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For other uses, seeObservatory (disambiguation).

TheSphinx Observatoryon a mountain top in theSwiss Alpsat 3,571m (11,716ft)

Anobservatoryis a location used for observing terrestrial orcelestial eventsAstronomyclimatologymeteorologygeophysicaloceanographyandvolcanologyare examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Historically, observatories were as simple as containing anastronomical sextant(for measuring the distance betweenstars) orStonehenge(which has some alignments on astronomical phenomena).

Astronomical observatories are mainly divided into four categories:space-basedairborne, ground-based, and underground-based.

Atacama Large Millimeter Array, Chile, at 5,058m (16,594ft)

Paranal Observatory, Chile, home of theVLTat 2,635m (8,645ft)

TheMauna Kea Observatories, Hawaii, home of several of theworlds largest optical telescopesat 4,205m (13,796ft)

Ground-based observatories, located on the surface of Earth, are used to make observations in theradioandvisible lightportions of theelectromagnetic spectrum. Mostoptical telescopesare housed within adomeor similar structure, to protect the delicate instruments from the elements. Telescope domes have a slit or other opening in the roof that can be opened during observing, and closed when the telescope is not in use. In most cases, the entire upper portion of the telescope dome can be rotated to allow the instrument to observe different sections of the night sky. Radio telescopes usually do not have domes.

For optical telescopes, most ground-based observatories are located far from major centers of population, to avoid the effects oflight pollution. The ideal locations for modern observatories are sites that have dark skies, a large percentage of clear nights per year, dry air, and are at high elevations. At high elevations, theEarths atmosphereis thinner, thereby minimizing the effects ofatmospheric turbulenceand resulting in better astronomicalseeing.[2]Sites that meet the above criteria for modern observatories include thesouthwestern United StatesHawaiiCanary Islands, theAndes, and high mountains inMexicosuch asSierra Negra.[3]Major optical observatories includeMauna Kea ObservatoryandKitt Peak National Observatoryin the USA,Roque de los Muchachos Observatoryin Spain, andParanal ObservatoryinChile.

Specific research study performed in 2009 shows that the best possible location for ground-based observatory on Earth isRidge A a place in the central part of Eastern Antarctica.[4]This location provides the least atmospheric disturbances and best visibility.

Beginning in 1930s,radio telescopeshave been built for use in the field ofradio astronomyto observe the Universe in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Such an instrument, or collection of instruments, with supporting facilities such as control centres, visitor housing, data reduction centers, and/or maintenance facilities are calledradio observatories. Radio observatories are similarly located far from major population centers to avoidelectromagnetic interference(EMI) fromradioTVradar, and other EMI emitting devices, but unlike optical observatories, radio observatories can be placed invalleysfor further EMI shielding. Some of the worlds major radio observatories include theSocorro, inNew Mexico, United States,Jodrell Bankin theUKAreciboinPuerto RicoParkesinNew South Wales, Australia, andChajnantorinChile.

Since the mid-20th century, a number of astronomical observatories have been constructed at veryhigh altitudes, above 4,0005,000m (13,00016,000ft). The largest and most notable of these is theMauna Kea Observatory, located near the summit of a 4,205m (13,796ft) volcano in Hawaiʻi. TheChacaltaya Astrophysical Observatoryin Bolivia, at 5,230m (17,160ft), was the worlds highest permanent astronomical observatory[5]from the time of its construction during the 1940s until 2009. It has now been surpassed by the newUniversity of Tokyo Atacama Observatory,[6]an optical-infrared telescope on a remote 5,640m (18,500ft) mountaintop in theAtacama Desertof Chile.

Ancient Indian observatory at Delhi

El Caracol observatory temple atChichen Itza, Mexico

Remains of theMaragheh observatory(under dome) atMaragheh, Iran

The EstonianTartu Observatorystarting point of theStruve Geodetic Arc.

19th century ObservatorySydney, Australia (1872)

Ecuadors 1873-Quito Astronomical Observatorynear theEquator

The 1962-built Solar observatory onLomnický peakin Slovakia

The oldest proto-observatories, in the sense of a privateobservation post,[14]

The oldest true observatories, in the sense of a specializedresearch institute,[14][17][18]include:

825 AD:Al-Shammisiyyah observatoryBaghdad, Iraq

869:Mahodayapuram ObservatoryKerala, India

1259:Maragheh observatoryAzerbaijan, Iran

1276:Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, China

1420:Ulugh Beg ObservatorySamarqand, Uzbekistan

1442:Beijing Ancient Observatory, China

1577:Istanbul observatory of Taqi al-Din, Turkey

1633:Leiden Observatory, Netherlands

1675:Royal Greenwich Observatory, England

1753:Vilnius University Observatory, Lithuania

1753:Navy Royal Institute and Observatory, Spain

1757:Macfarlane Observatory, Scotland

1764:Brera Astronomical Observatory, Italy

1789:Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland

1790:Real Observatorio de Madrid, Spain,

1803:National Astronomical Observatory (Colombia), Bogot, Colombia.

1812:Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Naples, Italy

1830/1842:Depot of Charts & Instruments/US Naval Observatory,

1830:Yale University ObservatoryAtheneum, USA

1838:Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, USA

1838:Loomis ObservatoryWestern Reserve Academy, USA

1839/1847:Harvard College Observatory, USA

1873:Quito Astronomical Observatory, Ecuador

1890:Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, USA

1899:Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, India

TheHubble Space Telescopein Earths orbit

Space-based observatories are telescopes or other instruments that are located inouter space, many inorbitaround the Earth. Space telescopes can be used to observe astronomical objects at wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that cannot penetrate theEarths atmosphereand are thus impossible to observe using ground-based telescopes. The Earths atmosphere isopaquetoultravioletradiation,X-rays, andgamma raysand is partially opaque toinfraredradiation so observations in these portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are best carried out from a location above the atmosphere of our planet.[25]Another advantage of space-based telescopes is that, because of their location above the Earths atmosphere, their images are free from the effects of atmospheric turbulence that plague ground-based observations.[26]As a result, theangular resolutionof space telescopes such as theHubble Space Telescopeis often much smaller than a ground-based telescope with a similaraperture. However, all these advantages do come with a price. Space telescopes are much more expensive to build than ground-based telescopes. Due to their location, space telescopes are also extremely difficult to maintain. The Hubble Space Telescope was serviced by theSpace Shuttlewhile many other space telescopes cannot be serviced at all.

Airborne observatories have the advantage of height over ground installations, putting them above most of the Earths atmosphere. They also have an advantage over space telescopes: The instruments can be deployed, repaired and updated much more quickly and inexpensively. TheKuiper Airborne Observatoryand theStratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomyuse airplanes to observe in theinfrared, which is absorbed bywater vaporin the atmosphere.High-altitude balloonsfor X-ray astronomy have been used in a variety of countries.

Avolcano observatoryis an institution that conducts research and monitoring of avolcano. Among the best known are theHawaiian Volcano Observatoryand theVesuvius Observatory. Mobile volcano observatories exist with theUSGSVDAP (Volcano Disaster Assistance Program), to be deployed on demand.

List of telescope parts and construction

Observatory Street, Oxford, England

Timeline of telescopes, observatories, and observing technology

Weather observatory forweather forecasting

Chaisson, Eric; McMillan, Steve (2002).

Chaisson, Eric; McMillan, Steve (2002).

Saunders, Will; Lawrence, Jon S.; Storey, John W. V.; Ashley, Michael C. B.; Kato, Seiji; Minnis, Patrick; Winker, David M.; Liu, Guiping & Kulesa, Craig (2009). Where Is the Best Site on Earth? Domes A, B, C, and F, and Ridges A and B.

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific


Zanini, A.; Storini, M.; Saavedra, O. smic rays at High Mountain Observatories.

(10): 11601165.Bibcode2009AdSpR..44.1160Zdoi10.1016/j.asr.2008.10.039.

Yoshii, Yuzuru; et al. (August 11, 2009).The 1m telescope at the Atacama Observatory has Started Scientific Operation, detecting the Hydrogen Emission Line from the Galactic Center in the Infrared Light.

. School of Science, the University of Tokyo

Taavi Tuvikene,Tartu Old Observatory, 18 February 2009

Tartu Observatory Official website (English version)

Official Web Siteof theSydney Observatory

One of the Oldest Observatories in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory

Official website of the Quito Astronomical Observatory

Slovakias High Tatras mountains are seen from the solar observatory station on the Lomnicky Stit peakBBC. 5 September 2014.

A long time exposed picture taken by night shows Slovakias High Tatras mountains seen from the Solar observatory station on the Lomnicky Stit peak4 September 2014.

Micheau, Francoise. The Scientific Institutions in the Medieval Near East: 9923.

Rashed, Roshdi; Morelon, Rgis (1996).

Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science

.Routledge. pp.9851007.ISBN0-415-12410-7.

Official websiteOfficial website of theQuito Astronomical Observatory

Facts about Hipparchus: astronomical observatory, as discussed in astronomical observatory:. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Science and Theology Since Copernicus: The Search for Understanding

, p. 18,Continuum International Publishing GroupISBN0-567-08969-X

The Observatory in Islam and Its Place in the General History of the Observatory

Royal Institute and Observatory of the San Fernando Armada.

Real Observatorio de Madrid – Breve semblanza histrica. Archived fromthe originalon 2013-07-26.

Observatorio Astronmico Nacional (Universidad Nacional de Colombia).

On its 200th Anniversary Tartu Old Observatory Opens Doors as a Museum. 26 April 2011

National Park Service: Astronomy and Astrophysics (United States Naval Observatory). 2001-11-05. Archived fromthe originalon 2011-06-29

Portolano, M. (2000). John Quincy Adamss Rhetorical Crusade for Astronomy.

(3): 480503.doi10.1086/384852JSTOR237905PMID11143785.

Chaisson, Eric; McMillan, Steve (2002).

A Brief History of the Hubble Space Telescope: Why a Space Telescope?. NASA

Aubin, David; Charlotte Bigg, andH. Otto Sibum, eds.

The Heavens on Earth: Observatories and Astronomy in Nineteenth-Century Science and Culture

(Duke University Press; 2010) 384 pages; Topics include astronomy as military science in Sweden, thePulkovo Observatoryin the Russia ofCzar Nicholas I, and physics and the astronomical community in late 19th-century America.

Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory 18302000

Observatories and Telescopes of Modern Times – Ground-Based Optical and Radio Astronomy Facilities since 1945.

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2016,ISBN32.

Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology

(2004); focuses on theGemini Observatory.

Sage, Leslie, and Gail Aschenbrenner.

A Visitors Guide to the Kitt Peak Observatories

in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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Western Visayas Local Urban Observatory

Dearborn Observatory Records, Northwestern University Archives, Evanston, Illinois

Coordinates and satellite images of astronomical observatories on Earth

Milkyweb Astronomical Observatory Guideworlds largest database of astronomical observatories since 2000 about 2000 entries

List of amateur and professional observatories in North America with custom weather forecasts

Map showing many of the Astronomical Observatories around the world (with drilldown links)

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Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers

This page was last edited on 15 April 2018, at 19:44.

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