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 National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen

National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen

3/13/2008 4:37:55 PM


The National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen is the biggest acting scientific astro-physics complex in Southeastern Europe. It was officially opened on March 13, 1981 and is one of the two modern observatories for optical observations and research (the other is the Belogradchik Astronomical Observatory). NAO - Rozhen is situated in the Rhodope Mountain at the Rozhen peak (altitude: 1750m), some 25 km away from the town of Smolyan. NAO-Rozhen’s coordinates are: longitude: 01h 38m 58s, latitude: 41deg 41m 48s.

The main telescope of NAO-Rozhen is a 2 meter reflector, optical system Ritchey-Chretien-Coude, made by Carl Zeiss, Jena. This is still the biggest telescope in Southeastern Europe. The second telescope of NAO-Rozhen is a dedicated photometric telescope, 60 cm Cassagrain. It is equipped with a photon-counting, single-channel, computer-controlled photometer.

The third telescope of NAO-Rozhen is 50/70 cm Schmidt telescope for wide-field observations. This telescope is equipped with an SBIG ST8 CCD camera. In 2005, in the laboratory of the Institute of Astronomy, a new 15 cm solar coronagraph was built and was mounted in the solar dome of NAO. With this coronagraph, a new program of monitoring of the solar corona is now started.

International collaboration includes mostly European countries: Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and all countries from Eastern Europe. Some 10,000 people visit the NAO annually.

On March 13, 1997 the Council of Ministers passed Decree No 94 saying the Daylight Saving Time begins on the last Sunday of March at 3 o’clock. During the DST, clocks are turned forward one hour and it runs until the last Sunday of October, when the clocks should be backed one hour at 4 o’clock.

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