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City news, 20.08.2009 16:45

Pulkovo observatory in St. Petersburg celebrates 170 years since its establishment

observatory Main Astronomical Observatory better known as "Pulkovo Observatory" celebrates 170 years since its establishment today. The anniversary coincided with the International Year of Astronomy, announced by the UN and UNESCO.

In April 1834, Emperor Nicholas I approved the choice of location for future observatory construction. He conveyed to the Academy of Sciences the land and issued a decree prohibiting any construction on the adjacent territories without the permission of Director of the observatory.

Range of hills, now called as Pulkovo Heights, consists of three hills and located on the south of St. Petersburg. Observatory was built at the highest - the central hill. Its height is 74.9 m above sea level.

Scientific activities of Observatory comprises almost all the priority areas of basic modern astronomy research: celestial mechanics and stellar dynamics, astrometry (geometric and kinematic parameters of the universe), the Sun and solar-terrestrial connections, physics and evolution of stars, apparatus and technique of astronomical observation.

Pulkovo Observatory today is headed by Doctor of Sciences, Alexander Stepanov.

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