Observatoire de Haute-Provence

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The Observatoire de Haute-Provence ( OHP ) is an optical observatory on a high plateau in south-east France . It has three large reflector telescopes with 1.2 to 2 m opening.

OHP was founded in 1937 as a national institution for French astronomy and began operations in 1943 with the 1.20 m telescope. OHP is located in the south-east of France, about 90 km east of Avignon and 100 km north of Marseille , on a plateau at an altitude of 650 m. With around 60% usable nights and seeing around 2 ", the observation conditions are satisfactory for a continental European location. The seeing deteriorates noticeably with Mistral .


The observatory's 193 cm telescope

The four main instruments of the OHP are reflector telescopes :

  • The 1.93 m telescope was built by Grubb-Parsons and installed in 1958. His most important discovery is that of the first exoplanet by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz with the help of the ELODIE spectrograph (1995).
  • The 1.52 m telescope is almost identical to the former 1.52 m telescope of ESO on La Silla . It has been in operation since 1967 and is mainly used for spectroscopic studies.
  • The 1.20 m telescope was the first to be installed on site and has been in operation since 1943. Previously, it had operated at the Observatoire de Paris since 1872 .
  • The 0.80 m telescope has been used in nearby Forcalquier since 1932 to test the observation conditions in the region and was moved to the observatory in 1945.

Additional telescopes at the OHP site are operated by the Geneva Observatory and CNES .


There are also two stations for geophysical research on the observatory grounds. One group examines the mesosphere and thermosphere , another uses LIDAR to study aerosol and ozone levels in the troposphere and stratosphere, for example .

Web links

Commons : Observatoire de Haute-Provence  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 43 ° 55 '54 "  N , 5 ° 42' 44"  E