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The Anton Pannekoek Observatory consists of two domes on top of the FNWI building and an observation terrace on the roof of the C wing. Thanks to the observatory, astronomy students can do research-quality observations in their first year.
The telescopes on the observing terrace

Observation terrace

Students make their first observations on the roof terrace with one of the 12cm apochromatic refractors attached to Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mounts and photograph them with a special camera. After that they use these pictures to calculate, for example, the depth of a moon crater or the distance to Mars.


Star dome and solar dome

Later in their first year, students can choose a course that involves observations with our big telescopes. In our stellar dome we have a 51cm Richey-Chretien Telescope. In our solar dome we have a 35cm and a 30 cm Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain. With these telescopes, the students not only make beautiful images, but also construct spectra and make luminosity comparisons. Third-year bachelor students can answer fairly complex research questions using their observations.

The 51cm Richey-Chretien telescope in the API star dome
The two Meade SCT's in the solar dome


We also have access to an 8" heliostat that we can use to project high resolution live views of the sun and allows students to undertake daytime observing projects. The heliostat was custom designed and built by Rob Hammerschlag and Rasjied Sloot, and made possible by the Amsterdam University Fund.


The 12 cm apo's in action
The Heliostat