AlbaNova Telescope - Atlas Obscura

AlbaNova Telescope

Sweden's largest optical telescope sits on a rooftop in Stockholm. 


When visiting large telescopes most people expect remote places, usually on top of some lonely mountain far away from cities and polluting light. The largest optical telescope in Sweden is not located in such a place though; instead it is found right in the capital city.

The AlbaNova Telescope is situated on top of Stockholm University’s building of the same name, right over the astronomy department. It sports a mirror that is over 3 feet in diameter (1 meter), allowing for very high resolution images.  

The telescope was made in 2007 by the German company Astro Optik and weighs a baffling 2.3 metric tonnes, nearly 5,100 pounds. Originally it was used for environmental physics studies and was later taken over by the astronomy department. It is now used as a testbed for new astronomical instruments, as a tool for teaching students, and for the observation of supernovas. 

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