Aldo Radrizzani's Schmidt Archive

This homepage is dedicated to the Italian astrophotographer Aldo Radrizzani that unfortunately passed away in 2005. Aldo realized a huge archive of wonderful images of the sky, mainly from his observatory in Druogno (Val Vigezzo, province of Verbania, near Lake Maggiore, Italian Alps), using a Schmidt Camera 600/400/300 (the numbers are respectively the focal length, the mirror diameter and the correcting plate diameter, all in millimeters). His images were published in many Italian magazines in the years '90 and they were highly appreciated by the amateur astronomers community. He lived in Milan, Italy, and was a member of Gruppo Astronomico Tradatese and of Gruppo Astrofili G. & A. Bernasconi of Saronno.
His images were all tracked manually with a reticle eyepiece, at the focus of a 120 mm refractor: this was also his first telescope, selected reading a famous small book written by Andrenelli, that advised a minimum diameter of 120 mm for a "serious" telescope. With this one he started the adventure in the astrophotograpy world, collecting the images of the sky quite as an alternative to the collection of stamps, his previous hobby, that he had to quit because of the increasing costs and number of pieces produced all over the world. His next step was a Celestron 8 scope, used at first in the balcony of his home in the mountains, and then in the observatory dome, built for a bigger telescope.
A new telescope was inaugurated on 13 May 1989: a big Schmidt Camera.  This telescope was a bet as it can be used only photographically: he invested all his retirement bonus. He was fully compensated, thanks to the exceptional optics of Romano Zen and the heavy mechanical support from Astrosystems. The selection of the optics was not easy: he evaluated may options such as the new optical scheme named Simak. The search for the best optics let him meet another Italian astrophotographer, Alfredo Zanazzo, that also went to California to directly evaluate a Simak optics. From this a strong friendship born, they were great friends, even if with opposite characters: enthusiastic and avid of results Alfredo, meticulous and patient Aldo. Both selected classical optical schemes, mainly because it was difficult to built the big meniscous of Simak. Aldo selected a classical Schmidt camera, while Alfredo a concentric Schmidt-Cassegrain (40 cm f/4).
After 10 years of imaging with the Schmidt, Aldo could not continue to observe from the cold weather; but he selected a new telescope, used mainly in his home on the temperate Mar Ligure, on the Mediterranean Sea. He would still observe the sky from there if only a serious desease forced to leave us in 2005.

For a better vision of the images, please use a calibrated CRT monitor.

Adjust so that the two levels of black at left distinguish.

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