Apache Point Observatory (APO) is located in the Sacramento Mountains of south central New Mexico and is privately owned and supported by ARC, whose mission is to further astronomical research by the scientists and students from its member institutions. New Mexico State University operates the observatory for the ARC.
The Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) located in Big Bear Lake, California high in the San Bernardino Mountains. The mountain lake is characterized by sustained atmospheric stability, which is essential for our primary interests of measuring and understanding solar complex phenomena utilizing our dedicated telescopes and instruments. BBSO is operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). 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 Hα and one for earthshine. The Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research (CSTR) at NJIT studies a range of phenomena from the Sun to the terrestrial atmosphere.
The CFH observatory hosts a world-class, 3.6 meter optical/infrared telescope. The observatory is located atop the summit of Mauna Kea, a 4200 meter, dormant volcano located on the island of Hawaii. The CFH Telescope became operational in 1979. The mission of CFHT is to provide for its user community a versatile and state-of-the-art astronomical observing facility which is well matched to the scientific goals of that community and which fully exploits the potential of the Mauna Kea site.
CTIO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc. (AURA), under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation as part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, which also operates Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson Arizona.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes. Because X-rays are absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, Chandra must orbit above it, up to an altitude of 139,000 km (86,500 mi) in space. The Smithsonian's Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, hosts the Chandra X-ray Center which operates the satellite, processes the data, and distributes it to scientists around the world for analysis. The Center maintains an extensive public web site about the science results and an education program.
Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun. Sharing the mountaintop site with the National Solar Observatory, KPNO, founded in 1958, operates three major nighttime telescopes and hosts the facilities of consortia which operate 19 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes. (See the Tenant Observatories list.) Kitt Peak is located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, AZ, in the Schuk Toak District on the Tohono O'odham Nation and has a Visitor Center open daily to the public.
The NAIC enables research in the areas of astronomy, planetary studies, and space and atmospheric sciences by providing unique capabilities and state-of-the-art instrumentation for data collection and analysis, together with logistical support to users. It is operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).
NOAO is the U.S. national research & development center for ground-based night time astronomy. In particular, NOAO is enabling the development of the US optical-infrared (O/IR) System, an alliance of public and private observatories allied for excellence in scientific research, education and public outreach.
Our 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 the O/IR System. Today, these telescopes range in aperture size from 2-m to 10-m. NOAO is participating in the development of telescopes with aperture sizes of 20-m and larger as well as a unique 8-m telescope that will make a 10-year movie of the Southern sky.
In support of this mission, NOAO is engaged in programs to develop the next generation of telescopes, instruments, and software tools necessary to enable exploration and investigation through the observable Universe, from planets orbiting other stars to the most distant galaxies in the Universe. NOAO is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under a Cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation.
Founded in 1956, the NRAO provides state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community. NRAO telescopes are open to all astronomers regardless of institutional or national affiliation. Observing time on NRAO telescopes is available on a competitive basis to qualified scientists after evaluation of research proposals on the basis of scientific merit, the capability of the instruments to do the work, and the availability of the telescope during the requested time. NRAO also provides both formal and informal programs in education and public outreach for teachers, students, the general public, and the media.
The mission of the National Solar Observatory 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 United States Naval Observatory is a fourth echelon operational command reporting to the Commander, Navy Oceanography and Meteorology Command. The Observatory's headquarters are located in Washington, DC, with field activities located at the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS) in Flagstaff, AZ and the USNO Alternate Master Clock located at Schriever Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, CO. The U.S. Naval Observatory performs an essential scientific role for the United States, the Navy, and the Department of Defense. Its mission includes determining the positions and motions of the Earth, Sun, Moon, planets, stars and other celestial objects, providing astronomical data; determining precise time; measuring the Earth's rotation; and maintaining the Master Clock for the United States. Observatory astronomers formulate the theories and conduct the relevant research necessary to improve these mission goals. This astronomical and timing data, essential for accurate navigation and the support of communications on Earth and in Space, is vital to the Navy and Department of Defense. It is also used extensively by other agencies of the government and the public at large.
The Armagh Observatory is a modern astronomical research institute with a rich heritage. Founded in 1790 by Archbishop Richard Robinson, the Observatory is one of the UK and Ireland's leading scientific research establishments. Around 25 astronomers are actively studying Stellar Astrophysics, the Sun, Solar System astronomy, and the Earth's climate.
CSIRO's radio astronomy observatories are collectively known as the Australia Telescope National Facility (or ATNF), with the facility supporting Australia's research in radio astronomy. CSIRO currently operates three observatories as part of the ATNF, near the towns of Parkes, Coonabarabran and Narrabri in New South Wales. A fourth telescope, the next generation Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is currently being built at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. These telescopes can be used together as a long baseline array for use in Very Long Baseline Interferometry. CSIRO is Australia's national scientific research organisation and is funded by the Australian Government.
The Australian Astronomical Observatory, a division of the Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research, operates the Anglo-Australian and UK Schmidt telescopes on behalf of the astronomical community of Australia. To this end the Observatory is part of and is funded by the Australian Government. Its function is to provide world-class observing facilities for Australian optical astronomers. It provides world-class optical and infrared observing facilities enabling Australian astronomers to do excellent science. The AAO is a world leader in astronomical research and in the development of innovative telescope instrumentation. It also takes a leading role in the formulation of long-term plans for astronomy in Australia.
The Radio Observatory is responsible for the astronomical exploitation of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR). The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, one of the most powerful radio observatories in the world, enables astronomers to study a wide range of astrophysical problems in frequencies between 115 MHz to 8650 MHz. The WSRT is an open user facility available for scientists from any country. It is also part of the European VLBI network (EVN) of radio telescopes.
The German-Spanish Astronomical Center at Calar Alto is located in the Sierra de Los Filabres (Andalucía, Southern Spain) north of Almeria. It is operated jointly by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC) in Granada/Spain. Calar Alto provides three telescopes with apertures of 1.23m, 2.2m and 3.5m to the general community. A 1.5m-telescope, also located on the mountain, is operated under the control of the Observatory of Madrid.
The David Dunlap Observatory opened in 1935, a gift to the University of Toronto by Jessie Donalda Dunlap as a memorial to her husband David Alexander Dunlap. Since its inception, the Observatory has been a research centre of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and has also carried out public education and teaching programmes. As a renewal of the memorial, the University of Toronto has established the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Faculty of Arts and Science on the St. George Campus, endowed by the sale of DDO in 2008. Creation of the Dunlap Institute presents a exciting opportunity to ensure that in the 21st century the Dunlap name continues to be associated internationally with excellence in astronomy and astrophysics.
The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) has been designated a national historic site because of its important role in establishing Canada’s international scientific reputation in astronomy. Over the decades, these telescopes have contributed significantly to our understanding of the rotation, size and mass of the Milky Way, and of the rarefied interstellar medium between the stars. Recent projects include orbital determination of comets and asteroids, spectroscopy of magnetic stars, and ongoing studies of distant quasars and galaxies.
Looking like oversized satellite dishes, the radio telescopes of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, located in south central British Columbia, collect natural radio signals from space. They "see" unimpeded through dust that blocks our vision with ordinary telescopes,collecting the faint signals of distant interstellar gases. These instruments complement other types of telescopes, offering astronomers a multi-wavelength perspective of the universe, revealing all the components that make up the universe.
The ESO headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This is the scientific, technical and administrative centre of ESO where technical development programmes are carried out to provide the observatories with the most advanced instruments. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in the Atacama Desert region of Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.
The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1-meter diameter optical/infrared telescopes located on two of the best observing sites on the planet. From their locations on mountains in Hawai‘i and Chile, Gemini Observatory’s telescopes can collectively access the entire sky. Gemini was built and is operated by a partnership of seven countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Australia, Brazil and Argentina.
The Astronomical Observatory of Padova is one of the main structures of INAF National Institute for Astrophysics. About 30 people of scientific staff plus 20 post-docs and students are hosted in the Observatory, together with about 30 people for technical, administrative and support services. The main activity of the Observatory is to perform scientific reasearches in various fields of Astrophysics. The Observatory also contributes to advanced education, assists in the dissemination of knowledge and implements project of education and outreach of Astronomy.
The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) is situated on the edge of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, 2.396 m. above sea level in the municipality of Garafía (on the island of La Palma). It is home to one of the most extensive fleets of telescopes to be found anywhere in the world.
Astrophysics in the Canaries began (in the early 1960s) at this Observatory. It is situated 2.390 metres above sea level in Izaña, an area of Tenerife that lies across three municipal districts - La Orotava, Fasnia and Güímar. The first telescope for studying zodiacal light, light dispersed by interplanetary material, entered service here in 1964. Its geographical location (between the eastern and western solar observatories), together with the clarity and excellent quality of the sky, mean that the Observatorio del Teide is ideally suited for studying the sun. For this reason it is home to Europe's finest solar telescopes.
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the World, making it the official starting point for each new day and year. It is also home to London's only planetarium, the Harrison timekeepers and the UK's largest refracting telescope.