National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)

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National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)
Observatorio de San Pedro Martir.jpg
Dome of the 2.1 m telescope on San Pedro Mártir
OrganizationNational Autonomous University of Mexico
Observatory code 679 Edit this on Wikidata
LocationBaja California, Mexico
Coordinates31°02′38″N 115°27′49″W / 31.0439°N 115.4637°W / 31.0439; -115.4637Coordinates: 31°02′38″N 115°27′49″W / 31.0439°N 115.4637°W / 31.0439; -115.4637
Altitude2,800 meters (9,200 ft)
Established1878 (1878)
WebsiteOAN SPM
unnamed telescope2.1 m reflector
unnamed telescope1.5 m reflector
unnamed telescope0.8 m reflector
National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico) is located in Mexico
National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)
Location of National Astronomical Observatory (Mexico)
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The National Astronomical Observatory (Spanish: Observatorio Astronómico NacionalOAN) is an astronomical observatory in Baja California, Mexico.


Mexico City[edit]

The observatory was first established on the balcony of Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City in 1878. The observatory has been operated by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) since 1929.[1]

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. The location is remembered by the name Metro Observatorio, the terminal station of the Line 1 of the Mexico City Metro located nearby.[2][3]


In the middle of the 20th century, OAN had to move from the increasingly crowded and polluted Valley of Mexico, to Tonantzintla in Puebla state, Central Mexico.

Baja California[edit]

In 1967 excessive air pollution and night light pollution caused another move, from Puebla to atop the Sierra San Pedro Mártir mountain range of Baja California state in Northwestern Mexico.[4] The San Pedro Mártir OAN site has been found to have excellent astronomical seeing.[5] [1]



There are six optical telescopes on the summit of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir at the OAN complex:[6]

Under construction[edit]

Construction has begun on the new San Pedro Martir Telescope (SPMT), a large infrared survey telescope at the OAN complex, with first light planned for the 2017-2020 period. Mirror fabrication for the SPMT began in 2009, 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.[12][13] As of November 2017, the project is still awaiting funding, but construction is expected to be completed by 2023.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Página del Observatorio Astronómico Nacional". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Archived from the original on 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  2. ^ "Ampliarán Línea 12 hacia Observatorio". nosotrosdiario (in Spanish). 2013-01-29. Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  3. ^ "La fundación del Observatorio Astronómico Nacional en México". Wordpress (in Spanish). 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  4. ^ 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. Bibcode:2003RMxAC..19....3L.
  5. ^ Bohigas, J.; Nuñez, J. M.; et al. (April 2008). "Site Prospection at San Pedro Mártir". Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica: 231–242. Bibcode:2008RMxAA..44..231B.
  6. ^ Telescopios
  7. ^ "Telescopios de 2.1 metros". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  8. ^ Kuiper, Gerard P. (1972-12-31). "NO. 172 THE LUNAR AND PLANETARY LABORATORY AND ITS TELESCOPES" (PDF). University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-01-16.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Telescopios de 1.5 metros". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  10. ^ 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. Bibcode:2007RMxAC..28....1W.
  11. ^ "Telescopios de 84 cm". Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  12. ^
  13. ^ SASIR Workshop 28 April 2010
  14. ^ Universities in U.S. and Mexico Partner on Telescope Project. Arizona Public Media, 13 November 2017.

External links[edit]