Giovanni Alberto QUARRA SACCO
Inside the dome of the
Fukui City Observatory on 9 Aug 1996
t was quite recently that Giovanni Alberto QUARRA SACCO started to communicate to us: it was really on 7 Feb this year that he first wrote (faxed) to us, though his work in 1995 was already cited in CMO #167 p1766 (introduced by Paolo TANGA). We should say however that he has long been well-known among us because he has had a contact with a Japanese Publisher of astronomical magazines, and for example he was introduced in the April 1994 issue of a magazine called the Tenmon Guide in some detail with his planetary CCD work together with the presentation of the telescope he used and the dome equipped where he worked and his portraits with his wife and so on. The CCD image of Mars on 22 Feb 1995 cited in CMO #167 had also been presented earlier in the July 1995 issue of the same magazine.
He has visited
We hear another similar accident exists between
Giovanni and Donald PARKER. Gianni's parents are retired and now living at
In our case the "accident" was broken by another unhappy accident that Marco FALORNI passed away of lung cancer at the end of last year, and then Giovanni must have come to know the existence of the CMO found among Marco's relics documents. And this August he was to come to Japan on vacation (as well as on business) with his wife and son: His wife, Hiromi-san, is a Japanese from Kyoto, and Gianni almost was to stay in and near Kyoto, and so it must have been convenient for him to see in Kyoto the present writer (Mn) who works usually there, but just on hot summer vacation, we had an honour of enjoying to see Gianni at Fukui.
everal e-mails between us fixed the day when Gianni
would arrive at
At a Japanese
restaurant. Front row, from left to right:
MURAKAMI, QUARRA, NAKAJIMA; back: MINAMI
NAKAJIMA first found him on the platform, but it must be easy for Gianni to find the other two persons because Mk and Mn wore the T-shirts of OAA Fukui (which we used two years ago!). We could thus exchange greetings safely; one missed person of the CMO Fukui was Akinori NISHITA who was then at a different prefecture on teachers' tour, but was just to come back late in the evening. We so five dined in a Japanese restaurant near the Observatory, and talked. Gianni proved to be a pleasant and agreeable person, and he didn't show any prejudice to us, even against raw fish. To tell the truth, the present writer asked his wife on the phone the day before whether her husband can eat anything the Japanese eat. The reply was almost Yes, except Nattoh (fermented soybeans). So we chose a Japanese restaurant instead of a possible Italian restaurant without consulting him. We remember he used skillfully a pair of chopsticks (perhaps by his right hand. This is not a trivial comment: Look at which side his wrist watches are put on).
THE FIRST EVENING
s dusk gathered, we ended the pre-party, and my wife went back to Mikuni by her own mini-car, and the remaining four astro-freaks went up to the Observatory of the Fukui City Museum of Natural History. The weather was rather good, and the 20cm ED OG first caught the planet Jupiter. The RS was near the CM, and Ganymede's roundish shadow was definitely and quite darkly seen. All were interested in the several white patches following the RS and it looked peculiar that a segment which separates the first two white spots was particularly dark and fine.
From left ot right: MURAKAMI, QUARRA, MINAMI, NAKAJIMA and NISHITA
MURAKAMI quickly started to draw the surface, and then Gianni set out to draw to our surprise (because he had been known to us as only a CCD observer). His sketch showed that he was well experienced in drawing the surface. This is however quite natural because his career is longer than the history of the CCD apparatus. Each drew twice before the RS went away. Both used the Pentax 9mm and Nikon 9mm eyepieces, but Gianni thought the latter gave a better image. (We don't use these eyepieces here for Mars, though both are no other eyepieces than those Mn used in
By the time NISHITA (Ns) came up late that evening,
just returning from
eeing on the first evening was not so excellent to the
extent that the image was grossly unstable, but some minor details were well
witnessed. Hence Gianni assured us that the GOTO made 20cm OG gave a good image
if compared with some other telescopes he knew. Talking of GOTO products in
conversation with NAKAJIMA, Gianni let the fact out that he once saw a running
down 25cm GOTO refractor at the Taipei City Observatory,
On the one hand it was a miracle thing for the present writer to hear from an Italian about the Taipei Observatory on the rooftop terrace of the Fukui Observatory, and on the other it must have been the first time for Gianni to be informed that the strange Japanese was no other than MINAMI (Mn). Mn stayed in
It was in April 1993 that Gianni went to
By coincidence, just ten days after the QUARRA family
left Japan at the beginning of September, on a TV programme
(exactly on 12 Sept) the present writer happened to see a scene where an old
woman was interviewed in Taipei (interviewed by a Japanese photo-journalist) and
this woman was no other person than Mrs Teruko SHI.
She said she was from
The present writer talked with Hiromi-san, Gianni's wife, just on the phone but could not see her this time, but strangely could watch her grandmother' sister long on television. She looked quite Japanese and spoke Japanese somewhat in a Kwansai dialect. She said she was very pleased to be called "Teruko-san" in a Japanese way by the Japanese interviewer.
n the night of 9 August, the sky became hazy near at
mid-night, and so Gianni, MURAKAMI, and the present writer were brought by NAKAJIMA's big car to Mikuni. NAKAJIMA had spent busy days
because he and his colleagues in Fukui Pref were
preparing a big Annual Meeting of English Teachers from all around of
We spent similarly the second night at Mikuni, and
hence we cannot discern our pleasant conversations of the night from the
following night. Anyway we enjoyed good times both nights. MURAKAMI and Gianni
drink. Gianni assured that the Japanese Beer was good for him. They also tried
the local spirit of
The first night (or dawn), Masami went first to bed, and the second night Gianni went to bed (sorry just Japanese HUTON) earlier than Masami. MURAKAMI talked with me about the CMO or the Internet till dawn.
On the afternoon of 10 August, we went to the
The sky was clear in the afternoon. But in the evening when we reached the Observatory the sky was bad though the image of Jupiter was seen through the 20cm Refractor, but no good. Furthermore it was strangely humid. So we left the Observatory earlier. This must have been because of a Typhoon which was approaching the isles from the south. We thus returned to Mikuni earlier than the day before.
ianni is international: he is quite accustomed to the
Oriental living way. Gianni runs a trade company in
Gianni was born in 1953 at
Giovanni seems to have a lot of acquaintances all over
the world. Just as an example, he met Richard McKIM
when the latter visited the Arcetri Observatory in
1988 to watch Mars with M FALORNI, and in the following year Gianni visited
S G P G
s the name of their astronomical group, founded in
1988, they use the name SGPG. SG is an abbreviation of the name of a town San Gersole near
Recent CCD image of Jupiter by the SGPG
The MFPO at San Gersole is
located in a good milieu at Chianti, just a few miles from the famous Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, and equipped with a 30cm
Cass having a 7200mm focal length (f/ 24)(for Mars used in f/ 48 by use of a Pentax 14mm eyepiece) made in Italia at the ZEN Optics.
This is a good telescope and housed in a glassfiber
2m dome also Italian made. They also have a 13cm f/8 Astrophysics refractor
which they can bring outside, for instance, to the mountain side of the
30cm Cass. used by the SGPG -->
The comrades are composed by Giulio DEL ZANNA (born in 1964 in Firenze), Andorea LEO( 1965 in Roma), Sergio MANNINO (1969 in Firenze), Damiano SAROCCHI (1965 in
Andrea LEO is a programmer, and recently Andrea and
Gianni wrote an article in l'Astronomia based on the Jovian processed images which were obtained on the occasion
of Gianni's CIDA expedition in 1990 (see below). Incidentally the name Andrea
sounds like a woman's name, but it is said all Andreas are men in Italia. (On
the other hand Hiromi as well as Masami is used for both women and men in
The expedition to the Pic in
September last year was impressive to them (P TANGA was also accompanied). They
brought their ISIS CCD800 up to the Pic which
contained 8 filters (California Made:
Jupiter was just 10 degrees high above the horizon,
while they were impressed with the details the CCD produced, and also by a
naked eye they were able to see on the Saturnian
surface several markings which were really moving by
the rotation. Saturn's rings were then nearly edged-wise.
Gianni's famous expedition was also made in 1990 from
late November to the early December to the National Venezuelan Observatory CIDA
(Centro de Ivesti - gaciones
de Astronomia) located on a mountain 3700m high at
Unfortunately last year when he was at Pic, the planet Mars was not visible and could not be CCD imaged, but Gianni seems to be very interested in Mars. He has been observing it since the great apparition in 1971 and he knows well about the planet, including the method of observation as well as the terminology. Just the 1995 work looks a bit worse than the 1993 images: as we heard, it was because they were not blessed with better weather condition last apparition at San Gersole.
n 11 August, MURAKAMI was going to the mountainside
near Mt Yatsu-ga-Dake to watch the Perseids, and to reach there in the evening he must start
The next day we had a phone call from Hiromi -san at
Then he went to
The QUARRA family left