Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory was established in 1913 by Finnish Academy of Science and Letters to perform geophysical measurements and research based on the observation results. Measurements of the Earth's magnetic field began on 1st January 1914. On 1st August 1997, the observatory became an independent research department of the University of Oulu.

Observations and Data

The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory performs continuous measurements of the Earth's magnetic field, cosmic radio noise, seismic activities, and cosmic rays. The observatory operates two ionospheric radars and plays an active role in the scientific and technical research related to the EISCAT incoherent scatter radar system. An innovative measurement is the tomographic imaging of a 2-dimensional cross-section of the ionosphere from northern Norway to southern Finland. Altogether SGO runs measurements in 19 different locations from southern Finland to Svalbard.

Local magnetograms and the latest images from the All-Sky Camera are available in real time. Latest results of most continuous measurements are easily available. Descriptions of measurements and the recorded data can be found in the Archive. The data of measurements carried out by the Oulu Unit (seismic recordings and cosmic rays) can be found on the unit's web pages.


The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory is located at 67° 22′ N, 26° 38′ E, which is 130 km north of Rovaniemi and 7 km south of Sodankylä, in the middle of Finnish Lapland at the beautiful banks of the river Kitinen.

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Or find location of sodänkylä in the Map of Finland

Map of Tähtelä.


SGO History

  • A permanent research station was operated at Sodankylä in 1882-1884.
  • Finnish Academy of Science and Letters established the observatory in 1913.
  • Earth´s magnetic field is measured here since 1914.
  • Seismic measurements started at SGO in 1956.
  • The Ionospheric station started operations in August 1957.
  • In 1971, the Technical Division began their work at SGO.
  • The Astronomy Division was doing polar motion observations using a zenith telescope on routine base between 1973 and 1981.
  • In 1975, the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) was established, and work at SGO started in 1977.
  • In 1978, the EISCAT receiver radar was built at SGO, and the measurements started in 1981.
  • In August 1997 the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory joined the University of Oulu.
  • The observatory of the University of Oulu joined SGO in January 1998.
  • 2013 Inauguration of KAIRA (Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array) - The most expensive instrument investment in SGO history


Last updated: 12.7.2013