History of Observatory
Astronomical observations require dark and clear sky. The old Astronomical observatory of Vilnius University, opened in 1753, and the new University observatory near the Vingis Park, built in 1921, gradually appeared inside the Vilnius city with no conditions for astronomical observations. In 1969 a new observatory was started in the Moletai district, about 70 km north of Vilnius. It is built on the Kaldiniai hill just near a small village of Kulionys, about 10 km from a town of Moletai. In the fall of 1969 the first 25 cm diameter telescope of the Moletai Astronomical Observatory (hereafter MAO) was mounted. Later on, it was placed to the 35/51 cm Maksutov telescope. In 1974 and 1991 the reflecting telescopes of 63 cm and 165 cm diameters were put into operation. Two CCD photometers, three-channel photoelectric photometer and a Coravel-type radial velocity spectrometer are available.