Observ_Lithuania.JPG
Molėtai Astronomical Observatory Author-Mindaugas Macijauskas
*Edited by Vicki Mahoney 2008
*Edited by Tyne Shi Fall 2012


Observatories


*An observatory is a place where telescopes are found and managed by astronomers to learn more about our universe. Telescopes need to be in places where the sky is dark at night and the weather is clear. They are often found on mountain tops and in remote areas. Astronomers often need to use different telescopes to look at different things so several telescopes can be built together in the same place.

The different types of telescopes found at observatories range from optical telescopes such as Reflecting and Refracting Telescopes and Radio Telescopes that observe wavelengths.

There are observatories all over the world of different sizes, shapes and designs. Some observatories welcome guests and permit tours while others are restricted. To help you research your next visit, I have provided links to several observatories. Whether you are planning to stay in the United States or travel elsewhere in the world, each observatory is unique. At the bottom is everything you need to know about Home Astronomy including CERES, a virtual observatory field trip. So even if you are not planning to travel, you can enjoy observatories from your own computer!





Astronomical Observatory map




http://robslink.com/SAS/democd32/observatories.htm

observatories.png
http:// robslink.com/SAS/democd32/observatories.htm

AUTHOR

Data sources from K. Reardon

LAST UPDATED

09/27/2002

DATE REVIEWED

10/07/2012

REVIEWED BY:

Tyne Shi

ACCURACY:

This site include 97 astronomical observatories around the world, and shows their coordinates at the same time. The information is accurate since its data provider list chart include many details about the observatories it contains, for example, names of the telescopes, locations and instruments.
However, since its last update is at 2002, the information must be kind of out of date.

Data sources of the Astronomical Observatory Map(http://www.arcetri.astro.it/~kreardon/EGSO/gbo/observatory.list.28Sept2002.pdf)


READABILITY and CLARITY:

The intended audience is researchers and students who seeking information about different observatories. It provides a list of observatories worldwide.

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

With the active links of the observatories listed in the chart, you can access to the google searching results for those observatories, that navigate to more pages beyond the homepage. However, there is only one internal link besides the homepage, which lists the data provider.




Chabot Observatory


Chabot Space & Science Center is the continuation and expansion of a public observatory that has served San Francisco Bay Area schools and citizens with astronomy and science education programs for 125 years. The institution began in 1883 as the Oakland Observatory, through a gift from Anthony Chabot to the City of Oakland. The original Oakland Observatory was located in downtown Oakland, and provided public telescope viewing for the community. For decades, it also served as the official timekeeping station for the entire Bay Area, measuring time with its transit telescope.

The observatory moved to its Mountain Boulevard location in 1915 due to increasing light pollution and urban congestion. In the mid-1960s, the facility was expanded considerably with the addition of a 90-seat planetarium, science labs and classrooms, a library, workshops, and a small exhibit room. The Tien Megadome Theatre is a 60-foot dome-screen auditorium! Presentations feature thrilling, larger-than-life films capable of convincing viewers they are really aboard a Space Shuttle lift-off, navigating the celestial labyrinth of outer space, or discovering the mysteries of the ocean floor. The Ask Jeeves Planetarium is a full-dome digital projection system. This next generation projection technology is the most state-of-the-art on the planet. This new system is capable of projecting a brilliant seamless image over the entire 70-foot dome surface and can deliver jaw-dropping digital sound. The very modern, Sonic Vision is a music show that uses digital technology to illuminate the Planetarium's dome with colorful visions set to music.

The Chabot Space & Science Center is celebrating it's 25th anniversary throughout 2008. A plaque commemorating the center's original site, Lafayette Park in Oakland, will take place in June. The Chabot Space Games will include solar powered Lego car races and and egg drop. According to Alexander Zwisser, Chabot executive director, their mission is to inspire students in science.

*This website is bright and fun, you can feel the excitement as you follow link after celebratory link. Youth programs include school field trips, birthday parties and summer camp. The site itself has web-cams of activities, labs and the observatory. The opening page has a fabulous aerial picture of the observatory. The calendar is up-to-date and includes 'Kids go Green' series and a Mars Phoenix Landing Celebration on May 24. The site is very educational for all ages and even has instructions on how to build a telescope with a link to a Virtual Science Center.





Griffith Observatory



http://www.griffithobs.org/



800px-Griffith_observatory.jpg
Griffith Observatory. Author Matthew Field



















Author: Matthew Field, http:// www.photography.mattfield.com


*Griffith Observatory Telescope Tour

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzv35gg4f4M] (from Mahalo.com)

AUTHOR

the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks

LAST UPDATED

12/05/2012

DATE REVIEWED

12/010/2012

REVIEWED BY:

Vicki Mahoney & Tyne Shi

ACCURACY:

Official site of the Griffith Observatory.
All the events list on the homepage are up to date, and have specific time and locations.
Located on Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, Griffith Observatory is home to the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. Star projector and laser digital projection system is the finest planetarium in the world according to the website.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

Although the site is geared mainly towards the adults, the sky information menu shares information for students, parents and teachers alike.
The opening page has visitor information with the date the information was posted as well as a note from Director, Dr. E.C. Krupp. Also on the front page is a menu listing public programs, school programs and building features. The information is quite easy to read, escept for several professional terms.

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

Excess buttons that access to related pages.



Mauna Kea Observatories


The 4,200 meter high summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii houses the world's largest observatory for optical, infrared, and submillimeter astronomy. Visit Mauna Kea Observatories to learn more about telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven countries including:

Gemini Telescope

An 8.1-meter optical/IR telescope operated by a consortium of seven countries.

Very Long Baseline Array

The westernmost antenna of the 25-m diameter Very Long Baseline Array is situated 3 miles below the summit.

W. M. Keck Observatory

Two 10-meter telescopes operated by Caltech and University of California

Subaru Telescope

8.3-meter diameter optical/IR telescope operated by Japan

*This was my first observatory home web site to visit. It was very easy to navigate, just move your mouse over the picture for the name of each Observatory. Click on the picture to link to more information. The visiting center is open every day of the year from 10am-10pm with telescopes ready for public use. The website was hosted by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. The menu on the left side of the home page offers an aerial tour of the observatories taken in 1998. This site is a must for the serious astronomer with links for research and academics. The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy is a unique resource for education as well as research. The website is updated monthly.




The Arecibo Observatory


arecibo-observatory-420.jpg
Arecibo Observatory, by Tony Acevedo
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), a national research center operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

As the site of the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, the Observatory is recognized as one of the most important national centers for research in radio astronomy, planetary radar and terrestrial aeronomy. In 1974 a new high precision surface for the reflector (the current one) was installed together with a high frequency planetary radar transmitter. The second and major upgrade to the telescope was completed in 1997. A ground screen around the perimeter of the reflector was installed to shield the feeds from ground radiation. The gregorian dome with its subreflectors and new electronics greatly increases the capability of the telescope. A new more powerful radar transmitter was also installed.

Suspended 450 feet above the reflector is the 900 ton platform. Similar in design to a bridge, it hangs in midair on eighteen cables, which are strung from three reinforced concrete towers. About 140 persons are employed by the Observatory providing everything from food to software in support of the operation. Scientific staffs of about 16 divide their time between scientific research and assistance to visiting scientists. Engineers, computer experts, and technicians design and build new instrumentation and keep it in operation. A large maintenance staff keeps the telescope and associated instrumentation as well as the site in optimal condition. A staff of telescope operators support observing twenty-four hour per day.

*This website has fantastic pictures of this unusual looking observatory. On this site it's easy to locate information on the telescope, research areas and accomplishments. The home page had links to a wide range of topics including Radio Astronomy, Planetary Radar, and Atmospheric Sciences that were up to date. The site is primarily for adults and college students. There is also a very thorough article addressing concerns by environmental activists on the use of radio transmitters for research.


Big Bear Solar Observatory


The Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) located in Big Bear Lake, California is operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The main interest is the physics of the Sun and observations of solar phenomena with their dedicated telescopes and instruments. Visit the site for information on an important helioseismology experiment: a GONG telescope from the Global Oscillation Network Group. The Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research at NJIT also studies the Sun in radio wavelengths at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory.

Big Bear Solar Observatory is now in the process of constructing our new 1.6 meter solar telescope. The old telescope assembly has been removed. A new pier has been installed inside the observatory building. A new floor level for access to the new telescope has been built around the pier.

*The Big Bear Solar Observatory does not currently have tours scheduled dur to construction of a new 1.6 meter telescope. The new telescope is expected to be fully assembled and tested by this summer. This website has educational outreach for kids that include a 'Mr. Sunspot's Solar Zoo and in March held a Solar Week where students were able to interact live with scientists and ask questions about the Sun. The site is not as attractive as some of the others but the pictures of BBSO show the beauty of the location as well as images taken from the equipment. you can also go on a virtual tour of the different parts of the observatory and read about the different telescoped and their tasks. The site is not up-to-date due to the current construction.




Cerro Tololo Observatory Inter-American Observatory


Located in Chile, the Cerro Tololo Observatory is a complex of astronomical telescopes and instruments. The observatory site was chosen in 1963 after a three-year search. Here is a sky unaffected by city lights and with a very transparent atmosphere, which combine to create one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observations.
cerro_tololo.jpg
Cerro Tololo Observatory. NASA


When purchased, the land supported a number of subsistence farmers and goat herders. They were allowed to continue to live on the reserve after it was purchased by AURA and have gradually been leaving voluntarily for more lucrative jobs in the nearby towns.
As a result of the departure of most of its human inhabitants and a policy combining environmental protection with "benign neglect" on the part of the Observatory, the property sees little human activity except for the roads and relatively small areas on the tops of Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachon. As a result, much of the reserve is gradually returning to its natural state. Many native species of plants and animals, long thought in danger of extinction, are now returning.
The SMARTS consortium has been operating the small telescopes at CTIO since February 2003, and is regarded by all as having been an unqualified success. As a consortium member, NOAO provides three of the four telescopes (the fourth is the Yale 1.0-m) and some of the instruments, in exchange for 25% of the telescope time for the general community. Other consortium members have provided instruments and operations funding, have provided day-day operations support, and scheduled the telescopes, under the leadership of the SMARTS Principal Scientist, Charles Bailyn of Yale University.

*Unlike the others, this website does not have a very attractive home page. Other than some great pictures from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the page is link after technical link. The site is for adults which seems appropriate because the observatory is open to thesis students and visiting astronomers. On the plus side, there is a link to Chandra where you can learn about the mission, track the satellite and see more pictures. The CTIO headlines are dated March 2008.



Kitt Peak National Observatory




http://www.noao.edu/kpno/


Kitt Peak National Observatory.jpg

Raul Molina, http:// www.panoramio.com/photo/2039274


AUTHOR

National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
(Operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA))

LAST UPDATED

10/06/2012

DATE REVIEWED

10/07/2012

REVIEWED BY:

Tyne Shi

ACCURACY:

This information is accurate, since this is the official site of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, and it is fairly up to date.
It includes pictures of the observatory, introduction of instruments like telescopes in the observatory, information about observational tours.

Official website of the National Optical Astronomy Observtory(NOAO): (http://www.noao.edu/), which is the superior observatory of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, and NOAO is the US national research and development center for ground-based night time astronomy.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

The intended audience is the general public. It is easy to read only with little knowledge about astronomy.

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

This site is easy to find out information, since there is a navigation bar on the top and another one on the left to classify all the information.
That's to say there are many more pages beyond the home page, and most of them are part of the site.






Yerkes Observatory



http://astro.uchicago.edu/yerkes/


Yerkes Observatory.jpg

Yerkes Observatory, http:// astro.uchicago.edu/yerkes/


AUTHOR

Yerkes Study Group (YSG)

LAST UPDATED

12/06/2012

DATE REVIEWED

12/08/2012

REVIEWED BY:

Tyne Shi

ACCURACY:

The information is up to date. This site is the official website of the Yerkes Observatory, which is belongs to the University of Chicago. And this observatory has hundreds years of history and was established in 1897 on Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.
And the site has information about origin, history, news/events and image gallery of inside and outside observatory.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

Audiences of this site can be both teens and adults. However it especially designed for students and other people who are interested in this observatory as well as its history.
All the continents are easy to read. Do not acquire much astronomical knowledge to understand.
The University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory Education Program(http://astro.uchicago.edu/yerkes/outreach/index.html), It provides educational opportunities combines the high quality of teaching for learners of all ages. It is even a better place to learn science and engineering, especially for young people.

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

Easy to navigate due to the navigate bar on the top, and can be easy access to subcategories of the Yerkes Observatory website. External sites can be found under the "Related Links" button on the navigation bar.








Purple Mountain Observatory



http://english.pmo.cas.cn/

purple mountain observatory.jpg
http: sharound.lotour.com/b/20100724/n483397.shtml

.jpg
http: www.pmo.jsinfo.net/wenben/2006/xuyi.htm


AUTHOR

Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS)

LAST UPDATED

12/06/2012

DATE REVIEWED

12/06/2012

REVIEWED BY:

Tyne Shi

ACCURACY:

This is the English version of the official site of the Purple Mountain Observatory, which is one of the most famous observatory is China. It is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS). (http://english.cas.cn/)
The information is up to date and accurate, that include information in the following areas: research trends, education training, schedules and introduction of seminars, international conferences and other events.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

The site is mainly for the faculties and graduate students work or study there rather than for the general public. Thus for the public, this site is not easy to understand.

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

This site has links navigate to other pages, for example NASA homepage(http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html), Hubble homepage(http://hubblesite.org/) and IAUhomepage(http://www.iau.org/).







European Southern Observatory



http://www.eso.org/public/

ESO1.jpg
http: www.eso.org/public/

ESO.JPG
http: astroa.physics.metu.edu.tr/Astronom/E43B99.HTM

*Official Youtube Channel of the ESO Observatory:

[http://www.youtube.com/user/esoobservatory]

AUTHOR

European Southern Observatory(ESO)

LAST UPDATED

12/06/2012

DATE REVIEWED

12/09/2012

REVIEWED BY:

Tyne Shi

ACCURACY:

Official site of the ESO(European Southern Observatory). ESO is the international astronomical research institutions consists of 13 European countries, the main observation equipments are in South America, Chile, its headquarter is in Garching near Munich, Germany. It was firstly established at 1962.
Information is accurate and up to date, and this site contains a variety of information of the observatory itself and its researching information.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

Page designs for amateur astronomers, researchers and especially for researchers and people who interests in astronomical observation. It can transform from 26 different languages, which indicates that this site can be viewed by a wide range of people from different countries despite of language problems.

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

Easy for navigation. A large number of pages beyond the homepage, most of them are part of the site instead of external link. You can click buttons on the left and top navigation bar to find out more detail information.






Center for Educational Resources (CERES) Project


Through funding from NASA, faculty at Montana State University and classroom teachers from across the nation have developed an extensive library of on-line and interactive K-12 science education materials for teaching astronomy. Closely aligned with the NRC National Science Education Standards, these web based lessons make maximum use of exciting on-line NASA resources, data, and images. In addition to classroom-ready materials using contemporary teaching strategies, CERES has developed several on-line NASA data search engines and two graduate level distance learning courses, available over the internet to K-12 teachers.

*I found this site when I was searching for more information on Cerro Tololo Observatory. I was going to set up a link when I noticed Montana in the address. This site was definitely worth visiting for a fun electronic field trip.


Links For the Home Astronomer


*Here I have listed links for those of you who are interested in or are already pursuing serious astronomy at home.

*Lets start with telescopes:
Build_your_own_telescope.jpg
Richard Berry Editor of Astronomy Magazine

Galilean-style telescope
Written by Chris Kastensmidt
Illustrations by Nicole Peterson and Chris Kastensmidt
(Last Modified April 15, 1995)

Build Your Own Telescope Complete Plans for Five High-quality Telescopes That Anyone Can Build, by Richard Berry

Plans for Building a Dobsonian Telescope brought to you by: The San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers

Hubblesite - Hand Held Hubble. Make a scale model of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope using easy-to-find supplies and our printable materials.


*For the amateur astronomer who owns modern equipment, the following sites offer unique solutions to home observatories.

Dome Observatories & Roll-Off Roof Observatories
dhoopenroof_(Small).jpg
Backyard Observatories- CJE Construction, Inc.

Tele-Station 2 Roll Off Roof Observatory

Backyard Observatories -Roll-off Roof Observatories (See Picture) are working with Technical Innovations to bring you the highest quality, customized observatories.

*Finally, mark your calendars for International Year of Astronomy 2009 a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei.

The vision of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society
Yours_to_Discover.jpg
Astronomical Society of the Pacific


Brought to you by


International Astronomical Union

and

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



and other organizational associates