Astronomical Observatory of St. Joseph School

The "Colegio San José” was founded in 1858 in Buenos Aires by the Congregation of Catholic Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Betherram whose origin was in the Vasque region of France. It is located in the heart of the city, occupying nearly an entire block, in Bartolomé Mitre 2455, in the neighbourhoud of Balvanera. By the year 1870 a 5-storey tall watchtower was constructed in the center of the block which was not definite, since in 1913, during the contruction of the hall of ceremonies, it was decided to add 3 more floors to its current height and then to place an astronomic observatory in its upper part. The telescope was built in Paris by Mailhat and brought to Argentina by ship. It was installed under a dome of 4 meters in diameter, the equatorial astrographics with doublet lens of 127 mm in diameter, starting its fruitful career dedicated to research and the teaching of Astronomy to many generations of students of the school and the University of Buenos Aires. Breton, a small telescope with lenses of 80 mm in mobile mount, was its useful complement.
In the year 1982, after more than a decade of abandonment, the observatory was then restored by senior students of the school led by the physics professor. Today, engineers and graduates are working in many areas of amateur astronomy and are teaching courses for students of the school and the the general public. In addition, they organize visits for other educational institutions and regularly develop special observation nights choosing an important astronomical event. To improve the observation, a 20 cm of diameter telescope Meade LX-10 and
a CCD camera SBIG ST-7 were added. Among the ancillary installations which are in the tower, we can also mention the classroom, with room for 12 students, and a small museum that combines astronomical and meteorological instruments out of use.