Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Astronomers Complain Climate Change Is Clouding Night Skies


Climate change is causing problems for Russia's astronomers, one of Russia's top scientists has warned.

Yuri Balega, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Special Astrophysical Observatory, said that increasingly volatile weather was making it more difficult for scientists at Russia's BTA-6 telescope to study the night skies.

"Over the past 30 to 40 years, weather conditions close to the BTA-6 telescope have worsened considerably,” he said during a conference on Wednesday. “It seems like climate change could see off astronomers.”

Read more from The Moscow Times: Art and Science Meet at Remote Russian Observatory

Scientists are now struggling to work for more than two nights in a row due to increasingly frequent weather changes which clouded the sky, Balega said.

Seventy years ago, astronomers were often able to study unclouded skies for up to 15 days in a row, he said by comparison.

Russia's BTA-6 telescope was unveiled in 1975, taking the title of the world's largest telescope until 1993.

Located in southern Russia's Caucasus Mountains, it uses a mirror some six meters in diameter inside a 53-meter high dome.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.