A Russian-Cuban observatory has started operating in Havana, the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INASAN) told Izvestia. It became the first reference point of the revived global network of RF optical telescopes.
The observatory was built in five years. On the Russian side, 25 million rubles have been invested in the project – within the framework of an intergovernmental agreement and contracts between the Cuban Institute of Geophysics and Astronomy and the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“The preparation and repair of special premises and infrastructure (clearing the site, laying sidewalks, supplying electricity, water and the Internet, installing air conditioners) was undertaken by the Cuban side. We have filled the observatory with observational, meteorological and computing instruments, software, personnel, “said Mansur Ibragimov, director of the Russian-Cuban observatory, senior researcher at INASAN, to Izvestia.
The observatory has only one telescope so far. It is an optical survey telescope with a record field of view – 3.5 by 3.5 degrees and a 20 cm receiving mirror. A wide view of the Cuban spacecraft is indispensable for the observatory’s main task – ground-based optical support for scientific research projects in space.
The future plans of Russian astronomers include the creation of joint observatories around the world and the deployment of a global ground-based optical network. INSAN has already submitted the corresponding applications in Uzbekistan and Vietnam, said Mansur Ibragimov.
Read more in the exclusive material from Izvestia:
“The finest hour: the Russian-Cuban observatory has started working in Havana”