The Leopold-Figl Observatorium für Astrophysik was built at the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the University of Vienna. The observatory is a facility of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Vienna and is located at the Mitterschöpfl in the Wienerwald at a height of 880m above the sea level. Groundbreaking was on September 13, 1966. The observatory was inaugurated on September 25, 1969. Science operations began in December 1970.
The observatory consists of two buildings. The main building contains the 1.5m telescope. Work and living space is provided for the astronomers on two levels. The ground levels contains the aluminisation plant for the mirrors and a mechanic workshop. A 0.6m telescope is located in the second building. The design and construction of this telescope was done at the workshop of the Department of Astronomy.
The optical elements of the 1.5m Ritchey-Chretien telescope were built at Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen (Germany). The main mirror has a diameter of 1.52m and weights 1t. The focal length of the telescope is 12.5m. The mechanical parts of the telescope were built by Rademakers in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The total weight of the telescope is 23t. The telescope control system is based on a realtime LabVIEW kernel with hardware from National Instruments. and its software was developped at the Department of Astronomy.
The Leopold-Figl Observatorium für Astrophysik is used for astronomical research, academic teaching in the frame of the astronomy curriculum at the University of Vienna and for public outreach.