Inauguration of AstroDome and new TELESTO telescope

The TELESTO telescope © LASTRO, EPFL

The TELESTO telescope © LASTRO, EPFL

On November 5th, 2018 took place the inauguration of AstroDome (Centre André Coliac) and of the new TELESTO telescope on the Observatory of Sauverny site.

Following an anonymous donation to the University of Geneva to help outreach in astronomy, the Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva and the Laboratory of Astronomy of EPFL have renovated the dome on the Vaud-side of the Observatory of Sauverny site to develop "AstroDome" (Centre André Coliac). This unique place for astronomy in French-speaking Switzerland is now home to a new telescope and a control center.

The new 60cm diameter telescope has been named TELESTO (for TELescope for Science, Teaching and Outreach). Telesto is also the name of a Greek mythology character and means "success". The control center, located "under" the telescope will drive TELESTO but also other telescopes such as the Swiss telescope Euler (1.2m in diameter), which is on the site of ESO-Lasilla in Chile.

AstroDome will allow to:

  • Share the beauties of the sky with the visitors of all ages coming to the Observatory of Sauverny
  • Teach our students the techniques for observing celestial objects that are used on the largest telescopes in Chile or in space. This will be done in particular during practical work sessions for master students.
  • Allow professional observations on larger telescopes controlled remotely.

Olivier Schneider (Deputy Director of the Institute of Physics of EPFL) and Stéphane Berthet (Vice-Rector of the University of Geneva) cut together the ribbon for the inauguration of AstroDome in the presence of Jean-Paul Kneib , Director of the Laboratory of Astrophysics at EPFL and Stéphane Udry, Director of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Geneva.

Authors: Jean-Paul Kneib, Blandine Jérôme