Sky is the Limit: Observatories and Their Mission

12/24/2018 11:54:02 AM

Sky is the Limit! What is an Observatory and Why is it Important 

By Fatemeh Khoaravi

Back into the history when human being looked up in the sky for the first time, he couldn’t help but to be curious about the mysteries of the nature. What the universe is made up of? How far do the stars, galaxies and all other celestial objects exist? How can we reach out the planets near us? How long does it take to go to the furthest point we can access? Is it possible to travel deep into the sky? And so many other questions...

Here we are, back again with #UQR number 6. 

Our ancestors worked hard to invent instruments to look, search and investigate deeper the sky. From Iranian ancient astronomical tools such as astrolabes and simple instruments of observation, to the primitive telescopes by which Galileo found out that earth is not the center of the universe, and to the largest and the most precise telescopes that are probing the sky, mankind cannot help but to discover the mysteries of the sky with the ultimate advanced technologies he can find.

One of the most important facilities that remain to be popular among scientists, engineers and technicians is observatory. The main task of an observatory is to observe the world and to gather and analyze the data coming from the sky. But this is not the end of story. 

In order to build an observatory and to improve the astronomical instruments associated with it, lots of modern technologies are born. New devices are invented to develop the telescopes and astronomical facilities in an observatory. A broad range of multidisciplinary fields and skills gather around in order to gain sustainable capability that is essential to modern observational astrophysics. Beautiful photos and videos are taken and spread out for public to watch and enjoy the picturesque scenes of space and for artists and writers to be inspired by. And of course such institutions and centers need expert individuals and teams to manage and improve these facilities. Observatories therefore are always there to offer careers opportunities for researchers, student and faculties of scientific and educational institutions.

Observatories have an important role in universal advancement of science, industry and technology and empower the scientific community of countries. Unfortunately many of these roles and activities are not fully understood by policymakers or managers, and often even by the scientific and astronomy communities. It is important for all of us to be aware of what observatories do and their immense roles in advancement of multidisciplinary science. Science without borders. 

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