Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory

Last updated
Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory
Radio Telescope, Tien Shan Observatory.jpg
Radio telescope at Tien Shan Observatory
Observatory code N42   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Location Almaty, Kazakhstan
Coordinates 43°03′27″N76°58′17″E / 43.0576°N 76.9715°E / 43.0576; 76.9715 Coordinates: 43°03′27″N76°58′17″E / 43.0576°N 76.9715°E / 43.0576; 76.9715
Relief Map of Kazakhstan.png
Red pog.svg
Location of Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory
Commons-logo.svg Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory (TSHAO, TSAO, or Tien Shan Observatory; obs.code: N42; formerly also Alma-Ata Observatory and Almaty Observatory, obs.code: 210) is an astronomical observatory located in the Tien Shan Mountains at 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) altitude, 30 kilometers south of the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. [1] It was assigned to the Sternberg Astronomical Institute (GAISh) until the collapse of the Soviet Union. The observatory is a state-owned scientific institution that belongs to the Astrophysical Institute after V.G. Fesenkov. It is often used for photometric investigations of variable stars in the Milky Way, eclipsing systems. [2] [3] [4]



The Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory was founded in 1957. It is located in the mountains of Tien Shan at an altitude of 2,735 m (8,973 ft) above sea level, near Big Almaty Lake, 30 km from Almaty city. The observatory has two 1-meter Ritchey–Chrétien telescopes in addition to a number of smaller telescopes. The biggest instrument, however, is a radio telescope.

Between 1994 and 2008, the observatory formed part of the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute (Kazakhstan's major scientific organization for fundamental research in astronomy and astrophysics). Currently it forms part of Kazakhstan's National Center for Space Research and Technologies.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, none of the observatory's 1-meter telescopes were in working order on account of outdated equipment and lack of spare parts. In 2013 work was completed on the observatory's East 1-meter telescope, and in late spring of 2014 its second 1-meter telescope (called "West") entered service.

Currently both telescopes have remote up-to-date control systems. The telescopes' remote controls are managed via Internet.

The observatory has undertaken various projects since the new equipment was installed. This includes observations of exoplanets (extra-solar planets), studies of faint stars in the Milky Way (that resulted in discovery of a total of 20 variable stars), studies of stars, recording of afterglow of gamma-ray bursts, and various other projects.

In collaboration with the South Korean Institute for Astronomy and Space Sciences, the Tien Shan Observatory is planning to install an automated telescope of 50 cm in diameter. The telescope will be linked to the four similar telescopes in Mongolia, South Africa, Australia, and Turkey, and will become part of the global network of small telescopes. [5]


Moreover, the observatory is also equipped with a 20 cm Coudet refractor, an ACU-5 horizontal solar telescope, a Nikolsky coronograph, a Schmidt astrograph, and an 80 cm reflector. [1]

Related Research Articles

Very Large Telescope telescope in the Atacama Desert, Chile

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a telescope facility operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The VLT consists of four individual telescopes, each with a primary mirror 8.2 m across, which are generally used separately but can be used together to achieve very high angular resolution. The four separate optical telescopes are known as Antu, Kueyen, Melipal, and Yepun, which are all words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language. The telescopes form an array which is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of 1.8 m aperture.

Ritchey–Chrétien telescope specialized Cassegrain telescope

A Ritchey–Chrétien telescope is a specialized variant of the Cassegrain telescope that has a hyperbolic primary mirror and a hyperbolic secondary mirror designed to eliminate off-axis optical errors (coma). The RCT has a wider field of view free of optical errors compared to a more traditional reflecting telescope configuration. Since the mid 20th century, a majority of large professional research telescopes have been Ritchey–Chrétien configurations; some well-known examples are the Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck telescopes and the ESO Very Large Telescope.

Mount Wilson Observatory Astronomical observatory in Los Angeles County, California, USA

The Mount Wilson Observatory (MWO) is an astronomical observatory in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The MWO is located on Mount Wilson, a 1,740-metre (5,710-foot) peak in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, northeast of Los Angeles.

Apache Point Observatory observatory

The Apache Point Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the Sacramento Mountains in Sunspot, New Mexico, United States, approximately 18 miles (29 km) south of Cloudcroft. The observatory is operated by New Mexico State University (NMSU) and owned by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC). Access to the telescopes and buildings is private and restricted.

Dominion Astrophysical Observatory observatory in Saanich, British Columbia

The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, located on Observatory Hill, in Saanich, British Columbia, was completed in 1918 by the Canadian government. The Dominion Architect responsible for the building was Edgar Lewis Horwood. The main instrument is the 72 inch aperture Plaskett telescope, proposed and designed by John S. Plaskett in 1910 with the support of the International Union for Cooperation in Solar Research.

New Technology Telescope

The New Technology Telescope or NTT is a 3.58-metre Ritchey–Chrétien telescope operated by the European Southern Observatory. It began operations in 1989. It is located in Chile at the La Silla Observatory and was an early pioneer in the use of active optics. The telescope and its enclosure were built to a revolutionary design for optimal image quality.

Galileo National Telescope 3.58m Italian telescope

The Galileo National Telescope, is a 3.58-meter Italian telescope, located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. The TNG is operated by the "Fundación Galileo Galilei, Fundación Canaria", a non-profit institution, on behalf of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF). The telescope saw first light in 1998 and is named after the Italian Renaissance astronomer Galileo Galilei.

Indian Astronomical Observatory located near leh ladakh , India , has one of the worlds highest sites for optical , infrared, gamma-ray telescopes

The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), located near Leh in Ladakh, India, has one of the world's highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes. It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. It is currently the ninth highest optical telescope in the world, situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters (14,764 ft).

Leuschner Observatory

Leuschner Observatory, originally called the Students' Observatory, is an observatory jointly operated by the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University. The observatory was built in 1886 on the Berkeley campus. For many years, it was directed by Armin Otto Leuschner, for whom the observatory was renamed in 1951. In 1965, it was relocated to its present home in Lafayette, California, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of the Berkeley campus. In 2012, the physics and astronomy department of San Francisco State University became a partner.

Vainu Bappu Observatory Astronomical observatory located in Kavalur. The observatory is a part of Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Tourist Attraction in india.

The Vainu Bappu Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. It is located at Kavalur in the Javadi Hills, near Vaniyambadi in Tirupattur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is 200 km south-west of Chennai and 175 km south-east of Bangalore.

Konkoly Observatory observatory

Konkoly Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, located in Budapest, Hungary. It was founded in 1871 by Hungarian astronomer Miklós Konkoly-Thege (1842–1916) as a private observatory, and was donated to the state in 1899. Konkoly Observatory, officially known as MTA CSFK Konkoly Thege Miklós Csillagászati Intézete in Hungarian, is the largest astronomical research institute in Hungary, and hosts the largest telescopes in the country.

Las Cumbres Observatory

Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) is a network of astronomical observatories run by a non-profit private operating foundation directed by the technologist Wayne Rosing. Its offices are in Goleta, California. The telescopes are located at both northern and southern hemisphere sites distributed in longitude around the Earth. For some astronomical objects, the longitudinal spacing of telescopes allows continuous observations over 24 hours or longer. The operating network currently consists of two 2 meter telescopes, nine 1 meter telescopes, and seven 40 cm telescopes, placed at six astronomical observatories. The network operates as a single, integrated, observing facility, using a software scheduler that continuously optimizes the planned observing schedule of each individual telescope.

Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory observatory

Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory is an observatory located in the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus. It is named after Nasreddin Tusi (Shao). It is located on the eastern slope of Pirqulu, at an elevation of 1500 m. The number of clear, cloudless nights reaches about 150–200 per year.

Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) is a German research institute. It is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam (AOP) founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP was founded in 1992, in a re-structuring following the German reunification.

Bosscha Observatory observatory in Indonesia

Bosscha Observatory is the oldest modern observatory in Indonesia, and one of the oldest in Asia. The observatory is located in Lembang, West Java, approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) north of Bandung. It is situated on a hilly six hectares of land and is 1,310 m (4,300 ft) above mean sea level plateau. The IAU observatory code for Bosscha is 299.

Lulin Observatory observatory

The Lulin Observatory is an astronomical observatory operated by the Institute of Astronomy, National Central University in Taiwan.

Astronomical Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences facility in Kežmarok, Slovakia

The Astronomical Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences was founded in 1953, when the state observatory on Skalnaté Pleso got a status of astronomical institute and became one of the founding institutes of the newly born Slovakian Academy of Sciences. In memories of past and current employees, the institute and the observatory on Skalnaté Pleso were always blended in one and therefore one could consider for the year of the institute foundation already the 1943. Currently, it has its headquarters at Tatranská Lomnica.

Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory observatory in Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory is an astronomical observatory of Vilnius University. It was founded on 1753 by initiative of Thomas Zebrowski. The observatory is the fourth oldest observatory in the Europe. While the observatory is no longer able to make astronomical observations due to light pollution in Vilnius, it continues scientific research.

The Assy-Turgan Observatory (ATO) is an astronomical observatory located in the Assy-Turgen region not far from Almaty, Kazakhstan, within a national park. The nearest city is Esik. The observatory is operated by the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute.

Yerkes 41-inch reflector

Yerkes 41-inch reflector is a 40-inch aperture (101.6 cm) reflecting telescope at the Yerkes Observatory, that was completed in 1968. It is known as the 41 inch to avoid confusion with a 40 inch refractor at the observatory. Optically it is a Ritchey–Chrétien design, and the main mirror uses low expansion glass. The telescope was used as a testbed for an adaptive optics system in the 1990s.


  1. 1 2 "kanTengri - Astronomical". www.kantengri.kz.
  2. "Tian Shan Astronomical Observatory - Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute". aphi.kz.
  3. "A Night at Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory". moreoftheroad.com. 16 March 2014.
  4. Ati. "Do you know anything about the Tien Shan Astronomical..." Indy Guide.
  5. Kazakhstan Steps Up Space Research