The Great Refractor Telescope, Potsdam, Germany
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
N 52° 22.783 E 013° 03.850
33U E 368237 N 5805036
Quick Description: Built in 1899, the Big Refractor was one of the largest telescopes of its time.
Location: Brandenburg, Germany
Date Posted: 10/5/2016 7:13:52 PM
Waymark Code: WMT6ZD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member snaik
Views: 1

Long Description:

The Great Refractor was built in 1899 as part of the Potsdam Astrophysical Observatory. It was one of the largest telescopes of its time.

Here, in 1904, Astronomer Johannes Franz Hartmann delivered the proof of the existence of interstellar medium, the matter that exists in the space between the star systems in a galaxy.

The Telescope was damaged during a bombing raid in WW II, but was restored in 1953. It was then still used until 1968.

The Telescope was taken out of commission in 1968 and for years, nobody paid any attention to it; thus it soon started to deteriorate.

In 1997, a foundation started raising money to rebuild it. The fundraiser was a huge success and in 2006 the completely restored building and its telescope were dedicated as technical monument.

Due to its fragile nature it is open to the public only during special events, which is why we had to borrow this picture of the inside from Wikipedia.

All of the outside pictures are our own.

Unfortunately, the Wikipedia entry about the Great Refractor is only in German, but the Great Refractor Foundation offers an English version of the history of the observatory.

Observatory Purpose: Research

Optical / Infrared Telescopes?: Yes

Radio Telescopes?: No

Solar Telescopes?: No

Open to the Public?: No

Is this a Club Observatory?: No

Public Viewing Allowed?: No

Active Observatory?: Retired

Number of Telescopes or Antennas: 2

Site URL: [Web Link]

Year Dedicated or Opened: 1899

Altitude (meters): 94

Visit Instructions:
Note the time of day of your visit, and your own photo of your favorite part of the observatory. This might be the view from the observatory, picture of your favorite building or favorite exhibit. (Be mindful of flash photography rules!)

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