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MPC 476 Grange Observatory

The Grange Observatory is a private scientific institution (established 1993, and certified with astrometry code MPC 476 in Circular 25095 of May 14th, 1995) located in Northern Italy 50 km W of Turin (details here), whose coordinates in several geodetic systems are:

ED 1950 MPC to Oct.2011 WGS 84 current
LATITUDE
45░ 08' 31.0" N
45░ 08' 31.5" N
45░ 08' 31.7" N
LONGITUDE
07░ 08' 29.0" E
07░ 08' 29.0" E
07░ 08' 25.6" E
Height
470.0 m
449.1 m
495.0 m ELL.

The observatory with his homemade 300 mm mirror telescope for 20 years was mainly devoted to astrometry (i.e. the accurate measurement of Solar System's moving celestial bodies, like comets/asteroids or even probes/satellites), collaborated with the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (MPC) of Cambridge, MA, U.S.A. and provided data for the planetary model DE405 et seq. to NASA JPL (ICRS/J2000 standard).
The Grange Obs. astrometric and photometric observations of NEO asteroids are collected in the ESA funded NEODyS website; for the comets observation instead, see MPC Electronic Circulars.
It has to be noted a dedicated study was conducted in 1995-96 for refining the orbital elements of NEO asteroid (433) Eros, since it was the target of the JPL spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker (which successfully entered in orbit around it, and afterwards landed on the asteroid's surface on February 12th, 2001).

Nowadays the astrometric robotic systems made pointless the role of small astrometric observatories with few measures per year, which had great importance in the 90's up to 2000, when the MPC codes were tri-numeral (meaning that no more than 1000 manned observing centers were envisaged with the technology of that time).
As you can notice, today the MPC codes have become alphanumeric, so the modern observatories can be spotted in the final part of the MPC observatories list webpage.

After the successful collaboration with JPL, the Grange Obs. has then become a start-up facility and a fundamental astronomy research center.
In particular, contacts with JPL/Caltech increased for the development of a methodology for studying the AMS 02 ISS payload position and pointing accuracy problem.

In the Astronomical Year 2009 an off-the-shelf refractor was purchased (a Vixen 'Petzval' or double-achromat f/5.7 astrograph of 140 mm diameter) mounted on the main instrument, joining the original 80 mm guidescope in 2015, the International Year of Light promoted by UNESCO, which kindly permitted Grange Obs. to use the logo in this website.
The Grange Obs. current instrumental layout is shown here below:

grange1

The 140 mm astrograph at f/5.7 is used for Johnson BVRI photometric studies as well as the 300 mm at f/3 telescope but with a complete multi-spectral Sloan SSDS filter set, while the 80 mm refractor is dedicated to UV solar imaging (397 nm) at high resolution.
The Grange Obs. produced the Johnson and Sloan SSDS photometric filters as well as the filter used for the Sun UV imaging.
The private observers or astronomical observatories interested to obtain certified photometric filters from the Grange Obs. are encouraged to ask for a quotation.

Recently the spotlight is on the Moon/Asteroids/Mars rovers or human exploration technologies development, and Grange Obs. with his multi-disciplinary expertize can support scientific institutions and private ventures in business with Space Agencies.



MPC 476 Grange Observatory is not usually open to visits, since it is a private research structure not suited for public's safety. Please enjoy a virtual visit thought this website.



 
 
 

click to enlarge 1995 Grange Obs. view

click to enlarge 1995 closeup view

12 inch blank's deflection: click to enlarge FEM calcs on request:
evaluation of your scope's deflections, stresses, frequencies!

Aldebaran occulted real photo: click to enlarge Ask also for your site astronomical calcs and high precision ephemerides!

Apollo Lunar Rover NASA photo Are you curious about what influences Moon/Mars robotic or human rovers locomotion and other key technologies needed?

Have a look of the Exploration Page

Sun image

Jupiter RGB See how to do diffraction-limited Sun imaging in UV wavelengths and RGB planets rendering!

Have a look of the High Resolution and the Spin-off pages



© Grange Obs.