The Observatory of the Astrophysical Institute on the Kamenskoye Plateau, 11km from Almaty is 1450 meters above sea level. It was originally built to view the solar eclipse on September 21, 1941, with astrophysicists coming from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The institute building was erected after the war by Japanese prisoners. The search for a site for the construction of a large observatory with a good Astro climate began in 1943. In the second half of 1945, the site and the project of the observatory were chosen, and in March 1946 a government decree was adopted for the construction which began in 1947. Originally the observatory was called the Mountain Astrophysical Observatory, but in 1950 it became known as the Astrophysical Institute, after its founder, the Academician, Vasily Grigorievich Fesenkov.
There are now four telescopes, which are used to observe galaxies, stars, planets and geostationary satellites.
The following telescopes are currently in use:
* AZT-8 (D = 700 mm, Fmain = 2800 mm, F Cassegrain = 11000 mm, F Coudet = 28000 mm) (1964) - observations of satellites, AGNs and planetary nebulae are carried out;
* Zeiss-600 (optical system: Cassegrain, D=600 mm, F=7200 mm, 1972) - spectrophotometric observations of the planets are being carried out;
* 50-cm Hertz reflector (D = 500 mm, F = 11000 mm) (1948) - for absolute spectrometry - (obtained by reparations from Germany after the war), used only for excursions;
* High-aperture meniscus telescope Maksutov ASI-2 (D = 500 mm, F = 1200 mm) (1950) - for studying the fine structure of gas and dust nebulae - the first telescope of the D. Maksutov system installed in the USSR.
The following research is carried out:
Light and dark nebulae;
Spectrophotometry of active galaxies;
Major planets of the solar system;
Complex studies of AGN (experimental and theoretical);
Research in the field of physics of the early universe;
The problem of space debris and comet-meteor-asteroid hazard.