Tours to Observatories in the USA

Adler Planetarium in Chicago

Today, the structure, which some compare to a space ship, houses three different theatres, special exhibits, and an observatory. It’s located on the banks of Lake Michigan and boasts a top-notch view of the Chicago skyline. It was one of the best places in the city to see the 2017 eclipse.

Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin

Affiliated with the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, the Yerkes Observatory was established in 1897 on Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The observatory houses a 40” single lens refracting telescope and sits on a 77-acre park that was designed by John Olmsted, brother of the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The historic building is notable for its many arches and the way the design incorporated both a domed observatory and a space for education and events.

Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles

The building includes the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, an observatory, and an exhibition space. It’s a mishmash of grand and monument styles.

Visit Observatories Around the World

Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico

Completed in 1963, the Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. Up until 2011, the observatory was managed by Cornell University. The observatory has a 1,000 ft (305 m) radio telescope which is one of the world’s largest single-aperture telescopes. The telescope is used for radio astronomy, aeronomy, and radar astronomy. The telescope is vastly known for taking part in the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project.

Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), Coonabarabran (NSW), Australia

Standing at an altitude of 1164 meters (3819 ft), the AAO operates two telescopes: the 3.9 meters Anglo-Australian Telescope and 1.2 meters UK Schmidt Telescope.

University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO), Chile

Like the VLT and other telescopes, the observatory of the University of Tokyo is also located at the Atacama desert in Chile. The observatory is placed on the summit of Cerro Chajnantor, at an altitude of 5,640 m (18,500 ft) which makes it the highest astronomical observatory in the world.

Observatories And Their Variety

Infrared Observatories
The infrared telescopes that are based on the ground are located at high altitudes in dry climates. It is done, to get above most of the water vapour in the atmosphere. But even so, one must still consider the atmosphere in measurements. To do this, the infrared emission from the atmosphere is measured at the time when the measurements of the cosmic object under the observation are taken. Then, the emission from the atmosphere can be subtracted to get an accurate measurement of the cosmic object!
Visible Spectrum Observatories
Visible light can pass right through our atmosphere. Ancient humans could look up at the night sky and see the stars above them, so that is why astronomy is as old as humanity. Today, we have a lot of ground-based telescopes for visible astronomy, but there are limits to their observations since as light passes through the atmosphere, it is distorted by the turbulence within the air. That’s why astronomers have placed their observatories on mountain-tops. However, they still face limits to how crisp their images will be, especially for faint sources.
Visible Spectrum Observatories
Visible-light observatories in space do not have that problem and they can also observe a wider portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, in particular, ultraviolet light that is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.


Walpurga Schönfisch

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