Višnjan is distinguished in both Croatia and the world by its Observatory. It was founded in 1976 by a group of young amateur enthusiasts and is situated in the very centre of the town.
It became The Public observatory on 13th November 1993 by a decision of the Assembly of the Amateur Astronomic Society of Višnjan. By additional decisions of the Astronomic Society Višnjan and the Scientific and Educational Centre Višnjan, in the course of 2005, it became the Astronomic Institute.
The Observatory, up to mid 2005, registered 1,750 discoveries of asteroids, among which some 1,400 had primary characteristics and on 17th September 2005, the count of numbered asteroids was 1,162. It is this very data which put the Višnjan observatory among the twelve most prolific observatories in the world. Three comets were discovered from Višnjan, two of which were named by the persons who discovered them.
ASTRONOMIC SOCIETY VIŠNJAN
The Astronomic Society of Višnjan started its work in the nineteen seventies, interested in researching the universe due to the then actual astro-nautical achievements, in particular by men landing on the Moon. One year, following the founding of a school club in Višnjan in 1976, a few teachers, led by the secondary school teacher Petar Radovan and secondary school students Iva Fatoric and Korado Korlevic, founded a citizens' association – astronomic society.
The first telescope, as well as the dome, were, in their entirety, made in Višnjan, and a larger objective procured from the USA. In 1986, a fire destroyed the photography archive, the photo-laboratory and a part of the library. In 1988, educational and scientific programmes started again, and the work of the Višnjan School of Astronomy in 1989 is the result of that activity. In cooperation with the German network for observation of meteorite falls, in 1994 in Višnjan the «European Fireball Network» camera No. 77 was installed, which, in several years of work, has recorded the falls of meteorites, at 60 km to the South of Pula, but that work was interrupted due to the increase in light pollution. Today, this citizens' association carries out some of the most interesting educational and promotional activities in the region:
- Višnjan School of Astronomy
- Summer School of Natural Sciences Višnjan
- Messier's Marathon Višnjan - Rušnjak
- AstroFest Višnjan
- Equatorial sundial in Višnjan
- Walk through the Solar System
- Prevention of light pollution – Croatian Association for Protection of Night
SCIENTIFIC AND EDUCATIONAL CENTRE VIŠNJAN
The Scientific and Educational centre in Višnjan is an institution which has as its goal the provision of expert support to anyone involved in educational and scientific processes, students, parents, local and wider community.p>
OBSERVATORY VIŠNJAN – LOCATION TICAN
The building of the astronomic observatory Tican is located on a plot, surface area 2,230 m2 in the village of Tican, 4 km away from Višnjan. It was concieved to be an open type of observatory, where visits by interested, organised groups of people would be possible. By the completion of the building works and installation of the equipment for astronomic and geo-physical measurements at the new location, the conditions for its completion will be met and the scientific and educational activity has already been moving in the direction of the new location.