Irkutsk Observatory (IRT)

Irkutsk geomagnetic observatory, like Arti, is a geophysical institution with long history. According to the plans of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences and the Russian Geographic Society for conducting the magnetic survey of Siberian territories, Acad. H. Wild contacted the Ministry of Public Education with a proposal of establishing the magnetic-meteorological observatories in Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk. In 1884 this proposal was accepted by the Council of State and approved by emperor. E. Stelling, a 34-year-old scientific secretary of the Main physical observatory, was appointed as a director of the magnetic-meteorological observatory in Irkutsk. He arrived in Irkutsk and chose the location for the observatory in the city suburbs. Nowadays the Irkutsk meteorological station is located there.

The first buildings were constructed in 1886 with the assistance of the city mayor, and equipped with german and dutch instruments. Hourly measurements of the magnetic field of the Earth began on January 1, 1887. In 1905 the photographic registration devices were installed for continuous recording of three components of the magnetic field. Basic measurement and data processing techniques were the same during almost the whole XX century.

In 1996 the continuous digital data registration was introduced at the observatory. Despite all the social cataclysms and numerous relocations due to the increase of industrial noise, the observatory has never stopped functioning for more than 110 years.

Data registered at the observatory have been published in the papers of the Main Geophysical Observatory, the Russian Geographic Society, IZMIRAN, World Data Center for Solid Earth Physics and used widely in various researches. The magnetic observatory participated numerously in the preparations for polar scientific expeditions and in international scientific programs.

IRT Observatory is maintained by the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISTP SB RAS).

Observatory main building

Variometer pavilion (left) and its pillars (right)

Technical pavilion

POS-1 proton Overhauser magnetometer

LEMI-018 vector magnetometer

MinGeo DIM THEO010 Theodolite with the Bartington fluxgate magnetometer

Irkutsk observatory magnetogram during the 30 June 1908 (the day of the Tunguska meteorite impact)

J. Rasson (Belgium) at the international work meeting dedicated to the Earth's magnetic field observation in terms of the INTAS-INTERNAGNET project, Irkutsk observatory


Irkutsk magnetic and meteorological observatory, P.O.Box 4026
Irkutsk 33 664033, Russia


Name: Dr. Alexandre Potapov

E-mail: potapov‹at›iszf‹dot›irk‹dot›ru

Tel.: +7 (3952) 46-15-91
Fax: +7 (3952) 46-25-57

GC RAS © 2013−2017
Geophysical Center of Russian Academy of Sciences