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Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Konkoly Observatory, Hungary

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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    Date: 2021-03-30 03:26:06
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, Csillagászati és Földtudományi Kutatóközpont,
Konkoly Thege Miklós Csillagászati Intézet,
Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17, H-1121 Budapest, Hungary

 

Location 
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Latitude 47°30’00’’ N, Longitude 18°57’54’’ E, Elevation 467m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
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053

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
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    Date: 2021-04-18 18:34:06
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

 

Konkoly Observatory, Main Building (Balazs)

Fig. 1. Konkoly Observatory, Main Building (Balazs)

Miklós Konkoly-Thege  / Nikolaus von Konkoly (1842--1916)  studied Physics and Astronomy at the University of Budapest and Berlin. After graduation, in 1863, he went on a tour to visit the most prestigious observatories of Europa (Greenwich, Paris, Heidelberg and Göttingen). His next tour, seven years later, took him to visit not only astronomical observatories, but also the workshops of the most prominent instrument makers of his day (Siegmund Merz in Munich, John Browning in London and Thomas Cooke in York) (Vargha & Kolláth).

The O’Gyalla Observatory (now Hurnanovo in Slovakia) was founded in 1871 by the noble astronomer Konkoly as a private observatory in addition to his palace. He built two domes, one for a 6-inch Merz refractor used with a Zöllner spectroscope, the other with a 10.5-inch Browning reflector -- very remarkable for that time. He was one of the seven pioneers, who started astrophysics -- spectroscopy, photometry, photography, and solar physics. In addition he acquired a Rheinfelder heliograph for photographing  the Sun.

Miklós Konkoly-Thege / Nikolaus von Konkoly (1842

Fig. 2a. Miklós Konkoly-Thege / Nikolaus von Konkoly (1842--1916)


Miklós Konkoly-Thege, observing Halley’s co

Fig. 2b. Miklós Konkoly-Thege, observing Halley’s comet with Johannes Franz Hartmann (1865--1936) of Potsdam in 1910, using a Zöllner Photometer



In 1899, Konkoly Thege donated his private observatory to the Hungarian State, and it was transferred to Budapest, Svábhegyi (Schwabenberg).
The research in Budapest had also the emphasis on photometry, especially the Ógyalla Catalogue of Variable Stars in two volumes (1916, 1935) was published.

Radó von Kövesligethy (1862--1934) (Wikipedia)

Fig. 3. Radó von Kövesligethy (1862--1934) (Wikipedia)



Radó von Kövesligethy (1862--1934) studied in Vienna, made his habilitation in Budapest in 1889 (private lecturer), in 1897 he became an associate professor, in 1904 full professor for cosmography and geophysics.
He published 15 years before Planck, in 1885 in Hungarian and in 1890 in German, a first successful spectral equation of black body radiation (cf. Balázs 2004, 2007), derived with the following properties: the spectral distribution of radiation depends only on the temperature, the total irradiated energy is finite, and in addition, the wavelength of the intensity maximum is inversely proportional to the temperature (eight years before Wien!).

 

History 
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Dome of 60-cm-Reflector of Konkoly Observatory

Fig. 4a. Dome of 60-cm-Reflector of Konkoly Observatory


60-cm-Reflector of Konkoly Observatory

Fig. 4b. 60-cm-Reflector of Konkoly Observatory



Instruments



  • 6-inch Merz refractor used with a Zöllner spectroscope
  • 10.5-inch Browning reflector
  • Heliograph, made by Rheinfelder of Munich
  • 7-inch refractor
  • 20-cm-refractor, Gustav Heyde of Dresden, with two smaller photographic cameras
  • two Zöllner type photometers
  • Töpfer type wedge photometer
  • Photoheliograph
  • 60-cm-Reflector Cassegrain-Newton (24’’) with a guiding telescope of 30cm
  • 16-cm-Astrograph (f=1:14) with a guiding telescope of 19cm


Dome of the 60-cm-Reflector of Konkoly Observatory

Fig. 5a. Dome of the 60-cm-Reflector of Konkoly Observatory


Dome of the 7-inch-Refractor of Konkoly Observator

Fig. 5b. Dome of the 7-inch-Refractor of Konkoly Observatory

 

State of preservation 
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Konkoly Observatory  is well preserved.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 111
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    Date: 2021-03-30 04:36:55
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Konkoly Observatory, founded in 1899, consists of several domes in an astronomy park. It has an emphasis on astrophysics, but no classical astronomy.

 

Threats or potential threats 
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    Date: 2021-03-30 04:37:16
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no threats

 

Present use 
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    Date: 2021-03-30 03:22:37
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Konkoly Observatory, together with the Heliophysical Observatory in Debrecen, forms the astrophysical institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS). The Observatory hosts the external Astrophysical Laboratory of the Eötvös Loránd University, cooperates with the University of Debrecen and University of Szeged, and coordinates the Hungarian Astronomical Infrastructure for Research (HAIR).

 

 

Astronomical relevance today 
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    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Participants, AG Meeting in Budapest, Sept. 25, 18

Fig. 6. Participants, AG Meeting in Budapest, Sept. 25, 1898

Konkoly Observatory is the Astronomical Institute of the Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, which belongs to the Eötvös Loránd Research Network and belongs to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Konkoly Observatory is an active astronomical observatory, especially in the research on Variable stars:

  • Pulsating variables
  • Spotted variables
  • Eclipsing binaries

More research topics of Konkoly Observatory:
Interstellar matter, star formation, gamma-ray bursts,
Small bodies of the solar system, extrasolar planets,
History of astronomy.

 

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
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    Entity: 111
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    Date: 2021-04-18 18:29:39
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt


  • Balázs, Lajos G.; Brosche, Peter; Duerbeck, Hilmar W. & Endre Zsoldos (ed.): The European Scientist: Symposium on the Era and Work of Franz Xaver von Zach (1754--1832). Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Harri Deutsch (Acta Historica Astronomiae Vol. 24) 2004.     

  • Balázs, Lajos G.: Astronomische Nachrichten AA 328 (2007), No 7 Short contributions, AG 2007 Würzburg.

  • Balázs, Lajos G.; Vargha, Magda & Endre Zsoldos: Rado Köveslighety’s spectroscopic work. In: Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 11 (2008), p. 124-133.

  • Brosche, Peter & Magda Vargha (ed.): Briefe Franz Xaver von Zachs in sein Vaterland. Budapest: Eötvös University 1984.
        
  • Correspondence de Ferenc Weiss astronome hongrois du XVIIIe siecle, Tom. 1-2. Budapest: Bibl. de l’Univ., 1990--1992.

  • Franz Xaver von Zach, 1754--1832. His life and times. Translated by József Csaba, Budapest: Konkoly Observatory, 2005.

  • Kanyó, Sándor (ed.): "...csillagkoronák éjféli barátja." Tittel Pál élete és muködése. [The life and work of Paul Tittel]. Budapest: Akadémiai 1988.
        
  • Patkós, László (ed.): St. Gellert’s Hill Observatory’s chronicle: the correspondence of Johann Pasquich and of Paul Tittel. Budapest: Konkoly Observatory 1996.
        
  • Vargha, Magda; Patkós, László; Tóth, Imre (ed.): The Role of Miklós Konkoly Thege in the History of Astronomy in Hungary. Proceedings of the International Meeting ’’120th Anniversary of Konkoly Observatory’’ in Budapest, 5.-6. Sept. 1991. Budapest: Konkoly Observatory 1992.

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: Astronomical Instruments of the Era Konkoly in Respect to their Significance to Astrophysics. In: Vargha, Magda; Patkós, László; Tóth, Imre (Hg.): The Role of Miklós Konkoly Thege in the History of Astronomy in Hungary. Proceedings of the International Meeting ’’120th Anniversary of Konkoly Observatory’’ in Budapest, 5.-6. Sept. 1991. Budapest: Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy (Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Monographs No. 1) 1992, S. 69-82.

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: The Pioneering Astrophysical Work of Miklós Thege Konkoly (1842-1916). In: Sterken, Christiaan; Hearnshaw, John (Hg.): 100 Years of Observational Astronomy and Astrophysics. Homage to Miklós Konkoly Thege (1842--1916). [Proceedings of the Konkoly meeting in Tihany, Hungary, August 1999.] Brüssel: Vrije Universiteit 2001, S. 39-58.

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: Biographien: Nikolaus Konkoly-Thege (1842--1916). In: Hoffmann, Dieter; Laitko, Hubert und Staffan Müller-Wille (eds.): Lexikon der bedeutenden Naturwissenschaftler, Band 2 (F-Mei). Heidelberg, Berlin: Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, München: Elsevier 2004, S. 332-334.

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: Nikolaus von Konkoly (1842--1916) als Begründer des Konkoly Observatoriums Budapest. In: Wolfschmidt, Gudrun (Hg.): Astronomisches Mäzenatentum. Nuncius Hamburgensis, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Band 11. Norderstedt: Books on Demand 2008, S. 82-109.

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: Gothard and Konkoly - national and international network of science. In: Conference on the 150th anniversary of Gothard’s birth, Gothard Observatory, Szombathely, Hungary, May 31 to June 2, 2007. Ed. by István Jankovics et al. Szombathely 2009.

 

Links to external sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 111
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    Version: 6
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-23 11:57:02
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

 

 

Links to external on-line pictures 
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    Entity: 111
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    Date: 2018-08-05 11:09:54
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