Observatory of Skinakas

The Observatory of Skinakas in Rethymno prefecture is located upon the homonymous peak of the mount Psiloritis, built at an altitude of 1.750 meters.

Equipped with a variety of instruments that make it one of the best equipped Observatories in the world, the Observatory of Skinakas is a joint research facility of the University of Crete, the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) and the Max Planck Institute of Extraterrestrial Physics.

The Observatory of Skinakas was conceived as an idea in 1984 after the construction of a road to the mountain peak commenced. The first stone-made Observatory was built in spring of 1986 and was used for the observation of Halley’s Comet passing by the Earth. In 1988 the construction of the guesthouse made out of stone, as well, was completed and hosted the First School of Observational Astrophysics in Greece.

Currently, in the Observatory of Skinakas there are three telescopes operating with a mirror diameter 1.3 m, 0.6 m and 0.3 m respectively. The 0.6 m telescope is a joint facility of the University of Crete and the University of Tuebingen. The research that is carried out in the observatory is covering many different fields of astrophysics and include studies of Active Galactic Nuclei, visual identification of X-ray sources, photometry of star clusters, comets tail interaction with the solar wind and others.

The Observatory of Skinakas is located at a perfect site, since the top of Skinakas offers excellent conditions for astronomical high quality studies in the Mediterranean region. Annual open days take place five times a year and all the relevant information is available on the official website of the observatory.