nepâhesgâh-e axtaršenâsik, ~ axtaršenâxti
Fr.: observatoire astronomique
A building, place, or institution designed and equipped for making → observations of astronomical phenomena.
Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)
Nepâhešgâh-e andar-Âmrikâyi-ye Kuh-e Tololo
Fr.: Observatoire inter-américain du Cerro Tololo
A complex of astronomical telescopes and instruments located approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2,200 m. CTIO headquarters are located in La Serena, Chile, about 480 km north of Santiago. The principal telescopes on site are the 4-m Victor M. Blanco Telescope and the 4.1-m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope. One of the two 8-m telescopes comprising the Gemini Observatory is co-located with CTIO on the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) property in Chile, together with more than 10 other telescopes and astronomical projects.
Fr.: observatoire de Chajnantor
A high plateau site located at an altitude of 5,104 m in the Chilean Atacama desert, about 50 kilometers to the east of San Pedro de Atacama (longitude 67° 46' W, latitude 23° 02' S). It is the site of the → Atacama Large Millimeter Array.
In Kunza, the ancestral language of the people living in the region, Chajnantor or Tchacknatur means "lift-off place." It is the place of platforms for worshipping the Sun, where since immemorial time prayers and wishes lifted off (ESO book Cerca del Cielo).
Chandra X-ray Observatory
nepâhešgâh-e partowhâ-ye X-e Chandra
Fr.: Observatoire des rayons X Chandra
An astronomy satellite launched by NASA in 1999 July, 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. Chandra carries a high resolution mirror (aperture 1.2 m, focal length 10 m), two imaging detectors (HRC and ACIS), and two sets of transmission grating spectrometer (LETG and HETG). Important Chandra features are: an order of magnitude improvement in spatial resolution, good sensitivity from 0.1 to 10 keV, and the capability for high spectral resolution observations over most of this range. Chandra was initially given an expected lifetime of 5 years, but on 4 September 2001 NASA extended its lifetime to 10 years "based on the observatory's outstanding results." Among the results obtained using Chandra one can mention the spectacular image of the → supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. See also → X-ray astronomy.
Initially called Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), the satellite was renamed the Chandra X-ray Observatory in honor of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics, → Chandrasekhar limit. Moreover, Chandra, or candra- means "moon" or "shining" in Skt., from cand- "to give light, shine;" cf. Gk. kandaros "coal;" L. candela "a light, torch," from candere "to shine;" → X-ray; → Observatory.
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
nepâhešgâh-e orupâyi-ye daštari
Fr.: Organisation européenne pour la recherche astronomique dans l'hémisphère austral
An major intergovernmental research organisation in astronomy supported by 14 European countries. ESO was founded in 1962 as a consortium among Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The ESO Headquarters are located in Garching near Munich, Germany. The organization operates three outstanding observing sites in the Atacama Desert region of Chile: → La Silla, → Paranal, and Chajnantor. The → Very Large Telescope (VLT), the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical facility, is located on the 2600 m high mountain of Paranal, which also hosts the → VLT Interferometer (VLTI). The Chajnantor site, 5000 m above sea level, near San Pedro de Atacama, operates a submillimeter telescope (APEX). Moreover, a giant array of 12 m submillimeter antennas, called → ALMA, is being constructed in collaboration with North America, East Asia and Chile. ESO is currently planning a 42 m European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the → E-ELT.
Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)
nepâhešgâh-e fazâyi-ye forusorx
Fr.: Satellite ISO
A European Space Agency satellite which carried the most sensitive infrared telescope ever launched. It operated between November 1995 and April 1998 and made particularly important observations of the dusty regions of the Universe. ISO was equipped with four science instruments: an infrared camera (CAM), a long-wavelength spectrometer (LWS), a photo-polarimeter (PHT), and a short-wavelength spectrometer (SWS). The instruments jointly covered wavelengths from 2.5 to around 240 microns with spatial resolutions ranging from 1.5 arcseconds to 90 arcseconds. Its 60 cm diameter telescope was cooled by superfluid liquid helium to temperatures of 2-4 K. The mission was a great technical, operational and scientific success. During its routine operational phase, ISO successfully made some 30,000 individual imaging, photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric observations ranging from objects in our own solar system to the most distant extragalactic sources.
International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA)
hamdasti-ye andarnafâni-ye nepâhešgâh-e virâgin
Fr.: Alliance internationale de l'Observatoire Virtuel
An international cooperation whose objective is to facilitate the international coordination and collaboration necessary for the development and deployment of the tools, systems and organizational structures necessary to enable the international utilization of astronomical archives as an integrated and interoperating → Virtual Observatory. The IVOA, created in 2002, now comprises 20 Virtual Observatory programs from various countries and international organizations.
La Silla Observatory
nepâhešgâh-e La Silla
Fr.: Observatoire de La Silla
The site of the → European Southern Observatory's first observatory in Chile, inaugurated in 1969. It is located 160 km north of the town of La Serena and 600 km north of Santiago at an altitude of 2,400 m bordering the southern extremity of the Atacama Desert. La Silla is equipped with several optical telescopes with mirror diameters of up to 3.6 m. The 3.5 m New Technology Telescope was the first in the world to have a computer-controlled main mirror, a technology developed at ESO. The ESO 3.6 m telescope is now home to the world's largest extrasolar planet hunter: HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher), a spectrograph with unrivalled precision.
From Sp. la silla "the saddle," after the apparent shape of the mountain on which the observatory is situated. Originally known as Cinchado.
Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)
nepâhešgâh-e mowjhâ-ye gerâneši bâ andarzaneš-sanji-ye leyzeri
Fr.: Observatoire d'ondes gravitationnelles par interférométrie laser
A facility dedicated to the detection and measurement of cosmic → gravitational waves. It consists of two widely separated installations, or detectors, within the United States, operated in unison as a single observatory. One installation is located in Hanford (Washington) and the other in Livingston (Louisiana), 3,000 km apart. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), LIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and by industrial contractors. Construction of the facilities was completed in 1999. Initial operation of the detectors began in 2001. Each LIGO detector beams laser light down arms 4 km long, which are arranged in the shape of an "L." If a gravitational wave passes through the detector system, the distance traveled by the laser beam changes by a minuscule amount -- less than one-thousandth of the size of an atomic nucleus (10-18 m). Still, LIGO should be able to pick this difference up. LIGO directly detected gravitational waves for the first time from a binary → black hole merger (GW150914) on September 14, 2015 (Abbott et al., 2016, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102). The Nobel Prize in physics 2017 was awarded to three physicists (Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne) for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves. LIGO had a prominent role in the detection of → GW170817, the first event with an → electromagnetic counterpart.
Fr.: observatoire météorologique
A scientific establishment dedicated to making precise and detailed meteorological observations and to studying and forecasting atmospheric phenomena by means of special equipments.
Mount Wilson Observatory
nepâhešgâh-e Mount Wilson
Fr.: Observatoire du Mont Wilson
An observatory situated on a mountain 1700 m above sea level near Pasadena, California. It was built in 1904 by American astronomer George Ellery Hale as a solar-observing station for the Yerkes Observatory, but it became an independent observatory funded by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. In 1908 a 60-inch (152-cm) reflector, then the largest in the world, was added for observations of stars and galaxies. Ten years later a 100-inch (254-cm) reflecting telescope was put into service. It was the most powerful telescope in the world until the construction of the Palomar 200-inch reflector in 1948. The 100-inch telescope's most important discovery was Edwin Hubble's determination of the distance to the Andromeda Nebula in 1924. He showed that the nebula lay beyond the bounds of the Milky Way Galaxy and hence was a galaxy in its own right. Then in 1929, following the work of Vesto Slipher, Hubble and his assistant Milton Humason demonstrated that galaxies were moving away from one another. This movement is the expansion of the Universe.
A place or building equipped for making observations of astronomical, meteorological, or other natural phenomena, especially a place provided with a telescope for observing astronomical objects.
From Fr. observatoire, from L. observa(re), → observe, + -toire, from L. -torius, from -tor a suffix forming agent nouns + -ius adj. suffix.
Nepâhešgâh, from nepâheš, → observation, + -gâh suffix of place (O.Pers. gāθu-, Av. gātav-, gātu- "place, throne, spot" (Skt. gátu- "going, motion; free space for moving; place of abode," PIE *gwem- "to go, come").
Fr.: Observatoire du Mont Palomar
An observatory located atop Palomar Mountain about 65 km north-northeast of San Diego, California. It is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.25-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope. Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions. The famous Hale Telescope proved instrumental in cosmological research. It was the largest instrument of its kind until 1976.
Palomar, a mountain ridge in the Peninsular Ranges in northern San Diego County whose highest elevation is 1,871 m; → Observatory.
Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS)
bardid-e âsmân-e nepâhešgâh-e Palomar
Fr.: Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
A photographic atlas of the northern hemisphere and a portion of the southern hemisphere created at Mount → Palomar Observatory in southern California. The original survey was completed in 1954 using the 48-in Schmidt (Oschin) Telescope. The square photographic plates were 35.5 cm (14-inch) on a side, each encompassing roughly 6 × 6 degrees of the sky. The survey was originally intended to cover the entire sky from +90 degrees declination down to -24 degrees (plate centers) in 879 regions, using both red and blue sensitive emulsions, and including stars to magnitude +22. Ultimately the survey was extended to -30 degrees (both red and blue), an additional 57 regions. Finally, the Whiteoak Southern Extension was added in 1962 (red plates only), with another 100 plates which extended the set down to a declination of -42 degrees plate center.
Fr.: Observatoire de Paranal
An → ESO observatory, located on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile, at 2,635 m altitude. It is about 120 km south of the town of Antofagasta and 12 km inland from the Pacific Coast. The Paranal Observatory hosts the → Very Large Telescope (VLT) with four 8.2 m telescopes. Each telescope provides one → Cassegrain and two → Nasmyth focus stations for facility instruments. One Nasmyth focus is available for visitor instruments. In addition each telescope is equipped with a → coudé focus station from which the light can be coherently combined in the interferometric focus. ESO also operates four 1.8 m Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs), that are used as an interferometric array (VISA) and a 4 m infrared survey telescope (VISTA). Currently, more than 10 instruments including two interferometric instruments (MIDI, AMBER) are operational and offered for science observations.
Paranal, the name of the mountain, in the Quechua language meaning "whirlwind;" → observatory.
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
Nepâhešgâh-e Cine-sepehri barây axtaršenâsi-ye forusorx
Fr.: Observatoire stratosphérique pour l'astronomie infrarouge
A partnership of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, consisting of an extensively modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a reflecting telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 m. NASA Ames Research Center manages SOFIA's science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association and the German SOFIA Institute. SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world, with a planned 20-year lifetime.
Vera C. Rubin Observatory
nepâhešgâh-e Vera C. Rubin
Fr.: Observatoire Vera C. Rubin
A new kind of optical telescope with a 8.4-m diameter → primary mirror currently under construction in Chile and scheduled to begin operations in October 2023. Initially named Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), it will use a 3200 megapixel camera and an automated data processing system. It will have a large → field of view almost 10 square degrees of sky, or 40 times the size of the full moon. The LSST will move quickly between images to rapidly → survey the sky. From its mountain top site in the Andes (Cerro Pachon, a 2,682-m high mountain in Coquimbo Region), the LSST will take more than 800 panoramic images each night with its 3.2 billion-pixel camera, recording the entire visible sky twice each week. Each patch of sky it images will be visited 1000 times during the survey, each of its 30-second observations will be able to detect objects 10 million times fainter than visible with the human eye. The LSST's combination of telescope, mirror, camera, → data processing, and survey will capture changes in billions of faint objects. Hence, the data it provides will be used to create an animated, three-dimensional cosmic map with unprecedented depth and detail. This map will serve many purposes, from locating the → dark matter and characterizing the properties of the → dark energy, to tracking transient objects, to studying our own Milky Way Galaxy in depth. It will even be used to detect and track → potentially hazardous asteroids that might impact the Earth.
Named after Vera C. Rubin (1928-2016) whose work on galaxy rotation rates supported the existence of dark matter in galactic halos.
Fr.: observatoire virtuel
An international initiative by the astronomical community to allow global electronic access to the available astronomical data archives of space and ground-based observatories. It also aims to enable data analysis techniques through a coordinating entity that provides common standards, wide-network bandwidth, and state-of-the-art analysis tools. The Virtual Observatory is also intended for re-using data for scientific objectives different from the original ones, in order to optimize the science return of astronomical observations. The Virtual Observatory's capabilities are enabled through the use of standard protocols for registering the existence and location of data and for requesting data that satisfies the user's interests. These standards are developed on an international basis through the → IVOA. The cornerstone of the Virtual Observatory is → interoperability.