Roster considered astronomy to be ideally suited to demonstrate the potential applications of photographic techniques. In 1840 John William Draper (1811-1882) captured an image of the Moon in a daguerreotype and since then much progress had been made. The use of astrophotography began to spread, gaining momentum during the second half of the 19th century, a period which saw the participation of many Italian astronomers. Among these Giovanni Battista Donati (1826-1873) and Angelo Secchi (1818-1878), two pioneers in stellar spectroscopy, were passionate advocates of the use of photography to study astronomical phenomena. This was clearly demonstrated by the photographs of a total solar eclipse taken on 18 July 1860 at Torreblanca in Spain by the members of a scientific expedition organized by Secchi.

 

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