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Observational Astronomy Print Page
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Observatories

  • European Southern Observatory: Topic Page
    An intergovernmental organization for astronomical research with headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. The ESO operates two major observatories in the Atacama desert, Chile.
  • Gemini Observatory
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Major international facility consisting of two identical 8.1-m (27-ft) optical/infrared instruments, the Gemini Telescopes, one at Mauna Kea Observatory (Gemini North), dedicated in 1999 June, and the other on the 2715-m (8910-ft) high ridge of Cerro Pachón in the Chilean Andes.
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Astronomical observatory located southwest of Tucson, Ariz.
  • Mauna Kea Observatories: Topic Page
    Mouʹnə kāʹə, astronomical observatory complex located on Mauna Kea peak, the "white mountain" on the island of Hawaii, at an altitude of more than 13,600 ft (4,145 m). Because of its height and excellent seeing, this site supports by far the largest astronomical facility in the world.
  • Mount Wilson Observatory: Topic Page
    Astronomical observatory located in California on Mt. Wilson, near Pasadena. Mt. Wilson Observatory was founded in 1904 by George E. Hale. Its equipment includes 100-in. (2.5-m) and 60-in. (1.50-m) reflecting telescopes and two solar-tower telescopes.
  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory: Topic Page
    Federal observatory for radio astronomy, founded in 1956 and operated under contract with the National Science Foundation by Associated Universities, Inc., a group of major universities. The headquarters are at Charlottesville, Va.; the original observatory site is in Greenbank, W.Va.
  • Palomar Observatory
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    A world-famous observatory sited on Mount Palomar, about 65 kilometers northeast of San Diego, California, USA, at an altitude of 1713 meters. It is owned and operated by the Pasadena-based California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
  • Very Large Array
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Largest and most complex single-site radio telescope in the world. It is located on the Plains of San Augustine, 80 km/50 mi west of Socorro, New Mexico.
  • W. M. Keck Observatory
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Major optical observatory operating the two largest single-mirror telescopes in the world. The identical 10-m (394-in.) instruments are located at an elevation of 4145 m (13,796 ft) at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii.
  • Yerkes Observatory
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Observatory of the University of Chicago, located at an elevation of 334 m (1050 ft) at Williams Bay, Wisconsin, near Chicago. It is famous for its 1.02-m (40-in.) refracting telescope.

Deep Space Telescopes & Probes

  • Cassini/Huygens Probe
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    A joint NASA/ESA mission to the Saturnian system, launched by a Titan IVB/Centaur rocket on Oct. 15 1997.
  • Chandra X-ray Observatory
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Third of NASA's Geat Observatory series. The former Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility, it was deployed into orbit by the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999 July. The 5.2-tonne, 14-m-long (45-ft-long) spacecraft was renamed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
  • Galileo Probe
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Spacecraft launched from the space shuttle Atlantis on 18 October 1989 to explore the planet Jupiter. Galileo's probe entered the atmosphere of Jupiter in December 1995. It radioed information back to the orbiter for 57 minutes before the craft was destroyed by atmospheric pressure.
  • Hubble Space Telescope: Topic Page
    An optical telescope launched into orbit around the Earth in 1990 in the space shuttle Discovery, allowing observation of a volume of the universe 350 times as large as that observable from Earth.
  • James Webb Space Telescope
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    A next-generation space observatory optimized for infrared astronomy that NASA plans to launch in August 2011 as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Mars exploration rovers
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    Two NASA robotic roving landers named Spirit and Opportunity, launched to Mars in summer 2003 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, by Delta 2 rockets. Spirit was launched on June 10, followed by Opportunity on July 7.
  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    From McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
    A large-scale imaging and redshift survey which, when complete, will map in detail over one quarter of the sky.
  • Spitzer Space Telescope
    From McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
    A high-performance infrared telescope that is one of the four Great Observatories launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) between 1990 and 2003.
  • Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    NASA satellite used to survey the sky to map cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). CMB is the residual radiation left over from the Big Bang and is thought to represent the oldest light in the universe. WMAP was launched on 30 June 2001.
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