Skinakas Observatory

A View of the Skinakas Observatory
The Skinakas Observatory is a research facility operated jointly by the Foundation of Research and Technology - Hellas (F.O.R.T.H.), the University of Crete and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics of Germany.

The Observatory location, at Skinakas peak on the Psiloritis mountain at an altitude of 1750m, offers excellent conditions for high quality astronomical observations of in the area of the Mediterranean. It is equipped with a variety of instruments which qualify it as one of the world's best equipped telescopes, at least relatively to its size.

Research Activities
The research that is performed at Skinakas Observatory covers a wide range of different fields in Astrophysics. The main observational programs are:

  1. Variability studies of Active Galactic Nuclei
  2. Optical identification of X-ray sources
  3. Structure of Spiral galaxies
  4. Photometry of stellar clusters
  5. RR Lyrae variable stars
  6. Photometric and Spectroscopic research of gaseous nebulae (planetary nebulae and supernova remnants)
  7. X-ray binary systems including High-mass X-ray binaries, black hole
  8. Candidates and cataclysmic variables
  9. Search for Novae in M31
  10. Interaction of cometary tails with the solar wind

Most of the above mentioned programs are done in cooperation between the research institutes of Crete and the Max Planck institute, but also in cooperation with other astrophysicists and observatories from all over the world. For example the Skinakas Observatory participates in the international observatory network of Blazar monitoring (WEBT).

High quality research on very interesting objects like Active Galactic Nuclei requires coordinated observations at all wavelengths. Of special interest are simultaneous observations in the X-rays and in the Optical wavelengths. In Skinakas Observatory a significant portion of the observational time is used for simoultaneous observations with orbital X-ray telescopes, like RXTE, XMM-Newton and Chandra.

Brief presentation of Skinakas Observatory (MPEG-Format, File size: 21 MB)

Skinakas Observatory
Tel.: +30 2810 394200 & 391300, Fax: +30 2810 394201