Father Hagens Astrophotographic Journey
Rigge, William F., S.J.
Rigge Papers , Stars , Stars
First Paragraph: | It was in the early part of April, 1906, that Father Hagen took his departure from the Georgetown College Observatory in order to obey the summons of Pope Pius X and assume the directorship of the Vatican Observatory. After making himself acquainted with his new surroundings and taking the inventory of his new possessions, he found that the principal instrument of the observatory was a photographic equatorial of the international type, which Leo XIII had ordered to be made in Paris, and with which the Vatican Observatory had agreed to participate in the construction of the astrophotographic map of the heavens. This share of the work comprised the zone between 55 and 64 degrees of north declination, and entailed the exposure and measurement of 1040 photographic plates. The death of the director, Father Denza, a Barnabite, on December 14, 1894, left Father Lais, an Oratorian, alone with the work. The financial embarrassments of the Vatican added their share to the difficulties of the undertaking, so that as a result only a total of 40 plates has thus far been secured.