Haute-Provence Observatory

The Observatoire de Haute- Provence ( OHP) is a person working in the optical observatory on a high plateau in southeastern France. It has three large reflecting telescopes with 1.2 to 2 m opening.

OHP was founded in 1937 as a national institution for the French astronomy and took in 1943 with the 1.20 m telescope to operate on. OHP is located in the southeast of France, about 90 km east of Avignon and 100 km north of Marseille, on a plateau at an altitude of 650 m. The observation conditions are about 60 % usable nights and a typical seeing of 2 " satisfactory for a continental location. Mistral When the seeing deteriorated markedly.


The four main instruments of the OHP are reflecting telescopes:

  • The 1.93 - m telescope was built by Grubb - Parsons and 1958 installed. His most important discovery is that of the first exoplanets by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz using the ELODIE spectrograph (1995).
  • The 1.52 m telescope is almost identical to the former 1.52 - m ESO telescope at La Silla. It is since 1967 and now serves mainly spectroscopic investigations.
  • The 1.20 - m telescope was installed first at the site and has been in operation since 1943. Previously, it has been operated since 1872 at the Observatoire de Paris.
  • The 0.80 - m telescope has been used since 1932 in the near Forcalquier tests for the observation conditions in the region and in 1945 moved to the observatory.

Other telescopes at OHP site operated by the Geneva Observatory and by CNES.


On the Observatory grounds are also two stations for geophysical research. A group examines the mesosphere and thermosphere, another used LIDAR to study, for example, aerosol ond of ozone in the troposphere and stratosphere.