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International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Observatorio Astronómico de Montevideo, Uruguay

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:39:03
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Montevideo Astronomical Observatory (Observatorio Astronómico de Montevideo - OAM),
José Enrique Rodó 1875 (Liceo "IAVA" 2º piso), Barrio Cordón, 11200 Montevideo, Uruguay

See also: Kappa Crucis Observatory (Observatorio Kappa Crucis), IAU code 913
See also: Observatorio Astronómico Los Molinos

 

Location 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Latitude 34.903845 S, Longitude 56.175914 W, Elevation ...m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 192
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    Date: 2021-04-21 18:48:05
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

X50

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 192
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:40:38
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The scientific expedition of Malaspina sailed into Montevideo in September, 1789, with plans for extensive observations using instruments acquired in London by the Observatorio de San  Fernando. The transit of Mercury of November 5, 1789 was observed by Alcalá Galiano and two other sailors from the balcony of the house of Doña Manuela Ruiz. Galiano kept a "Diario Astronomico en 1789 -- Montevideo", which survives in Madrid’s Naval Museum, and his measurements were used by Le Verrier.  Instruments were set up at this house, and a small quadrant and a pendulum were installed a block away.
This site constitutes the first Observatorio de Montevideo, which later acquired a permanent structure with two meridian telescopes, by Troughton & Simms and by Salmoiraghi; and a Zeiss photographic refractor.

(Abraham, 2005).



In 1922, the construction of an astronomical observatory was projected and began to fulfill the purposes of research, teaching, dissemination and extension, in the high places of the Alfredo Vásquez Acevedo Institute, at that time belonging to the Secondary Section of the University of the Republic. The Observatory was created at the request of professors Alberto Reyes Thevenet (professor of Astronomy and Geography in Secondary Education, author of teaching texts and the vertical sundial that is located on the upper south wall of the building), Elzear Giuffra (professor of Geography and the Meteorological Service) and Armando Acosta y Lara (member of the Secondary Education Council).

Observatorio Astronómico de Montevideo, Uruguay,

Fig. 1. Observatorio Astronómico de Montevideo, Uruguay, founded in 1927 (OAM)



The Astronomical Observatory of Montevideo (OAM), inaugurated in 1927, is an institution dedicated to the teaching and dissemination of astronomy and astronomical, educational and scientific observation. The OAM is in the upper part of the building of the Alfredo Vásquez Acevedo Institute (IAVA), an institution belonging to the General Directorate of Secondary Education (DGES).

It started as an observatory for astronomical research, and is now for teaching astronomy in secondary schools and public outreach.

 

History 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:41:12
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Observatorio Astronómico de Montevideo, Uruguay,

Fig. 2. Observatorio Astronómico de Montevideo, Uruguay, at night (Wikipedia 4, Danifernandez5)



Instruments



  • 21-cm-refractor (f=3.0m), Carl Zeiss of Jena (1928)
  • 20cm-Telescopio Meade LX90 (f=2.0m)
  • 15-cm-Telescopio Meade LXD75    (f=1.2m)

 

State of preservation 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:41:36
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Corridors of the second floor of the Instituto Alf

Fig. 3. Corridors of the second floor of the Instituto Alfredo Vásquez Acevedo (IAVA) and the tower of the astronomical observatory de Montevideo (Foto: Patrimonio 2009 y 2011 -- Departamento de Montevideo)



Currently there is an astronomical museum that has been declared a National Historic Heritage Site.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 192
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:41:57
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Cf. Sydney (Observatory with a Tower)

 

Threats or potential threats 
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:42:16
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no threats

 

Present use 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 192
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:42:44
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The OAM’s objectives are the dissemination and teaching of astronomy at all levels, including astronomical observation for scientific purposes.
Currently there is an astronomical museum that has been declared a National Historic Heritage Site.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 192
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    Version: 2
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    Date: 2021-04-21 19:43:09
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The Astronomical Observatory of Montevideo is the reference observatory for secondary school observatories and is a base for teachers and students who wish to carry out observation and research projects for educational and / or scientific purposes.
Projects developed at the OAM: IASC, (Asteroid Search), Light Pollution, Astronomical Photography, AllSky and we will start working in BOCOSUR.
IASC: Students use software and images from professional observatories around the world and search for asteroids in them.

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt


  • González, Ariosto D. (ed.): El primer observatorio de Montevideo. (Etchecopar, Carlos A. El pasaje de Mercurio observado en Montevideo el 5 de noviembre de 1789.)  (Montero, Carlos Pérez.  La casa del Observatorio y el Montevideo de la época.)  Montevideo: Instituto Histórico y Geográfico del Uruguay, 1955 (148pp., 72 plates).

 

Links to external sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 192
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-21 19:44:17
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

 

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