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Observatories

A tour in some observatories and astronomical institutes



We will present in the following pages observatories and astronomical institutes related to the field of solar system studies. Some have an history of several decades or centuries, some are now in an urban and polluted environment making the observations difficult, some are only research laboratories without telescopes using instruments far from them and some are recently built on selected astronomical sites allowing observation of faint objects.  


Observatories and institutes members of the FP7 ESPaCE program :

- IMCCE: Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides (France) formerly with Bureau des longitudes, founded 1795 and now an institute of Paris Observatory, founded 1667
- ROB: Royal Observatory of Belgium (founded 1832, transfered to Uccle in 1890)
- TUB: Technical University of Berlin (Germany)
- JIVE: Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (The Netherlands)
- CNES: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
- DLR, Institute of planetary research, department of Planetary Geodesy (Germany)
- TUD: Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands)

European observatories :

- Pic du Midi Observatory (France, joined Midi-Pyrénées Observatory) 
- Haute Provence Observatory (France, joined Marseille-Provence Observatory) 
- Bordeaux Observatory (joined the University of Bordeaux) 
- Côte d'Azur Observatory (formerly Nice Observatory until 1988) 
- Besançon Observatory (France, joined the University of Franche-Comté) (France)
- Greenwich Observatory (UK, founded 1675, transfered to Herstmonceux in 1957, transfered to Cambridge in 1980, suppressed in 1998) 
- Torino Observatory (Italy, founded 1759, transfered at Pino Torinese in 1912)
- Castel Gandolfo Observatory (Vatican, founded 1578, transfered at Castel Gandolfo in 1930)
- Catania Observatory (Italy, founded 1879)
- Bucharest Observatory, Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy (Romania)
- Pulkovo Observatory (near Saint-Pétersbourg, Russia) 
- Sternberg Astronomical Institute (Moscow, Russia) 


Observatories and institutes outside Europe :

- Naval Observatory at Washington D.C. (USA, founded 1849, moved to the present site in 1893) 
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Caltech, California, USA)
- Mount Palomar Observatory (California, USA, large telescope in use since 1947) 
- Zelenchuk Observatory (Caucasus, Federation of Russia, large telescope in use since 1974) 
- Shanghai Observatory (China, founded 1872 and has its present structure since 1962)
- Itajuba Observatory (Brazil, founded 1980)
- European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile, 3m60-telescope in use since 1976, and Paranal, Chile, VLT (Very Large Telescope) made of four 8m-telescopes in use since 1999) 
- Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore, USA, remote control of the Hubble Space telescope since its launching in 1990) 


The largest instruments still in use :

- the largest reflectors  
- the largest refractors