Observatories and Organizations

This subject resource guide is available courtesy of Kali Morse ? 2009. She can be contacted at kalimorse@yahoo.com.

IntroductionAtlases and BiographiesDatabasesJournalsObservatories and OrganizationsReference WorksWeb Resources


Astronomical Observatories Map http://robslink.com/SAS/democd32/observatories.htm

A clickable map with links to observatories of the world.

Big Bear Solar Observatory http://bbso.njit.edu

The Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) located in Big Bear Lake, California high in the San Bernardino Mountains.? Research is based upon the primary interests of measuring and understanding solar complex phenomena.? Our principal telescope is the 1.6 m clear aperture, off-axis telescope, the NST, which is in its commissioning phase. Under a separate dome we operate two full-disk telescopes – one for H? and one for earthshine.

European Southern Observatory (ESO) http://www.eso.org/public/

ESO provides state of the art facilities for Europe?s astronomers and promotes and organises cooperation in astronomical research.? ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive astronomical observatory. It operates three sites in Chile ? La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor ? on behalf of its fourteen member states.? There are four telescopes at Cerro Paranal, 3 telescopes at the La Silla observatory, an atenna and dish at Llano Chajnantor, there are plans for a larger dish site at the base of the Andes Mountains, and a telescope project in the works.

Mauna Kea Observatories http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/mko/

There are currently thirteen working telescopes near the summit of Mauna Kea. Nine of them are for optical and infrared astronomy, three of them are for submillimeter wavelength astronomy and one is for radio astronomy. They include the largest optical/infrared? telescopes in the world (the Keck telescopes), the largest dedicated infrared telescope (UKIRT) and the largest submillimeter telescope in the world (the JCMT). The westernmost antenna of the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is situated at a lower altitude two miles from the summit.

National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) http://www.noao.edu/

NOAO is the U.S. national research and development center for ground-based night time astronomy.? In particular, NOAO is enabling the development of the US optical-infrared System, an alliance of public and private observatories allied for excellence in scientific research, education and public outreach.? Their core mission is to provide public access to qualified professional researchers via peer-review to forefront scientific capabilities on telescopes operated by NOAO as well as other telescopes throughout our system.

National Solar Observatory (NSO) http://www.nso.edu/

Located at Kitt Peak, AZ and Sacramento Peak, NM the NSO?s mission is to advance knowledge of the Sun, both as an astronomical object and as the dominant external influence on Earth, by providing forefront observational opportunities to the research community. The mission includes the operation of cutting edge facilities, the continued development of advanced instrumentation both in-house and through partnerships, conducting solar research, and educational and public outreach.? The observatory?s reports are all available online as well as a user friendly and detailed digital image library which contains spectral atlases, synoptic maps, coronal images, sunspot numbers, Ca K-line files, etc.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory http://www.nrao.edu

The NRAO has four locations throughout the country with the major telescopes located in Green Bank, WV and Socorro, NM.? The website includes links to other valuable resources, brochures and posters, downloadable presentations, a complete on-line graduate level astronomy course, and a web form to ask an astronomer a question.

Nordic Optical Telescope http://www.not.iac.es

The Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) Scientific Association (NOTSA) was founded in 1984 to construct and operate a Nordic telescope for observations at optical and infrared wavelengths.? It is located in Santa Cruz de La Palma on the Canary Islands.

Places with Space Exploration Significance http://www.vastbeyond.com/clickmap.htm

A state-by-state list of planetariums, observatories, museums, public telescopes, launch facilities and other space-related places in that state.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) http://www.sofia.usra.edu/

Astronomical objects emit many forms of energy, which neither the human eye nor ordinary telescopes can detect. Infrared is one form of this invisible energy. SOFIA is an airborne observatory that will study the universe in the infrared spectrum. Besides this contribution to science progress, SOFIA will be a major factor in the development of observational techniques, of new instrumentations and in the education of young scientists and teachers in the discipline of infrared astronomy.

United States Naval Observatory (USNO) http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO

The observatory in Washington D.C. provides a wide range of astronomical data and products, and serves as the official source of time for the U.S. Department of Defense and a standard of time for the entire United States.? They also offer star catalogs, information about space astrometry, guides to the Earth?s orientation, the precise time, and an extensive library with one of the most complete collections of astronomical literature in the world ? the James M. Gilliss Library.


American Astronomical Society (AAS) http://aas.org/

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The membership (~7,700) also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientic understanding of the Universe.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAIA). http://www.aaia.org

AIAA?s vision is to be the shaping, dynamic force in the aerospace profession ? the forum for innovation, technical excellence, and global leadership. AIAA?s mission is to address the professional needs and interests of the past, current, and future aerospace workforce and to advance the state of aerospace science, engineering, technology, operations, and policy to benefit our global society.

Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands http://www.iac.es/index.php?lang=en

The Instituto de Astrof?sica de Canarias (IAC) is an internationalized Spanish research centre. It has two headquarters and two observatories set in an environment of excellent astronomical quality, both constituting the European Northern Observatory (ENO).

European Space Agency? http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe?s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe?s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Gale Research Inc. (n/a). Associations Unlimited. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Group. Retrieved from
Drexel library subscription.

A comprehensive list of national organizations described briefly, with names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Associations keep track of industry data for their members and may have valuable information on an industry that would not be found in standard business sources. Indexes include name of organization, key word, and geographic area.

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/

The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory (HCO), founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

Lunar and Planetary Institute http://www.lpi.usra.edu/
Today, the LPI is an intellectual leader in lunar and planetary science. The Institute serves as a scientific forum attracting world-class visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows, students, and resident experts; supports and serves the research community through newsletters, meetings, and other activities; collects and disseminates planetary data while facilitating the community’s access to NASA science; and engages, excites, and educates the public about space science and invests in the development of future generations of explorers.? The research carried out at the LPI supports the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) efforts to explore the solar system.
NASA http://www.nasa.gov

At the core of NASA’s future space exploration is a return to the moon, where we will build a sustainable long term human presence. NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.? To do that, thousands of people have been working around the world — and off of it — for 50 years, trying to answer some basic questions. What’s out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?

NASA?s High Energy Astophysics Science Archive Research Center http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

The High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) is the primary archive for NASA missions dealing with extremely energetic phenomena, from black holes to the Big Bang. Having recently merged with the Legacy Archive for Microwave Background Data Analysis (LAMBDA), it includes data obtained by NASA’s high-energy astronomy missions from the extreme ultraviolet through gamma-ray bands, along with missions that study the relic cosmic microwave background.

Near Earth Object Program http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov

Near Earth Objects are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth?s neighborhood.? The Program monitors discovery, space missions, orbit elements, close approaches, and impact risk.

Royal Astronomical Society http://www.ras.org.uk/

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The? RAS organizes scientific meetings in Burlington House, its London HQ, and throughout the country, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach? activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3000 members, a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

USGS Astrogeology Science Center http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center serves the Nation, the international planetary science community, and the general public’s pursuit of new knowledge of our Solar System by: Conducting innovative, fundamental research that advances the fields of planetary cartography, geoscience, and remote sensing – Developing state-of-the-art software and techniques for the scientific and cartographic analysis of planetary remote sensing data – Participating in the collaborative planning and operation of space exploration missions – Producing accurate cartographic products, recognized internationally as benchmarks – Establishing data archive and mapping standards that foster international consistency – Archiving and distributing data and products for efficient access through modern technology.
Universities Space Research Association http://www.usra.edu/

USRA is a private, nonprofit corporation founded in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences. Its current membership consists of 104 universities in the U.S. and abroad that have graduate programs in space-related sciences and/or engineering. USRA focuses on space-related technical competencies with the goal of expanding knowledge and developing technology for the benefit of the academic community, space-related industries, and NASA’s mission to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research”.

IntroductionAtlases and BiographiesDatabasesJournalsObservatories and OrganizationsReference WorksWeb Resources

This subject resource guide is available courtesy of Kali Morse ? 2009. She can be contacted at kalimorse@yahoo.com.