The telescope of the National Observatory of Athens named “ARISTARCHOS” is the largest telescope in the Balkans and the second largest in continental Europe, which is at the top “Neraidorahi” at Helmos at an altitude of 2,340 meters.
Aristarchus was named in honor of the ancient Greek astronomer Aristarchus.
Some of the telescope characteristics is its large field of view that is ideal for participating in international programs, the very good optical quality which have sharp images, the remote control option and the programmable operation over the network from its headquarters in Athens Observatory or from other partner of the Observatories in Greece or abroad, the equipment with modern astronomical instruments such as CCD cameras and spectrographs of high and intermediate resolution.
The reasons for preferring the top of Helmos for such a modern and important project of the National Observatory of Athens is that there is provision of functional infrastructure of the establishment of the Ski Centre where it is easy road access, electricity and phone, does not suffer from light pollution of cities as major cities are behind the mountains. It is also one of the darker parts of Europe, the telescope is above the clouds heavily annually can observe images that are of exceptional quality. Furthermore, the altitude (2.340 m) that the telescope located is suitable to observe and infrared light and searched for the existence of planets in our galaxy, stellar explosions, chemical composition, structure and dynamics of galaxies, and galaxy clusters.
The operation of the telescope is optoilektromichaniki, friendly to the environment. The settlement layout for measuring background levels of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, are very important for the environment’s protection. It also provides weather condition information to the Ski Center.
The installation of the Aristarchus’s telescope is educational either for training students locally and via network or for public education, including schools, universities, cultural institutions etc., or for scientific and technological services to teachers and social agencies.
The telescope is part of the European Programme “OPTICON” which brings together the largest and most advanced telescopes in Europe and there is interest in using the telescopic lens of research institutions for scientific collaboration and research.
So far have expressed interest in scientific cooperation and support:
University of Sheffield, U.K.
University of Southampton , U.K.
University of Manchester, U.K.
University of Patras, Greece
Isaak Newton Group, La Palma
Special Astrophysical Observatory, Russia
University of Odessa, Ukrania
University of Sofia, Bulgaria
Astronomical Observatory of Jugoslavia
IDENTITY OF THE PROJECT:
Project: “ARISTARCHOS” the new telescope of National Observatory of Athens
Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH, German
Cost of project: 1.745.000.000 drachmas.
Financing: EPET ΙΙ της GGET Ministry of Development
Diameter: 2.3 meters
Field of View: 1.04 degrees
Steering: Remote network
Mode: Automated and scheduled in advance
Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics – National Observatory of Athens