Maidanak Observatory
Maidanak Observatory

Maidanak Observatory is one of the structural units in the Kitab complex of high-mountain astronomical observatories of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The observatory occupies the western top of mountain Maidanak (altitude 2650 m), located 55 km southward of the village Kitab, Kashkadarya province of the republic. The total area of the observatory is about 32 hectares. The main instruments of the observatory include a reflecting telescope AZT-22 (mirror diameter 1.5 m) and 1-m telescope of the Carl Zeiss Jena company

There are also small instruments available - two 60-cm telescopes of the Zeiss company and astronomical telescope AFR-1 with a lens diameter of 30 cm. Almost all telescopes are equipped with personal computers. The telescope AZT-22 is manufactured in LOMO PLC St-Petersburg (Russia) and set on the highest point of the observatory. At present, the instrument observations are gravitational lenses, quasars and galaxies with a CCD matrix, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and the Sternberg Astronomical Institute (SAI), Moscow State University (Russia)

At the first telescope, there is conducted multicolor photometry of eclipsing variable stars in the galactic north pole and nebulae in solar neighborhood. The 60-cm telescope observations are carried out over eclipsing variable stars, cepheids and Jupiter's moons. The photographs are taken on AFR-1 are those of open clusters and star forming regions. SAI astronomers are actively involved in these observations. It was lucky for the observatory to watch a rare event – the Schumacher-Levy 9 comet falling on Jupiter in the period 16 to 22July, 1994. There were registered places of the collision of the broken comet fragments, which led to dark spots occurrences.
High quality atmospheric images of stars and the abundance of clear nighttime at the observatory make it possible to implement effectively many observational programs. Images obtained at the telescope AZT-22 are those of extragalactic objects with an angular resolution of about 0.3 "and extremely faint objects up to 23 stellar magnitudes. Qualitative photometry of variable stars is helpful in effective collection of the data and detecting weak variations of stars brightness, as well as a number of photometric effects.
Currently, another 1-m Zeiss telescope is expected to be put into operation, what will expand the observational capabilities, in particular, to create a stellar interferometer based on two identical telescopes. Scientists of Ukraine and France are engaged in implementation of this project