Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: How Many Telescopes Are There? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: How Many Telescopes Are There?
Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: reresearcher-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 03 Feb 2006 07:17 PST
Expires: 05 Mar 2006 07:17 PST
Question ID: 440922
I'm trying to find out how many non-amateur astronomical telescopes
there are in the world.  These would be telescopes located at
universities, consortia, goverment facilities, etc.  Along with the
estimate, I also need to have some sort of justification as to how the
estimate was arrived at.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 03 Feb 2006 10:39 PST
I found one source that makes mention of 400 telescopes with charge
coupling devices.,,the type used for research at universities and
government observatories.

It's not clear from the context whether this is meant to refer to ALL
such telescopes, or only the ones that the source was aware of.

And of course, the focus of the statistic is optical telescopes,
rather than, e.g. radio telescopes and such.

Given that there appear to be only serveral hundred genuine research
observatories in the world, the 400 number strikes me as a reasonable

Are you interested in the source as an answer to your question?

Let me know what you think.


Clarification of Question by reresearcher-ga on 03 Feb 2006 11:03 PST
I'm looking for optical astronomical telescopes.  The end result is to
figure out how many might either have or be able to accept
astronomical spectroscopes.  A scope would not have to have its own
building, but certainly could not be a hand-held scope either.  I
think scopes that have CCD cameras on them is a reasonable way to
estimate total scopes, the reference would be much appreciated so that
I can justify my value.

Clarification of Question by reresearcher-ga on 03 Feb 2006 11:05 PST
P.S. If you could supply me with the list of research telescopes, that
would help even more!!!
Subject: Re: How Many Telescopes Are There?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 04 Feb 2006 19:52 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for getting back to me on this. 

I think you'll be pleased with the results, as I've not only found you
a reference for the number of research telescopes, but I also managed
to dig up a list of most of them around the world.

First, the reference to there being 400 CCD-enabled research
telescopes is here, in this transcript of a radio program on the
development of the CCD:

...We?re exploring ways that we collect and process light, using
charge-coupled devices, or CCDs.

...They?ve become the eyes of the world?s major telescopes.  Leach
introduced the age of electronic imaging at SDSU, and has now extended
it to 80 observatories and more than 400 research telescopes


I wondered if 400 was a reasonable number for the world's supply of
major research telescopes, but this list from a German site seems to
confirm that, indeed, it is:
Tabellen der Astronomie 

There are about 500 of the world's major research telescopes listed
here.   About 100 of them are non-optical telescopes, which gets you
right into the 400 ballpark for the number of optical research
telescopes around the world.

Keep in mind, that there's no solid dividing line between a named
telescope at a well-known observatory, and a hand-held device used by
a backyard astronomer.  Ultimately, the count of research-grade
telescopes could probably be expanded considerably.  But as for the
major optical instruments in use, it seems that 400 is a good number
to work with.

I trust this information fully answers your question.  

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.

All the best,


search strategy -- Google searches on: 

"100..10000 research telescopes"

and a search on telescope names:

yerkes lick solar greenwich archenhold naval stromlo

Request for Answer Clarification by reresearcher-ga on 04 Feb 2006 21:18 PST
Thank you.  It looks good.  Before I click "rate the answer" I thought
I'd ask if you've found any link to that table in English.  I don't
speak German, but it looks very promising.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 05 Feb 2006 07:57 PST
Hello again,

I've re-posted the list of telescope names, below, with the country
names in English rather than German.

Hope that helps, but if you need anything else, just let me know.



Helwân Obs. 
Kottamia Obs. 

Alger Obs. 

Argentine Radio Ast. Inst.  R Villa Elisa  - 58 08.2  -34 52.1  11  
Córdoba Ast. Obs. 
Córdoba Obs. Astrophys. Sta. 
Dr. Carlos U. Cesco Sta. 
EI Leoncito Ast. Complex 
Félix Aguilar Obs. 
La Plata Ast. Obs. 
National Obs. of Cosmic Physics 
Naval Obs. 

Byurakan Astrophysical Obs. 

Anglo-Australian Obs. 
Australian Natl. Radio Ast. Obs. 
Australia Tel. Natl. Facility 
Deep Space Sta. 
Fleurs Radio Obs. 
Molonglo Radio Obs. 
Mount Pleasant Radio Ast. Obs. 
Mount Stromlo Obs. 
Perth Obs. 
Riverview College Obs. 
Royal Obs. Edinburgh Sta. 

Ast. and Astrophys. Inst. 
Cointe Obs. 
Royal Obs. of Belgium 
Royal Obs. Radio Ast. Sta. 
Abrahão de Moraes Obs. 
Antares Ast. Obs. 
Itapetinga Radio Obs. 
Morro Santana Obs. 
National Obs. 
Pico dos Dias Obs. 
Piedade Obs. 
Valongo Obs. 

Cerro Calan National Ast. Obs. 
Cerro El Roble Ast. Obs. 
Cerro Tololo Inter-Amer. Obs. 
European Southern Obs. 
Las Campanas Obs. 
Maipu Radio Ast. Obs. 
Manuel Foster Astrophys. Obs. 

Beijing Normal Univ. Obs. 
Beijing Obs. Sta. 
Beijing Obs. Sta. 
Beijing Obs. Sta. 
Beijing Obs. Sta. 
Purple Mountain Obs. 
Shaanxi Ast. Obs. 
Shanghai Obs. Sta. 
Shanghai Obs. Sta. 
Shanghai Obs. Sta. 
Wuchang Time Obs. 
Yunnan Obs. 

Copenhagen Univ. Obs. 
Copenhagen Univ. Obs. 
Ole Rømer Obs. 

Archenhold Obs. 
Bochum Obs. 
Central Inst. for Earth Physics 
Einstein Tower Solar Obs. 
Friedrich Schiller Univ. Obs. 
Göttingen Univ. Obs. 
Hamburg Obs. 
Hoher List Obs. 
Inst. of Geodesy Ast. Obs. 
Karl Schwarzschild Obs. 
Lohrmann Obs. 
Max Planck Inst. for Radio Ast. 
Munich Univ. Obs. 
Potsdam Astrophysical Obs. 
Remeis Obs. 
Schauinsland Obs. 
Sonneberg Obs. 
State Obs. 
Stockert Radio Obs. 
Swabian Obs. 
Tremsdorf Radio Ast. Obs. 
Tübingen Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Wendelstein Solar Obs. 
Wilhelm Foerster Obs. 

Quito Ast. Obs. 

Armagh Obs. 
Cambridge Univ. Obss. 
Chilbolton Obs. 
City Obs. 
Godlee Obs. 
Mills Obs. 
Mullard Radio Ast. Obs. 
Nuffield Radio Ast. Labs. 
Royal Greenwich Obs. 
Royal Obs. Edinburgh 
Satellite Laser Ranger Group 
Univ. of Glasgow Obs. 
Univ. of London Obs. 
Univ. of St. Andrews Obs. 

Wilhelm Struve Astrophys. Obs. 

European Incoh. Scatter Facility 
Metsähovi Obs. 
Metsähovi Obs. Radio Rsch. Sta. 
Tuorla Obs. 
Univ. of Helsinki Obs. 

Besançon Obs. 
Bordeaux Univ. Obs. 
Côte d'Azur Obs. 
Grenoble Obs. 
Lyon Univ. Obs. 
Meudon Obs. 
Millimeter Radio Ast. Inst. 
Nice Obs. 
Obs. of Haute-Provence 
Paris Obs. 
Paris Obs. Radio Ast. Sta. 
Pic du Midi Obs. 
Strasbourg Obs. 
Toulouse Univ. Obs. 
Abastumani Astrophysical Obs. 

Kryonenon Ast. Obs. 
National Obs. of Athens 
Nationai Obs. Sta. 
Stephanion Obs. 
Univ. of Thessaloniki Obs. 

Incoherent Scatter Facility 
Heliophysical Obs. 
Heliophysical Obs. Sta. 
Konkoly Obs. 
Konkoly Obs. Sta. 
Urania Obs. 

Gauribidanur Radio Obs. 
Gurushikhar Infrared Obs. 
Japal-Rangapur Obs. 
Kodaikanal Solar Obs. 
Nizamiah Obs. 
Radio Ast. Center 
Uttar Pradesh State Obs. 
Vainu Bappu Obs. 

Bosscha Obs. 

Dunsink Obs. 

Florence and George Wise Obs. 

Arcetri Astrophysical Obs. 
Asiago Astrophysical Obs. 
Bologna Univ. Obs. 
Brera-Milan Ast. Obs. 
Brera-Milan Ast. Obs. 
Caglian Ast. Obs. 
Capodimonte Ast. Obs. 
Catania Astrophysical Obs. 
Catania Obs. Stellar Sta. 
Chaonis Obs. 
Collurania Ast. Obs. 
Damecuta Obs. 
International Latitude Obs. 
Medicina Radio Ast. Sta. 
Mount Ekar Obs. 
Padua Ast. Obs. 
Palermo Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Rome Obs. 
San Vittore Obs. 
Trieste Ast. Obs. 
Turin Ast. Obs. 

Dodaira Obs. 
Hida Obs. 
Hiraiso Solar Terr. Rsch. Center 
Kagoshima Space Center 
Kashima Space Reseach Center 
Kiso Obs. 
Kwasan Obs. 
Kyoto Univ. Ast. Dept. Obs. 
Kyoto Univ. Physics Dept. Obs. 
Mizusawa Astrogeodynamics Obs. 
Nagoya Univ. Fujigane Sta. 
Nagoya Univ. Radio Ast. Lab. 
Nagoya Univ. Sugadaira Sta. 
Nagoya Univ. Toyokawa Sta. 
NationalAst. Obs. 
Nobeyama Cosmic Radio Obs. 
Nobeyama Solar Radio Obs. 
Norikura Solar Obs. 
Okayama Astrophysical Obs. 
Sendai Ast. Obs. 
Simosato Hydrographic Obs. 
Sirahama Hydrographic Obs. 
Tohoku Univ. Obs. 
Tokyo Hydrographic Obs. 
Toyokawa Obs. 

Algonquin Radio Obs. 
Climenhaga Obs. 
David Dunlap Obs. 
Devon Ast. Obs. 
Dominion Astrophysical Obs. 
Dominion Radio Astrophys. Obs. 
Elginfield Obs. 
Mont Mégantic Ast. Obs. 
Ottawa River Solar Obs. 
Rothney Astrophysical Obs. 

Mountain Obs. 

National Ast. Obs. 

Bohyunsan Optical Ast. Obs. 
Daeduk Radio Ast. Obs. 
Korea Ast. Obs. 
Sobaeksan Ast. Obs. 

Geodetical Faculty Obs. 
Hvar Obs. 

Latvian State Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Riga Radio-Astrophysical Obs. 

Vilnius Ast. Obs. 

Guillermo Haro Astrophys. Obs. 
National Ast. Obs. 
NationalAst. Obs. 

Catholic Univ. Ast. Inst. 
Dwingeloo Radio Obs. 
Kapteyn Obs. 
Leiden Obs. 
Simon Stevin Obs. 
Sonnenborgh Obs. 
Westerbork Radio Ast. Obs. 

Auckland Obs. 
Carrer Obs. 
Caner Obs. Sta. 
Mount John Univ. Obs. 

European Incoh. Scatter Facility 
Skibotn Ast. Obs. 

Kanzelhöhe Solar Obs. 
Kuffner Obs. 
L. Figl AstroFhysical Obs. 
Univ. of Graz Obs. 
Urania Obs. 
Vienna Univ. Obs 
Manila Obs. 
Pagasa Ast. Obs. 

Astronomical Latitude Obs. 
Jagellonian Obs. Ft. Skala Sta. 
Jagellonian Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Piwnice Ast. Obs. 
Poznań Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Warsaw Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Wroclaw Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Wroclaw Univ. Bialkow Sta. 

Coimbra Ast. Obs. 
Lisbon Ast. Obs. 
Prof. Manuel de Barros Obs. 

Arecibo Obs. 

Bucharest Ast. Obs. 
Cluj-Napoca Ast. Obs. 

Engelhardt Ast. Obs. 
Irkutsk Ast. Obs. 
Kaliningrad Univ. Obs. 
Kazan Univ. Obs. 
Pulkovo Obs. 
Pulkovo Obs. Sta. 
St. Petersburg Univ. Obs. 
Special Astrophysical Obs. 
Sternberg State Ast. Inst. 
Tomsk Univ. Obs. 

European Incoh. Scatter Facility 
Kvistaberg Obs. 
Lund Obs. 
Lund Obs. Jävan Sta. 
Onsala Space Obs. 
Stockholm Obs. 

Arosa Astrophysical Obs. 
Basle Univ. Ast. Inst. 
Geneva Obs. 
Gornergrat North & South Obs. 
High Alpine Research Obs. 
Swiss Federal Obs. 
Univ. of Lausanne Obs. 
Zimmerwald Obs. 

Lomnický Stit Coronal Obs. 
Skalnate Pleso Obs. 
Slovak Technical Univ. Obs. 

Deep Space Sta. 
Deep Space Sta. 
Ebro Obs. 
German Spanish Ast. Center 
Millimeter Radio Ast. Inst. 
National Ast. Obs. 
National Obs. Ast. Center 
Naval Obs. 
Ramon Maria Aller Obs. 
Roque de los Muchachos Obs. 
Teide Obs. 

Boyden Obs. 
Hartebeeshoek Radio Ast. Obs. 
Leiden Obs. Southern Sta. 
South African Ast. Obs. 
South African Ast. Obs. Sta. 

Inst. of Astrophysics 
National Central Univ. Obs. 
Taipei Obs. 

Charles Univ. Ast. Inst. 
Nicholas Copernicus Obs. 
Ondrejov Obs. 
Prostejov Obs. 
Valasske Mezirici Obs. 

Istanbul Univ. Obs. 
Ege Univ. Obs. 
Kandilli Obs. 
Univ. of Ankara Obs. 

Crimean Astrophysical Obs. 
Crimean Astrophysical Obs. 
Inst. of Radio Ast. 
Kharkov Univ. Ast. Obs. 
Kiev Univ. Obs. 
Lvov Univ. Obs. 
Main Ast. Obs. 
Nikolaev Ast. Obs. 
Odessa Obs. 



Univ. of Alabama Obs. 
Fred L. Whipple (MMT) Obs. 
Kitt Peak National Obs. 
Lowell Obs. 
Lowell Obs. Sta. 
McGraw-Hill Obs. 
Mount Lemmon Infrared Obs. 
National Radio Ast. Obs. 
Northern Arizona Univ. Obs. 
Steward Obs. 
Steward Obs. Catalina Sta. 
Steward Obs. Catalina Sta. 
Steward Obs. Catalina Sta. 
Steward Obs. Sta. 
Submillimeter Telescope Obs. 
U.S. NavalObs. Sta. 
Vatican Obs. Research Group 
Warner and Swasey Obs. Sta. 

Big Bear Solar Obs. 
Chabot Obs. 
Goldstone Complex 
Griffith Obs. 
Hat Creek Radio Ast. Obs. 
Leuschner Obs. 
Lick Obs. 
MIRA Oliver Observing Sta. 
Mount Laguna Obs. 
Mount Wilson Obs. 
Owens Valley Radio Obs. 
Palomar Obs. 
Radio Ast. Inst. 
San Fernando Obs. 
SRI Radio Ast. Obs. 
Stanford Center for Radar Ast. 
Table Mountain Obs. 

Chamberlin Obs. 
Chamberlin Obs. Sta. 
Mount Evans Obs. 
Sommers-Bausch Obs. 
Tiara Obs. 
U.S. Air Force Academy Obs. 

Van Vleck Obs. 
Western Conn. State Univ. Obs. 

Mount Cuba Ast. Obs. 

District of Columbia 
NavalRsch.Lab. Radio Ast.Obs. 
U.S. NavalObs. 

Brevard Community College Obs. 
Rosemary Hill Obs. 
Univ. of Florida Radio Obs. 

Bradley Obs. 
Fernbank Obs. 
Hard Labor Creek Obs. 

Caltech Submillimeter Obs. 
Canada-France-Hawaii Tel. Corp. 
C.E.K. Mees Solar Obs. 
Joint Astronomy Centre 
LURE Obs. 
Mauna Kea Obs. 
W.M. Keck Obs. 

Dearborn Obs. 

Goethe Link Obs. 

Erwin W. Fick Obs. 
Grant O. Gale Obs. 
North Liberty Radio Obs. 
Univ. of Iowa Obs. 

Clyde W. Tombaugh Obs. 
Zenas Crane Obs. 

Moore Obs. 

GSFC Optical Test Site 
Maryland Point Obs. 
Univ. of Maryland Obs. 

Five College Radio Ast. Obs. 
George R. Wallace Jr. Aph. Obs. 
Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. forAph. 
Haystack Obs. 
Hopkins Obs. 
Maria Mitchell Obs. 
Millstone Hill Atm. Sci. Fac. 
Millstone Hill Radar Obs. 
Oak Ridge Obs. 
Sagamore Hill Radio Obs. 
Westford Antenna Facility 
Whitin Obs. 

Central Michigan Univ. Obs. 
Michigan State Univ. Obs. 
Univ. of Mich. Radio Ast. Obs. 

O'Brien Obs. 

Morrison Obs. 

Behlen Obs. 

Maclean Obs. 

New Hampshire 
Shattuck Obs. 

New Jersey 
Crawford Hill Obs. 
Fitz Randolph Obs. 

New Mexico 
Apache Point Obs. 
Capilla Peak Obs. 
Corralitos Obs. 
Joint Obs. for Cometary Research 
National Radio Ast. Obs. 
National Solar Obs. 
New Mexico State Univ. Obs. Sta. 
New Mexico State Univ. Obs. Sta. 

New York 
C.E. Kenneth Mees Obs. 
Hartung-Boothroyd Obs. 
Rutherfurd Obs. 
Syracuse Univ. Obs. 

North Carolina 
Morehead Obs. 
Three College Obs. 

Cincinnati Obs. 
Nassau Ast. Obs. 
Ohio State Univ. Radio Obs. 
Perkins Obs. 
Ritter Obs. 

Allegheny Obs. 
Black Moshannon Obs. 
Flower and Cook Obs. 
Kutztown Univ. Obs. 
Sproul Obs. 
Strawbridge Obs. 
The Franklin Inst. Obs. 
Villanova Univ. Obs. 

Rhode Island 
Ladd Obs. 

South Carolina 
Melton Memorial Obs. 
Univ. of S.C. Radio Obs. 

Arthur J.Dryer Obi. 

George R. Agassiz Sta. 
McDonald Obs. 
Millimeter Wave Obs. 

Leander McCormick Obs. 
Leander McCormick Obs. Sta. 

Manastash Ridge Obs. 

West Virginia 
National Radio Ast. Obs. 
Naval Research Lab. Radio Sta. 

Pine Bluff Obs. 
Thompson Obs. 
Washbum Obs. 
Yerkes Obs. 

Wyoming Infrared Obs. 


Montevideo Obs. 

Tashkent Obs. 
Uluk-Bek Latitude Sta. 

Vatikan Obs. 

Cagigal Obs. 
Llano del Hato Obs.
reresearcher-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
Thanks.  This is the first time I've used this service and I was very
pleased with your answers.  Too bad you haven't answered my other two
questions :)  (they aren't astronomy based).

Subject: Re: How Many Telescopes Are There?
From: mikewa-ga on 03 Feb 2006 09:54 PST
You will need to set a lower size limit for what is counted. Do you
mean telescopes that have their own buildings, or would you count a 2"
hand-held telescope?
Subject: Re: How Many Telescopes Are There?
From: reresearcher-ga on 03 Feb 2006 11:04 PST
Thank you Mike.   Please see my clarification above.  If that does not
help, let me know.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy