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Quito Astronomical Observatory

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Title: Quito Astronomical Observatory  
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Language: English
Subject: National Polytechnic School, Education in Ecuador, Ecuador, Astronomy, Timeline of telescope technology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Quito Astronomical Observatory

Quito Astronomical Observatory (Spanish: Observatorio Astronómico de Quito - OAQ) is a research institute of EPN, the National Polytechnic School in Quito, Ecuador. Its major research fields are astronomy and atmospheric physics. [1]

The Oldest Observatory in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory and is located in Quito, Ecuador. The Quito Astronomical Observatory, which gives the global community a Virtual Telescope System [1] that is connectied via the Internet and allows the world to watch by streaming, is managed by EPN.[2]

The Oldest Observatory in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory and was founded in 1873.


The Quito Astronomical Observatory was founded in 1873. Its first director was Juan Bautista Menten, who directed and planned the construction of the Center, modeled on the Observatory of Bonn (Germany). The building was finished in 1878 and completely restored in 2009. Contained with it is one of the most important collections of nineteenth-century scientific instruments, featuring the large refracting telescope Merz and the meridian circle Repsold. [3]

Ecuador is located in a strategic geographical position where solar-physics studies can be performed year-round, providing data for the scientific community working to understand Sun-Earth interactions. We invite leaders from other scientific projects to deploy their instruments in Quito and to join us in supporting our new strategic research center.

Astronomical Museum

The Museum of the Quito Astronomical Observatory is located in La Alameda park and gives each visitor a vivid history of the varios scientific instruments that were used by early astronomers and scientists. The Astronomical Observatory of Quito is one of the oldest in Latin America, and is a major attraction for scientists, students and tourists in Ecuador.

Many of the tools were used by the French Geodesic Mission II who worked in the facilities of the Center between 1902 and 1914. Merz Equatorial Telescope is the most important instrument of the Observatory. This was manufactured in 1875 in the city of Munich, Germany. Its designer and builder was Jacob Merz after which the telescope is named.

Activities and services

The activities and services currently provided by the OAQ are:

  • Night observations by telescopes
  • Virtual telescope system (TELVA)
  • Astronomical information on the equatorial zone
  • Basic astronomy courses
  • Library
  • Operation of the museum on the premises
  • Annual publications

See also


  1. ^ The Oldest Observatory in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory
  2. ^ [2]American Astronomical Society, ecuador-establishes-division-solar-physics-phenomena
  3. ^ American Astronomical Society, National Polytechnic School Establishes Division of Solar Physics Phenomena

External links

  • Official website
  • Virtual Telescope System
  • 3D view

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