Instruments and Observatories belonging to the Institute

Leopold Figl Observatory

The observatory consists of two buildings. The main building houses the 1.5m reflector telescope. Astronomers can make use of working and sleeping rooms on two floors. The high-vacuum chamber used to aluminise mirrors, as well as a workshop, are located on the building’s ground floor. The second building contains a 0.6m reflector telescope, which was designed and built at the Viennese University Observatory. Further information can be found at:

The 27-inch Grubb Refractor

The Institute for Astronomy’s 27-inch refractor was built in Dublin by Grubb and is located in the large dome (14 meters in diameter) in the middle of the observatory. At the time of its completion, it was the largest refracting telescope in the world. At 10.5 meters long, its total weight is 13.5 tons (including the pedestal). The moving parts themselves weigh 5.5 tons. The refractor was formally inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph I during the opening ceremony of the University Observatory on June 5th, 1883. In order to facilitate observations, and to make observations of objects near the horizon possible, the dome was electrified during the 1950s and a lifting platform was added.


The 0.8m "vlt" (vienna little telescope)

On December 10th, 2002, the „vienna little telescope” (vlt) - an 80cm (f/8.3) Cassegrain telescope -  was assembled in the Observatory’s northern dome. Design and controls were provided by the company Astro Optik, while the mechanical components were produced by Astro Technik (both German). The reflector optics were manufactured by LOMO in Russia. The vlt is equipped with a CCD photometer and is used for both research and teaching.

A 4096 x 4096 pixel CCD camera produced by the company Finger Lake Instruments has been in successful use with the vlt since September of 2017. A detailed report of the renovation of the vlt’s instrumentation can be found here.

The Small Radio Telescope (SRT)

The institute has had a small radio telescope at its disposal since 2005. Its dish antenna is 2.3 meters in diameter. This device allows for observations of the interstellar medium’s 21cm hydrogen line as well as the neighbouring continuum. Installed on the university observatory’s western terrace, it is used primarily by students during practical courses.

The 1m Telescope on Hvar (Austro-Croatian Telescope)

The ACT is located on the Croatian island of Hvar on the grounds of the Hvar Observatory, near Napoleon Fortress at 238 metres above sea level. Further information can be found at: