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:: the observatory .. Clément Fillietroz Foundation

Why have an astronomical observatory at Saint-Barthélemy?

The promotional committee, formed in 1989 and composed of members from the Nus town council, economic operators, people who have always been fond of astronomy and members of the Association for Astronomy Sciences in the Aosta Valley (a total of 9 people), has always supported the idea of building an Astronomical Observatory in Saint-Barthélemy (including a Planetarium) due to the area’s specific weather and climatic conditions.

In 1957 a temperature and rain control station was set up in Saint-Barthélemy, supported by the Central Office for Meteorology and Agricultural Ecology in Rome. This was then transformed into a Meteorological station, run by the enthusiast hotelier Clément Fillietroz, up until his death.

Mr Fillietroz, went daily for 25 years to observe and note down all the required data, with monthly reports to the Central Office in Rome, sent through the transmitting station set up by the Aeronautics Military.

Mr Fillietroz also undertook research and studies for the Po Magistrate and the Italian Glaciology Committee. He became known as “ Personne d'une attention scrupuleuse, d'une expérience notable dans le domaine des observations et connaissant parfaitement la Région”.

In December 1969 Professor Mario G. Fracastoro from the Observatory at Pino Torinese wrote “A few months ago we received a preliminary report (O.A.N. Commission: report by Professor O. Bendinelli from the Astronomical Observatory at Bologna University on the meteorological conditions in the Italian peninsula ) in view of the choice of where to place the National Astronomy Observatory.

Saint-Barthélemy in the Aosta Valley resulted as being a ideal candidate (….)”, and further on in the report, “Mr Fillietroz kindly supplied us with the climatic data (…..) we have taken everything that interests us, that is to say, the number of clear sky days (….) that result as an average of 2150 hours of sunshine a year: an extraordinarily high number of 198 clear days for Saint-Barthélemy as compared to 133 at Syracuse (….) more than 24% on average than at Pino Torinese.”

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