Where are observatories usually built


On the roof of a rather small observatory. She belongs to a school in China.

An observatory is a building. From there you can watch the stars. You have telescopes for that. These are large telescopes that are usually part of the observatory. Another word is observatory, from the Latin word for "to observe".

People looked at the sky as early as the Stone Age. Perhaps the Stonehenge facility was made for that too. Telescopes have only been around for about four hundred years. Observatories were then built about three hundred years ago.

Usually an observatory has a large round dome, i.e. a round part of the roof. Part of the dome can be opened so that you can look out with the telescope.

It is good for an observatory to be outside the city: there is too much light in the city, even at night. That bothers when observing the stars.

How do you watch the sky these days?

The “Very Large Array” is in the USA. Translated, this means something like "very large system". These are radio telescopes: they do not pick up rays of light, but rather radio rays.

Many old observatories are now in the area of ​​a city because the cities have grown. Today they are mostly used as a public observatory: There you show people in the city what you can see in the sky.

For science there are large, downright huge observatories. They are located in deserts where there is almost no fog or haze. Most astronomers no longer look through telescopes themselves: the telescopes record everything and distribute it over the Internet.

Telescopes are not only found in observatories today: “Hubble” is a satellite with a telescope. Stars and other celestial bodies can not only be viewed in the public observatory, but also in a planetarium. There you don't see the sky in real life, but as a projection like in the cinema.

  • The Tycho Brahe observatory, around 1600, still without a telescope

  • The Urania public observatory used to belong to the University of Jena.

  • The Prime Meridian runs through the Greenwich Observatory in England

  • In an old observatory in Wroclaw, Poland.

  • At the Mount Wilson Observatory, where the astronomer Edwin Hubble once observed space

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