The telescope

The AlbaNova Telescope is the largest operating optical telescope in Sweden, with a primary mirror diameter of 1 metre and a focal point distance of 11 metres. It weighs 2.3 metric tonnes (approximately 5 100 lb) and was manufactured in Germany by Astro Optik.

The telescope was acquired, and is operated, in cooperation with the Department of Applied Physics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), where it is used for research within environmental physics. The telescope project was funded by a grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The AlbaNova University Centre was originally built to house a large optical telescope in the dome on top of the rotunda; however, initially only a temporary mobile telescope was installed in the dome. On 31 Oct 2007, the new 1-m telescope, including its foundation, was raised into the dome of the AlbaNova building, and on 8 Jan 2009 the telescope was officially inaugurated.

The primary astronomical research purpose of the telescope is astronomical instrumentation and testing of the instruments that are in development at the department. The telescope also has a supporting role, for example in the confirmation of supernova discoveries.

As the observatory is situated in central Stockholm, with its resulting light pollution problems and poor observing conditions, the telescope is less suited for observations requiring low background light or stable atmospheric conditions. Stockholm University astronomers generally use larger telescopes located at international observatories for research which requires high precision photometric measurements, and participate in the large collaborations centered around these facilities.

The AlbaNova telescope is also used in the research education at the department. Public shows in Swedish and English are offered a few times per month during the winter months, when the light is suitable. For schedule and ticket information, see the telescope show information page which is linked below.

Telescope shows for the public