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International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Abastumani Observatory, Georgia

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Date: 2021-04-05 03:07:17
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Abastumani Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory (GENAO), Georgia

 

Location 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Latitude 41°45’15’’ N, Longitude 42°49’10’’ E, Elevation 1650m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Date: 2021-04-05 01:46:38
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

119

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Version: 3
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    Date: 2021-04-05 03:09:28
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (*1932), Libr

Fig. 1. Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (*1932), Library, Lecture Hall, Dome of the 125cm-Ritchey-Chretien (Wikipedia 2, Sarah Murray)



The Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, founded in 1932 by the Academian Evgeni Kirillovich Kharadze, is an institution of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. An observatory bulletin was already published since 1937.

The Abastumani Observatory is located 250 km from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, -- far enough from air pollution and artificial illumination -- a perfect dark sky with excellent atmospheric conditions. The Observatory is on Mount Kanobili in the Caucasus at an altitude of 1650m near the town of Abastumani and was the first high mountain observatory in the Soviet Union.  

Back in 1892, a first mountain temporary observatory was erected by the University of St. Petersburg. Sergey Pavlovich Glazenap (1848--1937) observed close binary systems using a 9-inch-refractor.Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (*1932), Dome

Fig. 2. Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (*1932), Dome of the 70-cm-Maksutov (Wikipedia 2, Sarah Murray)


 

Observatory Directors

  • 1932 to 1992 -- Evgeny Kirillovich Kharadze (1907--2001),
    he headed the observatory for 60 years, and acted as an honorary director from 1992 to 2001.
  • 1992 to 2006 -- Rolan Ilyich Kiladze
  • 2006 to today -- Georgy (Gia) Javakhishvili

 

 

History 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Version: 9
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-18 15:42:30
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

40-cm-Zeiss-Refractor (© Abastumani Astro

Fig. 3a. 40-cm-Zeiss-Refractor (© Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory)


Domes of the 36-cm-Zeiss-Schmidt Camera and 33-cm-

Fig. 3b. Domes of the 36-cm-Zeiss-Schmidt Camera and 33-cm-Reflector (© Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory)



Original Instruments



  • 33-cm-Reflector (1932), now in the Museum of GENAO
  • 40-cm-Refractor, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1936)
  • 36cm / 44-cm-Schmidt Camera, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1940)

    70-cm-Maksutov (© Abastumani Astrophysica

    Fig. 4. 70-cm-Maksutov (© Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory)



  • 70-cm-Meniscus Telescope (1955/56) (main mirror 975mm, The 70-cm-meniscus is made of a transparent UV crown glass for a near ultraviolet, 1:3, focal length 210cm), photographic plates 18x18cm, 4°x4° field of view. A 725-mm-lens is placed in front of the meniscus at an angle of rotation of 8°. With an objective lens prism, star spectra with a dispersion of 160 Å/mm are obtained.

  • 48-cm-Cassegrain Reflector (1968)



Modern Instruments since the 1970s



  • 40-cm-Double Astrograph, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1978)
  • 125-cm-Ritchey-Chrétien Reflector (1977)


Dome of the 125-cm-Ritchey-Chrétien Reflector (Wi

Fig. 5a. Dome of the 125-cm-Ritchey-Chrétien Reflector (Wikipedia 2, Sarah Murray))


125-cm-Ritchey-Chrétien Reflector (1977) (&co

Fig. 5b. 125-cm-Ritchey-Chrétien Reflector (1977) (© Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory)



Solar Physics Instruments



  • Solar Telescopes
  • 52-cm-Coronograph

 

State of preservation 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-18 15:30:21
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The original buildings and instruments are completely preserved.
The instruments are in good condition, but the buildings really need restoration.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-05 01:46:38
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no information available

 

Threats or potential threats 
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    Entity: 179
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    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-05 03:12:58
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no threats

 

Present use 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-05 03:13:17
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The Observatory is still active in astrophysical research.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-05 03:13:47
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Main research topics are the following: the structure and evolution of galaxies, variable stars, the Sun and the solar system, investigations of the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, and the history of astronomy. Since 2000 exists the Center for Plasma Astrophysics.

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Version: 2
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    Date: 2021-04-05 03:14:10
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt


  • Salukvadze, G.N.: The Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory on Mount Kanobili. Tbilisi 1975.

 

Links to external sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Version: 2
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    Date: 2021-04-05 03:16:37
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

 

Links to external on-line pictures 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 179
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    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-05 01:46:39
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no information available

 

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