BITOM - Science and Community Center


Science and Community Center (BITOM)


Have you ever seen a real telescope?

Have you ever look at the moon through it?

If so, when was the last time you set your eyes on a star cluster using a telescope?

Have you ever seen a sunspot?

Do you ever have any questions crossing your mind when you read astronomical magazines or newspapers?

Now that you are able to do all of these, your questions are possible to find answers. It is also accompanied by experts.



Although today's people can use various communication devices in order to get information about many things, these efforts usually don’t happen to be as efficient as meeting experts in person and learning in a scientific research environment. When it comes to Astronomy people wish to see and touch a real telescope and look at the objects in the sky with it. Most of the time, many observatories like TÜBİTAK National Observatory (TUG) cannot offer this chance to the public, because they use advanced telescopes which are not suitable for naked-eye observations. For these reasons TUG laid the foundations of Science and Community Center (BITOM) and opened it to visitors in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy. Situated next to the TUG administration building on Akdeniz University Campus, BITOM operates in full capacity with its 35-cm-diameter full automatic telescope and visual presentations for astronomy enthusiasts since January 1st 2009. When the weather is pleasant and clear enough, craters on the lunar surface, planets like Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and their moons, bright nebulae outside our solar system, stellar clusters, galaxies and astronomical events such as solar and lunar eclipses, transits, close passes of asteroids will be available for observations with the telescope. Visitors will also be able to interact with visual material (DVDs, VCDs) and ask their questions to experts so that they can get the right information about astronomy.


For Solar Observations:

Solar observations take place on Tuesday and Thursday every week for schools only.

Appointment is required for school visits.


For Public Events:

During winter term, free public observations are organized only on Tuesday evenings between 7:00 - 9:00 pm (if the weather is good). Please give us a call before you arrive at BITOM.

During summer term, free public observations are organized only on Tuesday evenings between 8:30 - 10:30 pm (if the weather is good). Please give us a call before you arrive at BITOM.



During an activity in BITOM

During an activity in BITOM

During an activity in BITOM

During an activity in BITOM

Orion (M42) Nebula     

Andromeda (M31)

 Lulin Comet      


Full Lunar Eclipse

Yuri Night Activity 

Solar Chromosphere

 Moon, Jupiter and Mercury     

Mass ejection from Sun

A large prominence at the Sun 


Telescope T35 in BITOM

Model: Meade LX200GPS
Optical Design: Schmidt-Cassegrain
Mirror Diameter: 350,9 mm
Focus Length: 3509 mm
Focal Ratio: f/10
Angular Resolution: 0.32"
Plate Scale: 58"/mm
Solar Telescope: Coronado SolarMax 60 H-alpha binoculars
Finder-I: Meade 8x50 binoculars
Finder-II: Celestron 8x50 binoculars (For solar projection)


Transit of Mercury on May 9, 2016

On May 9, 2016, Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, passed in front of the solar disk. This rare phenomenon, which occurred before, on November 8th, 2006, started to reveal itself at around 2:25 pm local time in our country. TUG set up two portable stations in both BITOM and Expo 2016 areas for this fascinating event which, unfortunately,  could not be observed in its final moments because of the sunset. The visitors who were there at the Expo, had the chance to observe with telescopes through special filters and watch this captivating event on big screens via cameras attached to the telescopes in the field. This event of an inner planet passing across (i.e. transit) the solar disk actually can be thought as some kind of an eclipse. However, due to the fact the angular diameters of Mercury and Venus are too small compared to the Moon’s, which can completely cover up the solar disk, the decrease in sunlight that reaches the Earth is imperceptible. Mercury transits the Sun 13 times on average in a century. In 2016 transit, Mercury was 83.6 million kilometers away from us. The next Mercury transit is expected to happen on November 11, 2019.


Visitor Statistics


Last update on January 29, 2018

Images from TUG telescopes and Activities

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