History

In 1954, retired Dutchman astrophyscist Prof.Dr. Egbert Adrian KREIKEN, was assigned to build an observatory at the Ankara University Science Faculty in order to start astronomical observations. Since the faculty buildings were located at the city center, Prof.Dr. Kreiken searched for a land far from the city. He found such a land in Ahlatlıbel area, which is located 18 km south of Ankara, far away from light pollution of the city, easy to get at, and has an average of 300 nights per year suitable for observation.

After the land had been bought, the projects were got ready in 1955, but the observatory construction started four years later in 1959.

First day of construction, 1959

The beginning of construction

Construction of the main building

A view of the completed observatory buildings

A view of the Observatory (first years)

In that years’ currency, 1 million Turkish Liras was spent to built one central and three observartion buildings. After the Observation buildings had been completed, the instruments, a radio telescope produced by Holland PTT, an astrograf that had a diameter of 5cm and focal ratio of f/10, a 15 cm diameter Zeiss Coude telescope constructed for Solar observations, Hilger Watt microphotometer and Iris photometer, were bought and mounted.

In 1963, the observatory was officially opened with an International Astronomy Conference. On the roof of the main building, where Prof. Kreiken used to observe stars with naked eye, which is the most basic method of photometric applications that is used today in most of the researches. Variable stars, small planets, and comets photograph were taken with the astrograph and investigated with the Blink comparator, which lead to interesting researches. The radio telescope and Zeiss Coude were used to observe sunspots. During the years 1986 and 1989, collaborations were made with Zurich Observatory and later with Sunspot Index Data Center at Belgiam.

In 1970 Prof. Dr. Herezeg suggested to observe stars with a photoelectric photometry. In 1975 the astrograf was replaced with a 30 cm diameter Maksutov Cassegrain telescope, that has a focal ratio of f/15, which was bought from a Swedish amateur telescope maker. Prof. B. Cester from the Trieste Observatory made a photometer head for this telescope. In the end of the year 1975, first observations were made by Z. Aslan and Z. Tüfekçioğlu. The researches performed with Maksutov Cassegrain telescope is still continuing on national and international basis and three international projects are being carried out today.

In August 2004, a 40 cm telescope which is completely controlled electronically and a high resolution CCD were bought and mounted in the observatory in order to replace the Trieste telescope.

The observatory is grateful to Prof. Dr. E.A. Kreiken for its presence. Rectorate of the Ankara University has given his name to the recently bought 16” Meade telescope and its building in 2005. Then in 2013, his name was given to the entire observatory according to the proposal given by one of his students Assoc. Prof. Dr. Güner OMAY.

Zeiss Coude Telescope

 

A picture of Dr. A.N.Eskioğlu and the astrograph

 

The construction of the Radio telescope

 

The measurement devices of the Radio telescope

 

Radio Telescope