The Hotel Rangá luxury hotel is not only renowned for various off-site attractions and adventures but also various leisure activities on-site. One might mention star gazing, which is a marvellous experience for city dwellers, who are not accustomed to the dark, clear skies of Iceland, and astronomers.
The Hotel Rangá observatory has a roll-off roof that is by far the most advanced in Iceland. Needless to say, no other hotel in Iceland has anything like this to offer. Here you can star gaze into the black, clear sky and share an intimate evening with the universe and even share a romantic night with your spouse.
The hotel observatory is located about 150 meters from the main building. It houses two high quality astronomical telescopes: A 14 inch Celestron Edge HD Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector and a TEC 160ED APO refractor on a Astrophysics 900 mount. Both telescopes are computerised and on a permanent pier — perfect for astrophotography. On a platform by the observatory, we sometimes roll out an 18 inch reflector, the biggest telescope in Iceland. All accessories are also of the highest quality.
The scopes can be turned towards the stars to view amazing detail on Jupiter, see Cassini's Division in the rings of Saturn, and resolve details on the surface of Mars. Even the distant Uranus and Neptune are within your reach. Light pollution around the hotel is minimal, making it the optimal location for viewing the night sky. Thus you can have a relaxing and a luxurious evening when the daytime adventures are over, including a dinner at the gourmet restaurant, sooth your tired legs in the hot tubs and star gaze into the sky with the help of professional equipment.
In the summer, the observatory can be used for solar observing. Using white light filters by Baader Planetarium, we can observe sunspots in great detail. Piggybacked Coronado Solarmax II 60 solar telescope allows us to see more activity on our star, such as prominences and filaments.
To stargaze, we need clear skies with no chance of high clouds or rain, as moisture and high winds can damage our telescopes while high clouds blur out otherwise spectacular views. We open our observatory when the forecast shows that the sky will remain clear for several hours and bring in an expert astronomer to guide our guests on a tour of the dazzling night sky.
From September to April tours are offered by expert astronomers when the forecast shows clear skies.
During summer months the observatory is open upon request.