The History of Bosscha Observatory, Main Sponsor of a Tea Planter

NKRIKU, Jakarta Bosscha Observatory is one of the oldest stargazing places in Indonesia. This observatory is located in Lembang, West Bandung Regency, West Java.

This place was built by the NISV (Nederlandsch-Indische Sterrenkundige Vereeniging) or the Dutch East Indies Star Association, which was founded in 1923.

Quoting from the Budi Utomo Institute of Technology website, this observatory began with the desire of an astronomical engineer from Madiun, Dr. Joan George Erardus Gijsbertus Voute. Previously, Voute researched at Cape Observatory, South Africa, but the lack of local government support made Voute return to Batavia, Dutch East Indies.

Then he tried to influence some astronomers in the Netherlands to establish an Observatory in the Dutch East Indies. His friendship with wealthy businessmen Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha and Rudolf Albert Kerkhoven further strengthened support for the construction of this Observatory.

Bosscha brought together businessmen and educated people to form the NISV organization to channel money for the construction of the observatory. Until 1928, it was estimated that this organization was able to donate 1 million Guilders to fund the establishment and daily operations of the observatory.

Reporting from the Bandung Institute of Technology website, Bosscha Observatory is located at an altitude of 1310 m above sea level, or at an altitude of 630 m from the Bandung plateau. The name of the Observatory is taken from the name of its main sponsor, Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha (1865-1928), a landowner who owned a tea plantation in the Malabar area.

As an observatory, this place is used for astronomical observations and research. This observatory is equipped with telescopes of various sizes and types. Each telescope has a different target object of observation.

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At Bosscha Observatory, there are 5 telescopes that are active for astronomical research. These include the Zeiss Double refractor telescope, the Milky Way Schmidt telescope, the Bamberg Refractor telescope, the Cassegrain GOTO telescope, and the Unitron refractor telescope.

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