Bosscha Observatory

Oct 30, 2013 by

Another item on my wish list was ticked last month when dear husband and I visited Bosscha Observatory. The first tick was watching Ramayana Ballet at Candi Prambanan. The story goes like this…

When we first moved to Bandung, I told him that I wanted to go on Bosscha’s night tour. It was previously (when I lived in Jakarta) impossible  to do as they only have 4 days a month opening for night visit, which all 4 would be on weekdays and only in dry months. As always, he’s more than willing to go with me to visit new places (he better be!) So with high determination I called Bosscha in July to book 2 tickets and unexpectedly, the quickest open spot was in September! A bit schoking as I thought I would wait for a month at the most and not two!

12th September came and I was a little worried as it had been raining the whole week. That day the sky was cloudy and dark in the afternoon so I started to pray, wishing for a bright sky. Around 4pm, the sky was clearing up and off we went to Bosscha with a cheerful heart.

After driving for 35 minutes in an easy weekday traffic (won’t never happen on weekends), we reached Bosscha Observatory. We headed to the registration office to pay the entrance fee (Rp. 10.000,- or A$ 1) and the nice reception lady chuckled a bit when she realized there were only us 2 in the group. I peeked at the list and saw that other groups were 70 kinder kids, 40 high schoolers and few other big groups.


Bosscha Observatory Lembang Indonesia

Bosscha Observatory


We the headed to the main observatory building and I was delighted! I always have this warm fuzzy feeling whenever I’m in a place where I’ve been dreaming of, regardless of how silly others might think. This feeling was the same feeling when I stood at Monas’ viewing platform or entering Melbourne’s Regent Theatre. Back to Bosscha Observatory, may I present you the main building named Kupel!


Kupel at Bosscha, Lembang

Kupel at Bosscha


Inside the Kupel building, there was it, the gigantic Zeiss double refractors. This telescope weights 17 tonnes or to put it into perspective, it’s the same weight as 4 elephants. However, due to its smart design this telescope can be manually redirected by a person.


Zeiss double refractors at Bosscha

Zeiss double refractors at Bosscha


What’s more amazing from the Kupel were its rotatable roof and adjustable floor. We’ve seen this technology everywhere nowadays, but do remember that all these were built in1920s. Impressive! Unfortunately, the Zeiss wasn’t allowed to be used by public but there were 2 other telescope that we could use.


Kupel's rotatable roof, Bosscha Lembang

Kupel’s rotatable roof


The first telescope we used was called the Bamberg. Through this telescope, we could see the surface of the moon. Too bad I didn’t find any rabbit on the moon ;) and because I wasn’t satisfied with one gaze, I queued again for a second look. What was the moon’s surface look like? Just like the one you saw on movies. The second telescope was a much smaller telescope, but a digital one called Cassegrain GOTO. That day we were suppose to see Mars and Venus but unfortunately Venus was a bit shy, covered with clouds.


Unitron and Cassegrain, Bosscha

Bamberg (inside the building) and small Cassegrain at the front


Bamberg Telescope

Bamberg Telescope, directed at the moon


Overall, it was a good experience for us. We were blessed with mostly clear sky and great cool weather. Most importantly we were reminded that we’re like a speck of dust in this vast universe, yet we believe in a God who controls that huge universe. So why do we have to be worry?

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  1. Just visited this and saw Saturn. Bosscha Observatory is awesome!

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