The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) National Observatory (TUG), which was established at an altitude of 2 meters in Bakırlıtepe in Antalya Saklıkent, celebrates its 500th anniversary.
TUG, one of the first national research institutions established with the support of TÜBİTAK, serves as a state observatory. TUG astronomers have been operating for 80 years in this region, which was chosen after the observatory site selection studies carried out in the Turkish geography in the 25s.
Scientific observations began at the observatory when the first light was received in January 40 on TUG's first telescope, the 40-centimeter-diameter T1997 telescope. There are four active telescopes at the service of researchers at the TUG Bakırlıtepe Campus, which has atmospheric conditions such that observations can be made at 220 nights a year.
Observation with four active telescopes
The first star observations were made in August 1,5 with the RTT150 telescope, which is the largest optical telescope with a mirror diameter of 2000 meters. These results were announced to the scientific world with a joint article in 2001. Many spectral and photometric observational research projects have been produced on current topics such as galaxies, exoplanets, dark matter, dark energy, gamma-ray bursts and tracking of asteroids passing close to Earth.
The ROTSE III-d telescope, which was established as the first robotic telescope in Turkey with a mirror diameter of 0,4 meters, has been operating as a Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) tracking telescope since 2004. ROTSE III-d, one of the four robotic telescopes installed in Australia, Africa, America and Europe, continues to serve at TUG.
The T100 telescope, with a one-meter mirror diameter, was built especially for use in large-area multi-color photometry (photometry) or positioning (astrometry) observations. The first light was received on the night of 2 October 8 in the T2009 telescope, which was installed on September 100-7, 2009.
Scientific observation projects on the T100 telescope started in October 2010. Research projects on current issues such as planetary research outside the Solar System (exoplanets) and tracking meteorites approaching Earth are carried out with this telescope.
The robotically operated T60 telescope with a mirror diameter of 60 centimeters is used to observe the photometric properties of long-term variable stars and the physical properties of long-period binary stars. The first light was taken on the night of September 2008, 60 with the CCD camera on the T5 telescope, which was installed in September 2008. Scientific observation projects with this telescope were started in August 2010.
In 2009, a fully automatic telescope with a 35-centimeter mirror diameter was installed at the Science and Society Center (BİTOM) in the garden of the TUG Administration Building on the Akdeniz University Campus. This telescope is available to sky enthusiasts and students free of charge. Apart from these, the telescope that monitors sunspots and other activities with the Sun telescope on it is also used in the tracking of satellites.
24-year tradition: Sky Observing Events
The Sky Observation Activities, which are the signature of TUG, started in 1998. Initially, TUBITAK Science and Technical Journal; This event, which was first organized in Antalya Saklıkent by the Science and Society Department and in partnership with TUG, has been taking place for 24 years.
The Ministry of Industry and Technology decided to expand this event, which was held in Antalya Saklıkent, to different cities of Anatolia in 2019. In 2022, Sky Observation Activities brought together citizens in 4 different cities under the auspices of the Ministries of Industry and Technology, Youth and Sports, Culture and Tourism, with the contributions of local governments, various institutions and organizations.