About telescopes

Project Solaris is a global network of telescopes consisting of four fully autonomous observatories located in the Republic of South Africa (Solaris-1 and -2), Australia (Solaris-3), and Argentina (Solaris-4). The headquarters and main database are located in Toruń, Poland.

Each observatory consists of a telescope with a primary mirror of 0.5 m diameter, installed on a modified German equatorial mount from Astrosysteme Austria and equipped with a fast and precise direct drives and high-resolution rotary-pulsing encoders. The Solaris-3 telescope is a Schmidt-Cassegrain f/9 optical system with corrector, the rest of telescopes are Ritchey-Cretien f/15 optical systems.

For imaging we use professional grade Andor Icon-L CCD cameras with a resolution of 2048 x 2048 pixels, thermoelectrically cooled to -70 ° C. The filter wheels allow for multi-color photometry in ten bands: U, B, V, R, I (Johnson), and u’, g’, y’ and z’ (Sloan).

The field of view of Solaris-3 is 21′ x 21′, and of the other telescopes 13′ x 13′. Each observatory is equipped with advanced safety and emergency systems, as well as meteorological equipment enabling fully autonomous operation. The whole system is managed by a dedicated specialized software suite that controls the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Solaris network is a unique scientific venture in Poland.


BACHES spectrograph

Solaris-1 telescope is equipped with a spectrograph BACHES designed by the CAOS group ( and manufactured by Baader Planetarium GmbH. BACHES is an acronym from the words BAsic eCHElle Spectrograph and it means ‘pothole’ in Spanish. It is the only commercially available echelle type spectrograph mounted directly on the telescope (and not on an optical table). The spectrograph’s average resolution reaches approx. 22 000. BACHES Remote Calibration Unit (RCU) allows to calibrate the spectra using thorium-argon and halogen lamps. The light from the calibration lamps goes to the spectrograph through optical fiber. For the project we designed a dedicated Guide and Acquisition Module (GAM), which enables to carry out remote and automated observations. Solaris-1 is the only telescope in the network, where it is possible to perform alternately photometric and spectroscopic observations.

Observatories Localisation


Solaris-1 i Solaris-2

South African Astronomical Observatory
Republic of South Africa
32°22’50” S 20°48’39” E
1842 mamsl



Siding Spring Observatory
31°16’24” S 149°03’52” E
1165 mamsl



Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito
31°47’57” S 69°18’12” E
2552 mamsl