Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory


of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, an astronomical scientific research organization, the first high-altitude base in the USSR for astrophysical observation. The first Soviet telescope was tested at the observatory; new astrophysical methods of observation have been developed there. Founded in 1932 in the settlement of Abastumani, the observatory was transferred in 1937 to Mount Kanobili (1,650m above sea level) in the vicinity of Abastumani, where the atmosphere is extremely transparent and stable.

The main instruments at the observatory include a 70-cm meniscus telescope with objective prisms, a 40-cm refractor with electropolarimeters, a 48-cm reflector with an electrophotometer, a Schmidt telescope and other photographic devices, horizontal solar and chromospheric telescopes, a coronagraph, and an array of spectral devices for studying the twilight and night skies. A 1.25-m reflector with programmed control was being installed in 1969. The observatory’s primary areas of research are the study of the structure of our galaxy using the methods of colorimetry, spectroscopy, and photographic astrometry; investigations in stellar dynamics; electrophotometric and spectro-photometric investigations of variable and nonstationary stars; electropolarimetry of the moon and planets; a solar service and study of the active regions of the sun; and the investigation of the physical and chemical structure of the earth’s upper atmosphere by photometry and spectral analysis of the twilight and night skies. Extensive catalogs of stellar magnitudes, color indexes, spectras, and luminosities of stars have been published. The observatory has designed, constructed, and used electropolarimetric devices for observation of the moon and planets (a polarimeter, a polarovisor-discriminator, and other devices). Two comets have been discovered, as well as various asteroids, 4 novas and 1 supernova, 17 planetary nebulas, 3 stellar clusters, and hundreds of emission stars. The observatory has published the Biulleten’ since 1937; its library has more than 90,000 storage units. A laboratory was opened in Tbilisi in 1967 for processing observational data and conducting experiments.


Kharadze, E. K. Abastumanskaia astrofizicheskaia observatoriia. Moscow. 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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