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International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid, Spain

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-10 05:53:25
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid, hill next to the Buen Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain

 

Location 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-10 05:54:31
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Latitude 40.408571 N, Longitude 3.687606 W, Elevation ...m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-10 03:49:50
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

990

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-25 05:48:22
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid (WikipediReal Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid (Wikipedi

Fig. 1a,b. Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid (Wikipedia 3, Fanattiq, Wikipedia)




The Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid on a hill next to the Buen Retiro Park was founded in 1790 by King Carlos IV (1748--1819), King of Spain, 1788 to 1808. The Spanish architect Juan de Villanueva (1739--1811) together with Ventura Rodríguez (1717--1785) constructed the Madrid observatory in Neoclassical style in the shape of a Greek cross with four wings of equal length. The domed lantern gives the impression of a classical round temple.

Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid, Foucault

Fig. 2a,b. Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid, Foucault Pendulum in the central rotunda (Wikipedia 4, Benjamín Núñez González)




The building has three major parts: A Foucault Pendulum is located in the central rotunda - this pendulum illustrates the daily rotation of the earth - and the collection of instruments, the Repsold meridian circle (1854) and the impressive library, with numerous valuable books. In addition, in the Earth and Universe Sciences Room a wonderful collection of Astronomy, Geodesy and Geophysical instruments from the 19th and 20th centuries can be found.

The research institutes, the Astronomical Observatory and the Central Observatory for Geophysics (Instituto Geográfico Nacional is founded in 1870), are both administered by the National Geographic Institute (via its department of Astronomía, Geofísica y Aplicaciones Espaciales).

 

History 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 5
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-25 05:57:25
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Azimuth circle, Utzschneider & Liebherr of Mun

Fig. 3a. Azimuth circle, Utzschneider & Liebherr of Munich (c. 1800) (Wikipedia 3, Luis García)


Reflecting circle, Franco de Lorenzo (c. 1800) (Wi

Fig. 3b. Reflecting circle, Franco de Lorenzo (c. 1800) (Wikipedia 3, Luis García)

 

Instruments

  • 25-foot reflecting telescope (60cm aperture) by William Herschel (1804), which was destroyed in 1808 during the Napoleonic occupation, but it is restored.
     
  • Azimuth circle, Utzschneider & Liebherr (c. 1840)
  • Reflecting circle, Franco de Lorenzo (c. 1800)
  • Meridian circle, Repsold (1854)


Meridian circle, Repsold (1854) (Wikipedia 4, Benj

Fig. 4. Meridian circle, Repsold (1854) (Wikipedia 4, Benjamín Núñez González)


 

 

State of preservation 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-25 05:50:02
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid (Wikipedi

Fig. 5. Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid (Wikipedia 3, Carlos Ramón Bonilla)



Spanish Property of Cultural Interest,
Monument, designated    1995, Reference no. RI-51-0009078.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-10 05:56:48
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

In the north-east of Madrid near Guadalajar, the Yebes Observatory provides the RT 40-m-radio telescope, two smaller radio telescopes, a solar tower, an astrograph and a Gravimeter.
High quality observations can be made in the Canary Islands, the second-best location for optical and infrared astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere (after Hawaii).

 

References

Links to external sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 166
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-10 05:57:10
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt


  • Visitas al Real Observatorio de Madrid: https://www.ign.es/web/ign/portal/visitas-al-real-observatorio-de-madrid

 

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