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International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Simeiz Observatory, Republic of Crimea

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
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Simeiz Observatory, Crimea (Krim), Ukraine

1. Simeiz Observatory, Crimea, Ukraine (IAU code 094), (*1908),
16 km southwest of Yalta/Jalta, Yalta Municipality

2. Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Nautschnyj (CrAO) (*1945),  (IAU code 095),
298409 Bakhchisaray, p. Nauchny, Crimea -- about 30km from Simferopol
(44°43’36’’ N, 34°01.0’ E, Elevation 600m)

-- Crimean Astronomical Station of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute
-- Gennadiy Borisov’s observatory until it received its own code L51

 

Location 
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Simeiz station Latitude 44°24’46’’ N, Longitude 33°59’29,7’’ E, Elevation 360m above mean sea level.
22-m radio telescope at the foot of Mount Koshka in Katsiveli (near Simeiz) (Latitude +44:23:52.6, Longitude 2h15m55.1s)

 

IAU observatory code 
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094

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
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Simeiz Observatory, Crimea

Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO), Nautchny

Fig. 1. Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO), Nautchny, Crimea (*1945), above the line of horizon are from left to right: 2.6-m-ZTSH-telescope, 1.25m-AZT-11, and TST-1 Solar telescope (Wikipedia CC3, Kirill Sokolovsky - Kirx)



The Russian amateur astronomer Nikolai Sergeevich Maltsov / Sergei Ivanovich Maltsov (1810--1893) (asteroid 749 Malzovia, discovered in 1913 by Belyavsky at the Simeiz Observatory) built in 1900 a tower for a refractor of his private observatory near Simeiz, in 1906, and another tower for the Zeiss double astrograph. In 1908, he donated his observatory to Pulkovo Observatory and it became a southern branch of Pulkovo, Saint Petersburg, as Astrophysical Observatory (1912).

This was the beginning of Simeiz Observatory on the 360m high Mount Koshka (the Cat), Crimea (1908/12) and it was active until the mid-1950s.
The research topics were: observations of minor planets (Grigory Nikolayevich Neujmin (1885 jul./1886 greg.--1946) of Tbilisi in Georgia), stellar photometry (Sergey Ivanovich Belyavsky (1883--1953)), stellar catalogues of radial velocities, study of chemical composition of stars and the Sun, discovery of star rotation, star formation zones.

For radio astronomy, the 22-m-Radio telescope (Simeiz RT-22) is operated in Simeiz. Research: Molecular lines observations at mm wavelengths, monitoring of Active Galactic Nuclei.

After being destroyed in World War II, it was restored until 1948. The 122-cm-reflector telescope of the former Berlin-Babelsberg observatory was also dismantled as a reparation payment for the destroyed 1-m-reflector and rebuilt together with its dome in Simeiz.
 

125-cm-Reflecting telescope, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1

Fig. 2. 122-cm-Reflecting telescope, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1924) from Berlin-Babelsberg Observatory (Wikipedia 3, Rumlin)

 

Crimean Astrophysical Observatory Nautchny (CrAO)



But the Soviet Government decided to build in addition a new modern observatory -- in much better climate -- on the northern slopes of the Crimean mountains, the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory Nautschnyj (CrAO) and it came under auspices of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1945).

Grigory Abramovich Shajn (1892--1956) was appointed as first Director. The 40-cm-double-astrograph, the 122-cm-reflector, and the Lyot-coronagraph were received from Germany as reparations. Shaijn and and Vladimir Aleksandrovich Albitzky (1891--1952), director of the observatory in 1934, started spectral observations of radial velocities of the stars, which contributed to the fame of the observatory.

The research topics of the new observatory are solar physics, observation of binary systems, radial velocity of stars and the study of quasars.
The Minor Planet Center (MPC) gives a total of 1286 numbered minor planets that were discovered at the Crimea-Nauchnyj Observatory (CrAO) site during 1966--2007 by the astronomers Grigory Neujmin, Sergey Belyavsky, Vladimir Albitsky, Grigory Shajn, Nikolaj Ivanov, Pelageya Shajn, Praskov’ja Parchomenko, Alexander Deutsch and Evgenij Skvorcov.

 

 

Administrative building, Crimean Astrophysical Obs

Fig. 2. Administrative building, Crimean Astrophysical Observatory Nautchny (CrAO) (Wikipedia CC3, Dmitry Sklyarenkon)



Crimean Astrophysical Observatory Nautchny (CrAO)

Fig. 2. Crimean Astrophysical Observatory Nautchny (CrAO) (Wikipedia CC3, Dmitry Sklyarenko)

 

 

History 
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Instruments of Simeiz Observatory, Mount Koshka, Crimea

  • 12-cm-Double Astrograph, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1906)
     
  • Heliograph
     
  • 100-cm-Reflector (40’’), Thomas & Howard Grubb of Dublin (1912/1925), mechanical, but not optical, parts completed under Grubb Parsons of Newcastle upon Tyne, never installed, included dome and rising floor -- distroyed in WWII.

    This 100-cm-Reflector was replaced by the 122-cm-Reflector (Zeiss-122), focal length 8.4m, Cassegrain focus (f/20).
    The 122-cm-Reflecting telescope, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1924) from Berlin-Babelsberg Observatory including the dome (1945) -- the largest telescope in Europe at that time.


 

Directors of Simeiz and Nautchny Observatory (CrAO)

  • 1934 to 1945 -- Vladimir Aleksandrovich Albitzky (1891--1952)
     
  • 1945 to 1952 -- Grigory Abramovich Shajn (1892--1956) --
    head of construction, the first director of the Observatory at Nauchny
  • 1952 to 1987 -- Andrei Borisovich Severny (1913--1987)
  • 1987 to 2005 -- Nikolai Vladimirovich Steshenko (*1927)
  • 2005 to present -- Alla Rostopchina-Shakhovskaya (Romanova)

 

2.64-m-Shajn Reflector, named after Grigory A. Sha

Fig. 4a. 2.64-m-Shajn Reflector, named after Grigory A. Shajn, LOMO (1950), Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) (Wikipedia CC0, Apashenko)



Dome of the 2.64-m-Shajn Reflector, LOMO (1950), C

Fig. 4b. Dome of the 2.64-m-Shajn Reflector, LOMO (1950), Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) (Wikipedia CC3, Dmitry Sklyarenko)

 

Instruments of Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO), Nautchny

  • 40-cm-Double Astrograph (as reparation from Germany)
     
  • 50-cm Maksutov telescope (MTM-500), Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Association (LOMO) (1950), with focal length 6.5m, Maksutov (f/13), CCD-camera in the Coudé focus
     
  • 264-cm-Shajn Reflector (2.64-m-ZTSh-telescope), Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Association (LOMO) (1960/61) -- the largest telescope in Europe at that time
     
  • 70-cm-Astronomical Reflecting Telescope 8 (AZT-8), Leningrad Optical-Mechanical firm (LOMO) (1964), with focal length 2.8m, Primary focus (f/4), Cassegrain focus (f/16, f/40), BVRI photometer with Apogee AP7p CCD-camera, observations of T Tau-stars and UV Cet-stars.
    In 1977 AZT-8 was transferred to Nauchny.

     

  • 1.25-m-Ritchey-Chretien reflector - AZT-11-telescope (1981) with a focal length of 16m (50’’, automatic computer-controlled),Ritchey-Chretien (f/12.8), with 5-channel photopolarimeter by V. Piirola, CCD with a focus reductor
     
  • 80-cm Ritchey-Chretien telescope (1983) (RK-800) with focal length 12.8m, Ritchey-Chretien focus (f/16) with CCD-camera, developed at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in 1983, in addition a single-channel photometer (1986) - spectrophotometric observations -- for the space station ASTRON
     
  • 38-cm Cassegrain telescope (K-380), mirrors were polished by G.V. Borisov, manufactured by engineers of CrAO (1998), with focal length 5m, Cassegrain focus (f/13), CCD camera Apogee Alta E47 (2012) and turret with BVRI filters

 

RT-22 Radio telescope up to 2mm (1966), CrAO Crime

Fig. 5. RT-22 Radio telescope up to 2mm (1966), CrAO Crimea (Wikipedia CC2, Vyacheslav Argenberg)



Instruments for New Wavelengths and Space Observations


  • 22-m-Radio telescope for mm and cm wavelengths (Simeiz RT-22) (1966) on Mount Koschka in Katsvell near Simeiz
     
  • Orbital Solar Telescope (OST-1) was mounted on board the Space Station Salut-4 (1975)
     
  • GT-48 -- Gamma-Ray Telescope consisting of 48 mirrors with a total area of 54m2 (1989)
     
  • SPECTRUM-UV project: 1.7m UV telescope with an image camera and a set of spectrometers of different resolutions



Solar Tower Telescope, CrAO Crimea (Wikipedia 3, D

Fig. 6a. Solar Tower Telescope, CrAO Crimea (Wikipedia 3, Dmitry Sklyarenko)



120-cm-Solar Tower Telescope BST-1, CrAO Crimea (W

Fig. 6b. 120-cm-Solar Tower Telescope BST-1, CrAO Crimea (Wikipedia 3, Kirx)


 

Solar telescopes

  • 1.2-m-Solar Tower Telescope 1 (TST-1) (BST-1-Solar-telescope) (1955, modernized in 1973), 120-cm coelostat, 90-cm-spherical primary mirror, 110-cm small mirror diameter, Cassegrain foci (f/56, f/78), an image of the Sun with a diameter of 50cm, in addition a double channel magnetograph (1968) -- used for the observations of magnetic fields, velocity in active reagions, solar oscillations (helioseismology, 1974).
     
  • 60-cm-Solar Tower Telescope 2 (TST-2), 60-cm coelostat, 45-cm-spherical primary mirror (f/27), one flat and two convex secondary mirrors provide f/27, f/46 and f/78 Cassegrain foci on the entrance slit of a spectrograph. There are an echelle-grating, Universal Spectrophotometer with a scanning system and a CCD camera.
    The TST-2 is used for spectral studies with analyzers of circular and linear polarization.
     
  • 21-cm-Large Coronograph 1 (KG-1), (f/17), f=5m or 13m,
    0.5 Å H-alpha filter, made by Bernhard Halle Nachfolger of Berlin, used as a chromospheric telescope with registration on 35mm film, 1950s, used for World Solar Service (sunspots, flares)
     
  • 53-cm-Large Lyot Coronograph 2 (KG-2), Lyot type coronograph, (f/15) and with Coudé focus is equipped with a 8-m-diffraction spectrograph (f/20),
    0.5 Å H-alpha birefringence filter and a device for photographic registration of linear polarization in details of solar emission (as reparation from Germany)

 

 

State of preservation 
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Zeiss 1000 Telescope, Simeiz, Crimea (Wikipedia CC

Fig. 6a. Zeiss 1000 Telescope, Simeiz, Crimea (Wikipedia CC4, Skruch-13)



Crimean Astrophysical Observatory of the Academy o

Fig. 6b. Crimean Astrophysical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (CrAO) (Wikipedia CC3, Dmitry Sklyarenko)



The main historical building of Simeiz Observatory was restored and modernized after WWII. Both towers of Belyavsky’s Simeiz Observatory are preserved until today.

A new modern building for the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (CrAO) was erected in 1945 on the northern slopes of the Crimean mountains.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
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no information available

 

Threats or potential threats 
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This place is located on the Crimean peninsula, where there is a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine, and the city with special status of Sevastopol.

 

Present use 
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It is still used as Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO).

 

Astronomical relevance today 
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The Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) has five  departments:
Solar Physics, Physics of Stars and Galaxies, Radio-Astronomy, Gamma-Ray-Astronomy and Experimental Astrophysics.

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
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  • Dobronravin, P.P. & N.V. Steshenko: The Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. Simferopol: Crimea 1965 (79 p.).

  • Gurshtein, Alexander A.: Shain [Shayn, Shajn], Grigory Abramovich. In: The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers 2007, p. 1046.

  • Pinigin, G.I. et al.: B5. Astronomical Observatories in Ukraine relevance to the Unesco Astronomy World Heritage Initiative. In: Astronomy and World Heritage: Across Time and Continents. Proceedings of the UNESCO Conference Kazan, August 2009. Ed. by Mikhail Ya. Marov. Associate Scientific Editors: Olga B. Dluzhnevskaya, Jarita C. Holbrook, Viktor K. Abalakin, Yuri A. Nefedyev, Tamila M. Potyomkina. International Astronomical Union, UNESCO. Kazan: Publishing House of Kazan University 2016, p. 203-211.

 

Links to external sites 
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