses a Heliometer, a special instrument for measuring stellar parallaxes by visual observation. With an aperture of 21.7cm and a focal length of 3 meters, this is the largest instrument of it's kind. Furthermore, the observatory houses a meridian and a vertical circle.

Weather permitting, observations with the historic instruments are planned.

Guided tour through the Meteorite Collection of the Natural History Museum
by Christoph Goldmann
Verein Kuffner Sternwarte, Vienna, Austria

The Natural History Museum in Vienna boasts the largest display of meteorites in the world. Not only is the Viennese collection large, it also has the longest history of all meteorite collections. Meteorites were already collected in Vienna when they were otherwise still regarded as fairy stories, or as earthly phenomena at best. The museum remains an important research centre in meteoritical sciences until today.

The display includes various classes of meteorites, incluing specimens that originated on the asteroid (4) Vesta, others come from Mars, and some are possibly of cometary origin.

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