Resultados de la Investigación

“All instruments are in good condition”. Technical appropriation and circulation of instruments at the National Astronomical Observatory of Chile (1886-1887)

Autor(es): Carlos Sanhueza (University of Chile), Lorena Valderrama (University Diego Portales), Stefan Meier (University of Chile), José Soto (University of Chile)
Publicado el 12.03.2018 en

This article analyzes the debates regarding the maintenance, repair and acquisition of astronomical instruments as a way to better understand the phenomenon of technical appropriation in a peripheral country. The disagreement between José Vergara, director of the National Astronomical Observatory of Chile (NAO), and the second Astronomer of the same institution, Adolf Marcuse, between 1886 and 1887, involved the state and maintenance of an Equatorial, a Meridian Circle and a Comet Seeker. The controversy offers us the possibility of considering three aspects of this process: first, how worn, rusted and damaged instruments were repaired, which allows us to observe the role of local technicians and workers. Second, how the instruments were adapted to conditions of observation and operation different from those of the northern hemisphere.