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Home     Ukrainian Institutes Crimean astrophysical observatory

Crimean astrophysical observatory

Logo of Crimean astrophysical observatory

The Crimean Observatory was the first major observatory of former Soviet Union to enter the age of astrophysics and is today one of the largest scientific centers in Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.

The observatory possesses modern equipment for astrophysical observations over a wide spectral range from gamma-rays to meter radio waves of stars and galaxies as well as Sun and solar system. The main part of the Observatory is located in Nauchny (12km SE from Bakhchisaraj) at an altitude of 600 meters (lat=+44:43:36, long= 2h 16m 03s). The main telescopes are: the 2.6-m Shajn telescope, two 1.25-m telescopes, ground-based gamma-telescope GT- 48 with the mirrors area of 54 square meter, the 1.2-m Solar Tower telescope as well as a few other smaller instruments. The Department of Radioastronomy with its 22-m radio telescope for mm and cm radio waves is located at the foot of mount Koshka in Khatsiveli (near Simeiz) (lat=+44:23:52.6, long=2h 15m 55.1s). One of Observatory Departments - Simeiz station (lat=+44:24;12.3, long=2h 15m 59.3s) is located on mount Koshka at an altitude of 346 m and a distance of 3 km from the shore. A laser device which has been mounted at 1-m telescope for the location of satellites is under operation here.

The observatory has 5 departments: Solar Physics, Physics of Stars and Galaxies, Radio-Astronomy, Gamma-Ray-Astronomy and Experimental Astrophysics. There are optical and mechanical workshops and electronic labs, where astronomical instruments have been manufactured for both ground-based and space experiments. There are 420 employees including about 120 scientists. The main subjects of investigation are: solar activity, helioseismology, structure and chemical composition of stellar atmospheres, stellar and solar magnetic fields, variable stars, extragalactic astronomy, cosmic-rays in Universe, planets and asteroids, geodynamics and laser location of satellites. Currently, ground-based and space telescopes of the new generation as well as astrophysical equipment are being designed and manufactured at the observatory. Between 1983 1989 the observatory carried out the largest Soviet ultra-violet experiment from the astrophysical station “Astron” which was equipped with the multi-purpose 80-cm ultra-violet telescope.

The scanning spectrometer with a concave diffraction grating installed on the telescope was designed and manufactured in cooperation with the Laboratorie d’Astrophysique de Marseille. At the observatory numerous observations were made, most notably: registration of energy distribution in spectra of stars; registration of the spectral line profiles indicating a powerful flow of matter from stars; estimation of sizes of the hot, invisible from the Earth, components in the dwarf double systems where the optical and X-ray flares take place; measurements of radiation in many UV-lines in spectra of extra-galactic systems and diffuse nebulae in our Galaxy; high time-resolved registration of UV flares on the red dwarf star; estimation of the evaporation rate of the Halley comet by observations of the UV molecular bands; appearance of the thermonuclear synthesis products in the Supernova 1987 in Small Magellan Cloud was detected essentially earlier, than in other observatories. Comparison of the data received in different sessions of communications has shown that the large-size optics made in the optical workshop of the observatory had practically no degradation for all the six years of the telescope operation in space.

The abundant experience which has been accumulated by working out, manufacturing and operation of the ASTRON has allowed to initiate a larger experiment design of the astrophysical station "Spectrum-UV" for an orbital space telescope of 1.7 m diameter of main mirror. By now the original project "Spectrum-UV" has grown to an international project – the World Space ultraviolet observatory (WSO/UV) with participation of Russia, Germany, Spain, China, Ukraine, Hungary, the Great Britain, Israel, Argentina and Bulgaria. In this project the following tasks are assigned to the observatory,: design and participation in manufacturing of the optics of the telescope Т-170, its final figuring and coating; certification and assembling of optics of the telescope; design of the field cameras; scientific and technological justification of the experiment; expert estimates of independent proposals on these questions from the other participants; participation in assembling and testing of the scientific equipment and testing of the whole complex of the telescope; participation in drawing up and carrying out of the technological tests of the telescope on orbit; participation in drawing up of the scientific program of the experiment.

Ecological monitoring of near-Earth space

Ecological monitoring of near-earth space is a perspective area of research. In recent years contamination of near-earth space with various objects of artificial origin has become an acute problem. In 2004 the observatory began systematic investigations of small-sized (below 1m) debris at the geostationary earth orbit (GEO) area in the framework of ISON cooperation with Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (IPM) of RAS.

The goals of this research are:

  • determination of the current level of circum-terrestrial space contamination
  • enhancement of the models of debris motion
  • determination of the likely origin of new-discovered objects
  • verification of existing models of space debris distribution
  • estimation of the hazard from the debris for spacecrafts on high orbits now and in the future

2.6m Shajn telescope
2.6m Shajn telescope

22-m radio telescope of Crimean astrophysical observatory
22-m radio telescope of Crimean
astrophysical observatory

AT-64 Telescope
AT-64 Telescope

Partnering opportunities

The observatory is interested in the following type of collaboration:

  • Positional and photometric observations of near-earth objects of the partner’s interest, based on an a bilateral agreement.
  • Development and deployment of observational facilities funded by the partner, cooperative usage of that facilities.

Contact Details

Dr. Alla Rostopchyna-Shakhovskaya, Director
Address: Nauchny, Bakhchisaray reg. 98409 Ukraine
Tel.: +380-6554-71161
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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