In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Torun-Piwnice Observatory, Poland

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 16:55:39
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Toruń-Piwnice Obserwatorium Astronomiczne (Piwnice Astronomical Observatory),
Obserwatorium Astronomiczne UMK w Piwnicach (fomer: Instytut Astronomii) -
osrodek astronomiczny Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika w Piwnicach kolo Torunia,
Piwnice k. Torunia (Thorn), PL-87-148 Łysomice, Poland

until 2019: Toruń Centre for Astronomy, optical and radio observatory, Toruń (Thorn), Poland

 

Location 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 15:47:57
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Latitude 53°5’42.9" N, Longitude 18°33’45.9" E, Elevation ...m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-19 08:01:37
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

092

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 16:56:09
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Monument for Nicolaus Copernicus (1473--1543) in f

Fig. 1. Monument for Nicolaus Copernicus (1473--1543) in front of the Toruń city Hall (Wolfgang Volk, http://www.w-volk.de/museum/monum10.htm)



In Thorn (Toruń) Nikolas Koppernigk / Nicolaus Copernicus (1473--1543) was born - in Ulica Kopernika 15 und 17.

Overview - Piwnice Observatory, named Toru

Fig. 2. Overview - Piwnice Observatory, named Toruń Centre for Astronomy, optical and radio observatory until 2019 (Wikipedia, CC3, EAJoe)



The Piwnice Astronomical Observatory of Nicolaus Copernicus University of Toruń initiated by the professors Wladysław Dziewulski (1878--1962) and Wilhelmina Iwanowska (1905--1999), previously of the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius, In 1947, obtained as a first instrument in 1947 the Henry Draper Astrograph dating from 1891 from Harvard College Observatory.

Carte de Ciel - Henry Draper’s Astrograph (1

Fig. 3. Carte de Ciel - Henry Draper’s Astrograph (1891), donated by Harvard College Observatory in 1947 (Wikipedia, CC4, Margoz)



The Piwnice (Piwnitz) Observatory, Kujawy-Pomerania, Poland, is located about 13 km north of Toruńn. Since 2019, the Astronomical Observatory of the Nicolaus Copernicus University functions as the Institute of Astronomy.

The Toruń Radio Astronomy Observatory (TRAO) has a smaller radio telescope with a diameter of 15m was put into operation in 1979. The Piwnice 32-m-radio telescope is designed by Zygmunt Bujakowski in 1994; the weight of the construction is 620 tons. Both radio telescopes belong to the international Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) network since 1981. Since 2003, Piwnice Observatory took part in the EU project FARADAY (sky survey, using the frequency of 30 GHz).

 

History 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:01:35
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Dome of the Schmidt-Cassegrain-Telescope (Wikipedi

Fig. 4. Dome of the Schmidt-Cassegrain-Telescope (Wikipedia, CC4, Margoz)

Instruments

  • Carte de Ciel - Henry Draper’s Astrograph (1891), donated by Harvard College Observatory in 1947 (borrowed for 100 years).
     
  • 60-cm-Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (90cm main mirror, 60cm correction plate), made by Carl Zeiss of Jena, one of wold’s largest Schmidt cameras for that time, and the largest optical telescope in Poland.
     
  • 20cm/1m-Coudé-Refractor, made by Carl Zeiss of Jena
     
  • 60-cm-Cassegrain Reflector, made by Carl Zeiss of Jena, used for photometry

     

  • 23-m-radio telescope - this interferometer is used for radio measurements of the Sun at 127 MHz frequency since 1958
     
  • RT3 -- 15-m-smaller radio telescope with a diameter of the antennas of 15m was put into operation in 1979 for training students.
     
  • RT4 -- 32-m-larger radio telescope (1994) with a diameter of the antennas of 32m. In 2020, the RT4 radio telescope underwent a major restoration.
    The last two radio telescopes work in the international VLBI-Network.


RT3 -- 15-m-smaller radio telescope (1979) (Wikipe

Fig. 9a. RT3 -- 15-m-smaller radio telescope (1979) (Wikipedia, CC3, Roman Feiler)


RT4 -- 32-m-larger radio telescope (1994) (Wikiped

Fig. 9b. RT4 -- 32-m-larger radio telescope (1994) (Wikipedia, CC3, EAJoe)

 

 

State of preservation 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:02:13
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The Piwnice Astronomical Observatory of Nicolaus Copernicus University of Toruń is well preserved. The astronomy center was placed in a historic 19th-century manor, and in the park surrounding it. In 1947, the first building with a retractable dome was constructed. The next pavilions covering optical telescopes, placed in domes with retractable roofs, were built in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1958, radio astronomy started.

The Carte de Ciel Astrograph was restored in 2018 with the help of Metal Monuments Conservation Workshop (Faculty of Fine Arts of the Nicolaus Copernicus University). In 2020, the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Torun initiated an ex officio administrative procedure to enter the Astronomical Observatory into the register of monuments.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:02:34
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

--

 

Threats or potential threats 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:02:55
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no threats

 

Present use 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
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    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:03:49
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The Piwnice Astronomical Observatory is used as astronomical and radio observatory, the latter is dominating.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:03:16
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The Piwnice Astronomical Observatory is important in the field of radio astronomical research.
The Polish astronomer Aleksander Wolszczan (born 1946), professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, is the discoverer of one of the first planets outside the Solar System, using the radio telescope in Arecibo (Puerto Rico) in 1991.
 

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:34:23
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt


  • Lancaster, Katy; Birkinshaw, Mark & Marcin Gawronski: Sunyaev-Zel’dovich observations of a statistically complete sample of galaxy clusters with OCRA-p. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 418 (2011), p. 1441--1451 (arXiv:1106.3766).

  • Volk, Wolfgang: Denkmal von Nikolaus Kopernikus in Thorn (Polen) -- Monument for Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun (Poland). Zeugnisse zu Mathematikern -- Monuments on Mathematicians.
    (http://www.w-volk.de/museum/monum10.htm).

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun (ed.): Nicolaus Copernicus (1473--1543) -- Revolutionär wider Willen. Begleitbuch/Katalog zur Ausstellung im Zeiss Großplanetarium in Berlin, Juli bis Oktober 1994. Stuttgart: Verlag für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und Technik (GNT) 1994 (352 pages, 183 fig.).

  • Wolszczan, A. & D.A. Frail: A planetary system around the millisecond pulsar PSR 1257+12. In: Nature 355 (January 9, 1992), 6356, p. 145-147.

 

Links to external sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 183
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-10-26 17:35:00
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

 

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