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National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)

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Title: National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)  
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Subject: National Autonomous University of Mexico, Catalina Station, Engineering Institute, Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea, National Astronomical Observatory (Chile)
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National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)

National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)
A view of the building of the 2.12m telescope from the road below.
Dome of the 2.1 m telescope on San Pedro Mártir
Organization National Autonomous University of Mexico
Location Sierra San Pedro Mártir
Altitude 2,800 meters (9,200 ft)
Established 1878 (1878)
unnamed telescope 2.1 m reflector
unnamed telescope 1.5 m reflector
unnamed telescope 0.8 m reflector

Mexico's National Astronomical Observatory (Spanish: El Observatorio Astronómico Nacional - OAN) was first established on the balcony of Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City in 1878.

It was later moved to Palacio del Ex-Arzobispado in Tacubaya (then on the outskirts of the city), on the west side of the Federal District, a location remembered in the Observatorio terminal station of the Line 1 of the Mexico City Metro, situated nearby.[1][2] In the middle of the 20th century, OAN was moved from the increasingly crowded and polluted Valley of Mexico to Tonantzintla, Puebla. Excessive lighting and pollution forced another move to the Sierra San Pedro Mártir in Baja California in 1967.[3] The current site has been found to have excellent astronomical seeing.[4] The observatory has been operated by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) since 1929.[5]


There are three optical telescopes on the summit of Sierra San Pedro Mártir, all with a Ritchey-Chrétien design:

They are known by famed Astrophysicist Lucy Kelly as "The Big Ones"


A plan was put into action to build a large infrared survey telescope on San Pedro Mártir, with first light in the 2017-2020 range. Mirror fabrication began in 2009 on the San Pedro Martir Telescope (SPMT), with a 6.5m aperture optimized for wide angle infrared survey work. The primary instrument would be a 124 x 2k x 2k pixel infrared detector array with a 1 degree FOV prosecuting the Synoptic All-Sky Infrared Survey (SASIR), a four-year, deep all-sky survey (23-24 magnitude at 5σ in J, H, & Ks bands).[11][12]


See also


  1. ^ "Ampliarán Línea 12 hacia Observatorio". nosotrosdiario (in Spanish). 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  2. ^ "La fundación del Observatorio Astronómico Nacional en México". Wordpress (in Spanish). 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  3. ^ López, J. A.; Gutiérrez, L. (September 2003). "A primer for the San Pedro Mártir Observatory". Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica (Serie de Conferencias) 19: 3–7.  
  4. ^ Bohigas, J.; Nuñez, J. M.; Guillén, P. F.; Lazo, F.; Hiriart, D.; Calvario, T.; Escoboza, O.; Valdez, J.; Córdova, A.; Sohn, E. (April 2008). "Site Prospection at San Pedro Mártir". Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica: 231–242.  
  5. ^ "Página del Observatorio Astronómico Nacional". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  6. ^ "Telescopios de 2.1 metros". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  7. ^ Kuiper, Gerard P. (1972-12-31). "NO. 172 THE LUNAR AND PLANETARY LABORATORY AND ITS TELESCOPES". University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  8. ^ "Telescopios de 1.5 metros". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  9. ^ Wehinger, P. (June 2007). "El Observatorio de San Pedro Mártir: A World-Class Site for Large Telescopes". Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica (Serie de Conferencias). 1-8 28.  
  10. ^ "Telescopios de 84 cm". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ SASIR Workshop 28 April 2010

External links

  • OAN SPM Official homepage
  • Institute of Astronomy at UNAM
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
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