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National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen" (NAO-Rozhen)
latitude: 41 41' 35'' longitude: 24 44' 38'' altitude: 1759 m

The National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) - Rozhen (the Rhodopes), operated by the Institute of Astronomy (IA), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences disposes with a 2-meter Ritchey-Chretien-Coude (RCC) telescope, a 50/70 cm Schmidt, and a 60 cm Cassegrain telescope. On the 2-m telescope, in the RC mode, direct images of extended astronomical objects are obtained on astronomical photographic plates with size up to 30x30 cm2, covering a field 1° x 1°. The three cameras of the Coude spectrograph allow the obtaining of spectra of astronomical objects with dispersions ranging from 2 Å mm-1 to 36Å mm-1.

There is an electronic and a mechanical workshop in the Observatory, allowing the manufacturing and/or reparation of astronomical and other devices there. The Observatory is located at 1700 meter altitude, in a beatiful natural environment and offers good living conditions. The IA and NAO employ about 50 astronomers which are working in following fields of research:
  • Small bodies in the Solar system (physics and chemistry of asteroids, comets, planet satelites)
  • Solar astrophysics (computer simulations of active processes, magnetohydrodynamical modelling)
  • Stellar astrophysics (symbiotic stars, peculiar stars, cataclismic variables, flare stars)
  • Extragalactic research (active galactic nuclei, large scale structures in the Universe, cosmology)
The predominant part of the research in the IA and NAO is based on observations with the 2-m telescope. Unfortunately, its quality and efficiency are gradually degrading in last years. Many problems are set up before astronomers today, dictated mainly by the lack of money for science in this country, especially for keeping the instumentation in state-of-the-art condition.

The bulgarian astronomical community is open for cooperation in all fields of research listed above. In addition, bulgarian astronomers can provide several servicing operations in return to any help aiming to solve their problems. Such operations could be:

  1. Taking part in the developement, testing and calibration of instrumentation under real astronomical conditions.
  2. Conducting observing programs of other astronomers on an agreement basis.
  3. Providing good conditions for foreign astronomers to carry out their research at the NAO.
  4. Providing good conditions for other foreign scientists or technicians to carry out their research at the NAO

Bulgarian astronomers are looking for cooperation with colleagues in astronomical institutes and observatories from all over the world. Also, they are interested to cooperate with the leading CCD suppliers and manufacturers, EEV/GEC, Thomson-CSF, Tektronix, etc., and with CCD camera manufacturers as Photometrics, Princeton Scientific Instruments, Astromed, etc. A cooperation of this kind could be beneficial for all the included partners.

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