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Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Bosscha Observatory, Indonesia

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
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Bosscha Observatory, Jl. Peneropongan Bintang No. 45, Lembang,
Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, West Java, Indonesia

 

Location 
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Latitude 06°49’28’’ S, Longitude 107°36’56’’ E, Elevation 1306m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
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299

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
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Prehistory of Astronomy in Indonesia -- Mohr’s observatory (1765--1780)

Mohr’s observatory (1765--1780) in Batavia (

Fig. 1. Mohr’s observatory (1765--1780) in Batavia (Jakarta), Dutch East Indies



Johan Maurits Mohr (1716--1775) of Groningen observed the transits of Venus in 1761 and 1769, and erected a first private observatory in Batavia (today Jakarta -- a city, founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1619) in 1765 (Zuidervaart & van Gent, 2004). He had the following instruments: 3.5’’-Gregor-Reflector, John Dollond of London, Heliometer, astronomical Pendulum clock, John Shelton with deadbeat escapement after George Graham, 2.5-ft-Quadrant, John Bird of London. Mohr made besides his astronomical observations also meteorological and geomagnetic measurements. In 1780, due to an earthquake the observatory was severely damaged.

 

Prehistory of Astronomy in Indonesia -- Royal Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory (1874) in Batavia

Meteorological observations started in Buitenzorg (now Bogor, 50 km south of Jakarta) in the Botanic Garden, 1841 to 1855,
under the responsibility of the Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands.
Then the Hospital, Weltevreden, 1846--1848, and the Harbor where the Timeball was 1858--1861, continued.
The Meteorological and Geomagnetic Observatory in Batavia was founded (1865), and the building was erected in 1874.
It was also responsible for time-keeping. This Observatory exists until today.
Johannes Paulus van der (1851--1934): tidal studies; the observatory was supplied with a Kew Pattern Magnetograph.
 

Foundation of Bosscha Sterrenwacht (1923/28) supported by

Bosscha Sterrenwacht, Lembang, Java (*1928) (&

Fig. 2. Bosscha Sterrenwacht, Lembang, Java (*1928) (© M. Yusuf, Bosscha)


  • Nederlandsch-Indische Sterrenkundige Vereeniging (NISV), Dutch East Indies Astronomical Association (founded in 1920), a trust created by Bosscha, -- construction of the observatory, support until 1951, then under Indonesian government.
     
  • Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha (1865--1928), the son of a physicist in the Netherlands, graduated in the Polytechnical School of Delft, and became a tea tycoon and sponsor for the instrumentation; the observatory was named after him. Bosscha and Voûte travelled through Europe in order to search for the best astronomical instruments.
     
  • Prof. Hendrik Gerard van de Sande Bakhuyzen (1838--1923), then retired Director of the Leiden Observatory, donated his fine and extensive collection of books.

Bosscha Observatory became part of Technische Hoogeschool te Bandung (THB) -- Institut Teknologi Bandung (kurz ITB) -- Technical University in Bandung -- after it was established in 1959.
 

Bosscha Observatory Astronomers and famous Visiting Astronomers and their Research

(Hidayat & Mumpuni, Hidayat, 2000b)

Joan George Erardus Gijsbertus Voûte (1879--1963), born in East Java, studied civil engineering in Delft, started as astronomer in Leiden Observatory -- specialized in double stars. In the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa (1913--1919) he measured stellar parallaxes and double stars. He arrived in 1920 in Java at the Meteorological Observatory, and became the first director in Bosscha from 1923 to 1940. The main instrument was the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (24-inch), 1926. Voûte’s first scientific result was the confirmation that Proxima Centauri was part of α Centauri system (with a parallax value of 0.746’’ ± 0.006’’, Voûte 1917).
 

Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha ObserZeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Obser

Fig. 3a,b. Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (1926) (© Wikipedia 3, Azmie Kasmy, Bosscha Observatory)


  • Antonie Pannekoek (1873--1960), University of Amsterdam, 1926 -- interested to study the southern Milky Way.
     
  • Paul ten Bruggencate (1901--1961), Göttingen - 2 years, 1926 bis 1928 -- observed globular clusters, and made photometric and spectroscopic observations of variable stars, especially δ Cepheid stars, important for the cosmic distance scale.
     
  • Åke Anders Edvard Wallenquist (1904--1994), University of Uppsala -- 10 years, 1925 to 1935, interested in southern galactic clusters.
     
  • Egbert Adriaan Kreiken (1896--1964), Amsterdam School of Astronomy, 1928--1930, investigations of double stars.
    Later he became secondary school teacher in central Java, 1931 to 1942.
     
  • G.V. Simonov, from Russia, 1936 to ..., studied double stars.
     
  • Ivan Nikoloff (1921--2015) of Bulgaria (later at Perth, Australia), studied double stars.

Aernaut de Sitter (1905--1944), son of Willem de Sitter, became the next director from 1939 to 1942, interested in the globular cluster M4. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, Masasi Miyaji (1902--1986) was director from 1942 to 1946, and the shortly J. Hins from 1946 to 1949.  

The next influential director and first professor of astronomy at the University of Indonesia in Bandung was Gale Bruno van Albada (1912--1972) from 1949 to 1958 -- together with Elsa van Albada-van Dien (1914--2007). Albada succeeded to get the first new instrument, a 51-cm-Schmidt telescope (1958, first light 1960), it got the name Bima Sakti (that means Milky Way in Javanese mythology).

Pik Sin Thé (1927--2017), PhD from Cleveland, OH (1960), was the first Indonese director from 1959 to 1968, studying the distribution of young stars in the Milky Way with the Schmidt telescope. In 1968 he moved to the Astronomical Institute of Amsterdam.

 

 

History 
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Directors

  • 1923 to 1940 -- Joan George Erardus Gijsbertus Voûte (1879--1963)
     
  • 1939 to 1942 -- Aernaut de Sitter (1905--1944), son of Willem de Sitter
     
  • 1942 to 1946 -- Masasi Miyaji [Miyadi] (1902--1986)
     
  • 1946 to 1949 -- Dr. J. Hins -- together with Poldervaart, of the Army Triangulation Brigade and
    H.P. Berlage, the Director of Meteorology and Geophysics Institute in Jakarta
     
  • 1949 to 1958 -- Gale Bruno van Albada (1912--1972)
     
  • 1958 to 1959 -- O. P. Hok dan Santoso Nitisastro (temporary officer)
  • 1959 to 1968 -- Pik Sin Thé (1927--2017)
  • 1968 to 1999 -- Bambang Hidayat
  • 1999 to 2004 -- Moedji Raharto
  • 2004 to 2006 -- Dhani Herdiwijaya
  • 2006 to 2009 -- Taufiq Hidayat
  • 2009 to 2012  -- Hakim L. Malasan
  • 2012 to 2018 -- Mahasena Putra
  • 2018 to present -- Premana W. Primadi

Construction of the dome for the Zeiss double 60-c

Fig. 4a. Construction of the dome for the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)


Dome of the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), B

Fig. 4b. Dome of the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)

 

 

 

Astronomical Instruments (Voûte, 1933)

 

Astronomical Clocks

  • Riefler No. 487 (sideral)
  • Richter No. 110 with Riefler pendulum,
  • de Casseres No. 3 -- Topographic service (sideral)
  • Radio Clock room: Wagner mean time clock with Riefler pendulum
  • Chronometers
  • Radio receiver -- Malabar radio-time-signals transmitted daily at one o’clock GMT,
    sent from the Royal Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory at Batavia (now Jakarta).

Sketch of the mounting of the Zeiss double 60-cm-R

Fig. 5a. Sketch of the mounting of the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)


Mounting of the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926

Fig. 5b. Mounting of the Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)

 

Original Instrumentation

 


  • 18-cm-Refractor (7-inch), donated by Professor de Sitter in January 1924, for the measurement of stellar parallaxes

    Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Obser

    Fig. 6a. Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (© Wikipedia 2.5)


    Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Obser

    Fig. 6b. Zeiss double 60-cm-Refractor (1926), Bosscha Observatory (© Wikipedia 3, VoDeTan2 Dericks-Tan)



     

  • 60-cm-Double Refractor (24-inch), (for visual and blue band observations), Carl Zeiss of Jena, 1925/26, first light 1928,
    visual objective the wavelengths 4860 and 6500 Å, and for the photographic objective 4050 and 4860 Å

    • Focal length 3 times the Carte du ciel refractor (Kapteyn decided)
    • Dome and rising floor by Zeiss (diameter of 11.0m and can be raised 3.8m; the floor hangs by means of steel ropes on three counter-weights, which have been given such a weight that the floor has an excess weight of 300 kg). The dome is carried by a large ball-bearing, consisting of 72 steel balls of 53mm diameter.
    • Position-micrometer, the largest size made by Carl Zeiss of Jena.
    • English mounting -- most suitable for places with a low latitude near the equator -- the telescope and its balance are placed on either side of the polar-axis (cf. Bosscha’s Carl Bamberg astrograph, the Zeiss reflector at Merate Como, the astrophotographical refractor at Catania, the Yale refractor at Johannesburg, the Victoria reflector).

     
  • 110-mm-Comet-Seeker, Zeiss, 95cm focal length,
    own workshop an English mounting,
    used for observing variable stars

    13-cm-Zeiss Refractor with astrophotographic camer

    Fig. 7a. 13-cm-Zeiss Refractor with astrophotographic cameras, Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)


    16cm Refractor, Secretan (1884) and two short focu

    Fig. 7b. 16cm Refractor, Secretan (1884) and two short focus cameras, Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)


     

  • 13-cm-Zeiss Refractor with Astrophotographic Cameras on one mounting

    • Zeiss A-objective, 230cm focal length, mounted by R.A. Kerkhoven
    • Zeiss Astro-Triplet camera (60mm aperture and 27cm focal length). Most of the photographic observations of variable stars obtained with this camera are made by Witlox.
    • Two Zeiss short focus cameras, viz. a Zeiss Tessar f 14.5 cm, aperture 53.5mm (1/2.7) and a Zeiss Triotar f 15.0cm, aperture 43mm (1/3.5). These cameras were specially ordered for obtaining extra­focal photographs of the Southern Milky Way for Prof. Pannekoek.

     
  • 16cm Refractor, Secretan (1884) (Chinese amateur astronomer), 215cm focal length, objective repolished by Zeiss,
    old driving clock, rebuilt by Zeiss.
    The two short focus cameras mounted on the refractor are in use for observing variable stars.

    Astrophotographic building with sliding roof, Boss

    Fig. 8. Astrophotographic building with sliding roof, Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)
     

    Astrophotographic Refractor (1923), Bosscha ObservAstrophotographic Refractor (1923), Bosscha Observ

    Fig. 9a,b. Astrophotographic Refractor (1923), Bosscha Observatory (© Bosscha)
     

  • Astrophotographic Refractor (f=7m, f/18.9), ordered in 1921 from the firm Carl Bamberg of Berlin (1923) with a 19cm visual telescope, Merz of Munich.
    English mounting, building with sliding roof, photometry of variable stars.
    Two cameras are mounted at the Astrograph (used for observations of variable stars, focally and intra-focally):

    • 15-cm-Zeiss Camera, with a UV-triplet objective (150cm focal length) with objective-prisms (UV-glass). Paul ten Bruggencate (1901--1961) of Göttingen used the camera with an objective prism, and occasionally with a refracting grating, for his investigations on Cepheids.
    • 12-cm-Zeiss Camera with an Astro-Tessar objective (60cm focal length).

    Astrophotographic Refractor, optics: 19cm-Merz of

    Fig. 10a. Astrophotographic Refractor, optics: 19cm-Merz of Munich, mounting: Carl Bamberg of Berlin (1923), and two Zeiss cameras, Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)


    37-cm-Refractor, optics: Bernhard Schmidt of Hambu

    Fig. 10b. 37-cm-Refractor, optics: Bernhard Schmidt of Hamburg (1927), mounting: Carl Bamberg of Berlin, Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)


     

  • 37-cm-Refractor, mounting: Carl Bamberg of Berlin, optics: Bernhard Schmidt of Hamburg (1927), Prof. Ejnar Hertzsprung (1873--1967) pointed out that the 37cm visual objective (700cm focal length) was made by Bernhard Schmidt.
     
  • 90-mm-Transit instrument, constructed by Carl Bamberg of Berlin (broken-axis type, focal length of 92cm), donated by R.A. Kerkhoven.
    This instrument has been used for surveying by the Geodetic Section of the Topographie Service (1923 to 1926), with a fixed and a movable-wire micrometer, and the necessary double-level arrangement, so that it can be used for Talcott observations.

    51-cm-Schmidt telescope (1958), Bosscha Observator

    Fig. 11. 51-cm-Schmidt telescope (1958), Bosscha Observatory (© Bosscha)

  • 51-cm-Schmidt telescope (51cm/71cm, f=1.27m, f/2.5), 1958 (Bima Sakti), with a field of 5° x 5°,
    through a UNESCO project that was started in 1951 by van Albada, the optics for the Schmidt-telescope were donated and made by Yerkes Observatory under the supervision of Gerrit Pieter Kuiper (1905--1973), a former Leiden astronomer; the mechanical parts were contracted by the Indonesian government with the engineering firm Rademakers of Rotterdam, under the supervision of Ir. B.G. Hooghoudt of Leiden -- with the help of Jan Hendrik Oort (1900--1992) of Leiden.
    In addition a 6° objective prism was used for spectroscopic work, dispersion of 312 Å per mm.
    1960 first light: Survey of Hydrogen emission-line stars in the direction of the galactic center, also for class M stars, and Wolf-Rayet stars.

    Modern instruments

    • Cassegrain 45-cm-reflecting telescope, GOTO (1988/89), donated from Japan, used with spectrometer
       
    • 13-cm-Unitron-Refractor -- replaced by 28-cm-Schmidt-Cassegrain-Reflector (f/6.3) -- STEVia telescope (Survey Telescope for Exoplanet and Variable star), 2013
    • GAO-ITB RTS (Remote Telescope System), 28-cm-Schmidt-Cassegrain-Reflector with Spectrograph NEO - R1000 (2005)
    • 36-cm-Bosscha Robotic Telescope (BRT), f/7.2 with CCD, for detecting NEA (Near Earth Asteroid)
      Surya Telescope -- Solar Telescope with 3 Coronado and 3 different filters (H-α, Calcium II, and white light)

      Radio Telescopes, 6m Hidrogen and small 2.3m, BossRadio Telescopes, 6m Hidrogen and small 2.3m, Boss

      Fig. 12a,b. Radio Telescopes, 6m Hidrogen and small 2.3m, Bosscha Observatory (© Wikipedia 3, ArdWar

    • Telescope Radio Hidrogen (diameter of 6m), 21cm
    • SRT (Small Radio Telescope), 2.3m Bosscha radio telescope, designed by the MIT-Haystack Observatory and made by Cassi Corporation
    • JOVE Radio telescope (dual-dipole array antenna), designed by NASA JOVE Radio Project that is intended to observe radio bursts from Jupiter and Type III solar bursts.

    Measuring apparatus

    • Zeiss Stereocomparator of large type, fitted with a "blink"-microscope, photographic plates 30 x 30 cm.
    • Gaertner measuring machine of the weil known pattern designed by Frank Schlesinger (1871--1943) for measuring parallax plates.
    • Hartmann photometer -- Moll thermopile photometer, Carl Bamberg of Berlin:
      used for photometric measurements we have an instrument which can be used as a Hartmann photometer for measuring the blackness of extrafocal images. After changing certain attachments it can be used as a thermopile photometer with a Moll Vacuum thermopile and a Moll galvanometer.

     

 

State of preservation 
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Large Double Refractor, Bosscha Observatory (&

Fig. 13. Large Double Refractor, Bosscha Observatory (© Wikipedia 3, Azmie Kasmy)

Bosscha Observatory is the oldest modern observatory in Indonesia, and one of the oldest in Asia.
The aim is to preserve the tangible and the intangible heritage.
Restoration activities ....
The Bosscha Observatory is under monument protection, it was declared as a Cultural Heritage Property
by the Government in 2004 and is declared as a National Vital Object since 2008.
The perspective is to prepare to be a candidate for a Astronomy & World Heritage site.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
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Astronomy park, Bosscha Observatory (© Wi

Fig. 14. Astronomy park, Bosscha Observatory (© Wikipedia 3, VoDeTan2 Dericks-Tan)

The Bosscha Observatory is an ensemble of 9 ha in an astronomy park, comparable with Nice, La Plata, Hamburg and other observatories. There exists a fine collection of instruments made by German instrument makers like Zeiss of Jena, Merz of Munich, Carl Bamberg of Berlin, Bernhard Schmidt of Hamburg, and Riefler of Nesselwang. Very interesting is the early Schmidt telescope from the 1950s similar to the large Hamburg Schmidt telescope.

 

Threats or potential threats 
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no threats

 

Present use 
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The observatory is still in use for astronomical research.
 

Demonstration room for visitors (1933), Bosscha Ob

Fig. 15. Demonstration room for visitors (1933), Bosscha Observatory (© Voûte, 1933)

In addition there are outreach activitites for the public (since 1933).

In the Kerkhoven House is the first Museum of Astronomy in Indonesia.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
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Bosscha Observatory has played a major role in modern astronomical research in the Southern hemisphere.
The main research topics are double stars, variable stars, stellar evolution, stellar and planetary spectroscopy, and in addition galactic structure, cosmology, and extrasolar planets.
There is a Minor Planet Center.
Astronomy in new wavelengths ....

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
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  • Blaauw, Adriaan: My cruise through the world of astronomy. In: Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 42 (2004), pp. 1--37.

    Blaauw, Adriaan: Oort, Jan Hendrik. In: Hockey, T. et al. (2014), pp. 1615--1618.

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  • Hidayat, Bambang: Indo-Malay astronomy. In: Selin, H. & X. Sun (eds.): Astronomy Across Cultures. The History of Non-Western Astronomy. Dordrecht: Kluwer 2000a, pp. 371-384.

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  • Hidayat, Bambang & M.I. Arifyanto: Small telescopes utilization for research. In: Proceedings of the Symposium at Gunma Observatory, 26-27 October. Gunma: Gunma Observatory 1998, pp. 70-74.

  • Hidayat, Bambang & V.M. Blanco: Distribution of giant M stars in the Galactic Disk. In: Astronomical Journal 73 (1968), pp. 712-716.

  • Hidayat, Bambang; Putra, M.; McCain, C. & H.L. Malasan: The new telescope at the Bosscha Observatory. In: Isida, K. & B. Hidayat (eds.): Evolution of Stars and Galactic Structure. Proceedings of The Three Years Cooperation in Astronomy between Indonesia and Japan, 1981-1991. Bandung: Institut Teknologi Bandung 1991.

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