The Crimean Astrophysical Observatory is one of the largest observatories located in the Russia. This observatory has discovered twelve new minor planets since 1966. They have several astrophysical departments in house. These include Solar Physics, Experimental Astrophysics, the Physics of Stars and Galaxies, Gamma Ray Astronomy, and Radio Astronomy. The Crimean Observatory has been publishing a newsletter since 1947 called The Bulletin of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory.
It has been available in English since 1977. This observatory has trained may students from around the world and studies may different stars and galaxies as well as comets and asteroids. This observatory continues to grow and discover new stars and planets all the time.
The Crimean Astrophysical Observatory started out in the early 1900’s as a small observatory in Simeiz by a very rich amateur star gazer. They order a new 1-m telescope in 1912 but had to wait until 1925 to have it installed due to the first World War. It took its first pictures of the heavens in 1926.
The Russian legislature rebuilt the observatory high in the mountain ranges of the Crimean mountains where it is said there is a better climate for astronomy. It is located at an altitude of 346 miles on Mount Koshka. The Simeiz observatory was completely destroyed after Crimea was freed in the war. This observatory saw many new things across the skies. Halley’s comet, supernovas, and other galaxies have all been seen through this observatory’s powerful telescopes.
In 1945, a 40cm double astrograph was brought over from Germany. It needed a few minor changes to work at the Crimean Observatory. They also had quite a few new telescopes put in place as well. These included a 1-m Tower Solar Telescope, 0.5-m Coude reflector, and a 2.6-m reflector. 1966 brought a new 22-m radio telescope after it was found wavelengths could be read.
In 1989, a forty eight mirror gamma ray telescope was brought and mounted in the observatory. This allowed the observatory to continue both their space and ground based operations. Also, an 0.8-m telescope that was supposed to be placed on the space station was developed by the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. Its name was ASTRON. In fact, ASTRON will be actively used in the project to mount a 1.7-m Ultraviolet telescope. This telescope will have a camera along with a spectrometer that can read different resolutions of light.
The staff of this observatory was made of the most scientific minds of the day. Many of the astrophysicists came from FSU and were trained and did research at the Crimean Observatory. One of the astrophysicists enjoyed studying solar flares and magnetic fields. AB Severny succeeded in building yet another observatory to continue his studies. After he died in 1987, another director took his place but didn’t have quite the zeal as Severny did.
If you go to visit this observatory, you will find it high in the mountain ranges and not far from the distant shore. Katsiveli is its home near Simeiz. The main housing is located in Nauchny about 600 meters up the mountain range. Not only will you find beautiful scenery, you will also meet some of the greatest scientific minds of the time.