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Science and Technology: Astronomy

In the field of astronomy, the 17th century is often called the century of the comets. At that time there were many comet sightings and scientists felt the need to explain the phenomenon, and possible significance, of comets.


Many scientists gravitated towards this field of study in an atmosphere of heavy intrigue, and, among them, the theologian, philosopher and astronomer, Leonardo Pelagallo. He was born into an aristocratic Montefiorian family in the first half of the 17th century in the family palazzo, which still stands to this day, and now contains the Clock Museum in Montefiore dell’Aso. 

Each year “Le Notti di Pelagallo” (Pelagallo Nights) is held towards the end of August to commemorate this eminent local academic, Leonardo Pelagallo (who was also the Procurator General of the Silvestrine order of monks). The sky at this time of year usually offers a crystal clear view of the moon and Saturn. The event is curated by Engineer Oronzo Mauro and Prof. Giampaolo Valori, who put their own telescopes at the public’s disposal for the event, but people can also bring their own telescopes and binoculars for a guided tour of the heavens.

The event is particularly appropriate for children, but it is also very exciting for adults.

Location: Belvedere A. De Carolis, Montefiore dell’Aso (AP),

Free entry.


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