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The Astronomical Observatory, or Vatican Telescope, is a scientific research institution that depends directly on the Holy See. Its highest reference body is the State Government of the Vatican City.
The Vatican Telescope is located in the Castelgandolfo Palace, in Italy. It is located in the same residence of the Pope, located in the town of Castelgandolfo. The team of researchers at the observatory is made up of Jesuits, who are either doctorates in astronomy or receive prior training.
The Vatican Telescope is one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the world. It was created during the second half of the 16th century. In 1578, Pope Gregory XIII ordered the Tower of the Winds to be built in the Vatican, commissioning several Jesuit astronomers and mathematicians from the Roman College to reform the calendar promulgated in 1582. Since then, the Holy See has always maintained a great interest for astronomical research.
The urban growth of the city of Rome and its surroundings has polluted the night skies of Castelgandolfo, which has led the astronomers of the Vatican to move the place of their observations. In 1981, the Vatican Astronomical Observatory founded a second research center, the "Vatican Observatory Research Group", the VORG, which is located in Tucson, Arizona. In 1993, the Observatory, in collaboration with the Steward Observatory, completed the construction of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), which is located on Mount Graham, in Arizona, United States.
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