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The entry for the Vatican Observatory in the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia. The entry was written by J. G. Hagen, S. J., director of the Observatory at that time. From the article:
The Vatican Observatory now bears the official title, “Specola Astronomica Vaticana”. To understand its history it is necessary to remark that the designations osservatorio or specola are not restricted to astronomy, but may mean any elevated locality from which aerial phenomena are observed. From this point of view the history of the Specola Vaticana has passed through four successive stages….