An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geophysical and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant or Stonehenge. Astronomical observatories are divided into four categories: space-based, ground-based, underground-based. Ground-based observatories, located on the surface of Earth, are used to make observations in the radio and visible light portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Most optical telescopes are housed within a dome or similar structure, to protect the delicate instruments from the elements. Telescope domes have a slit or other opening in the roof that can be opened during observing, closed when the telescope is not in use. In most cases, the entire upper portion of the telescope dome can be rotated to allow the instrument to observe different sections of the night sky. Radio telescopes do not have domes.
For optical telescopes, most ground-based observatories are located far from major centers of population, to avoid the effects of light pollution. The ideal locations for modern observatories are sites that have dark skies, a large percentage of clear nights per year, dry air, are at high elevations. At high elevations, the Earth's atmosphere is thinner, thereby minimizing the effects of atmospheric turbulence and resulting in better astronomical "seeing". Sites that meet the above criteria for modern observatories include the southwestern United States, Canary Islands, the Andes, high mountains in Mexico such as Sierra Negra. A newly emerging site which should be added to this list is Mount Gargash. With an elevation of 3600 m above sea level, it is the home to the Iranian National Observatory and its 3.4m INO340 telescope. Major optical observatories include Mauna Kea Observatory and Kitt Peak National Observatory in the US, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, Paranal Observatory in Chile.
Specific research study performed in 2009 shows that the best possible location for ground-based observatory on Earth is Ridge A — a place in the central part of Eastern Antarctica. This location provides the least atmospheric disturbances and best visibility. Beginning in 1930s, radio telescopes have been built for use in the field of radio astronomy to observe the Universe in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; such an instrument, or collection of instruments, with supporting facilities such as control centres, visitor housing, data reduction centers, and/or maintenance facilities are called radio observatories. Radio observatories are located far from major population centers to avoid electromagnetic interference from radio, TV, other EMI emitting devices, but unlike optical observatories, radio observatories can be placed in valleys for further EMI shielding; some of the world's major radio observatories include the Socorro, in New Mexico, United States, Jodrell Bank in the UK, Arecibo in Puerto Rico, Parkes in New South Wales and Chajnantor in Chile.
Since the mid-20th century, a number of astronomical observatories have been constructed at high altitudes, above 4,000–5,000 m. The largest and most notable of these is the Mauna Kea Observatory, located near the summit of a 4,205 m volcano in Hawaiʻi; the Chacaltaya Astrophysical Observatory in Bolivia, at 5,230 m, was the world's highest permanent astronomical observatory from the time of its construction during the 1940s until 2009. It has now been surpassed by the new University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory, an optical-infrared telescope on a remote 5,640 m mountaintop in the Atacama Desert of Chile; the oldest proto-observatories, in the sense of a private observation post, Wurdi Youang, Australia Zorats Karer, Armenia Loughcrew, Ireland Newgrange, Ireland Stonehenge, Great Britain Quito Astronomical Observatory, located 12 minutes south of the Equator in Quito, Ecuador. Chankillo, Peru El Caracol, Mexico Abu Simbel, Egypt Kokino, Republic of Macedonia Observatory at Rhodes, Greece Goseck circle, Germany Ujjain, India Arkaim, Russia Cheomseongdae, South Korea Angkor Wat, CambodiaThe oldest true observatories, in the sense of a specialized research institute, include: 825 AD: Al-Shammisiyyah observatory, Iraq 869: Mahodayapuram Observatory, India 1259: Maragheh observatory, Iran 1276: Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, China 1420: Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan 1442: Beijing Ancient Observatory, China 1577: Constantinople Observatory of Taqi ad-Din, Turkey 1580: Uraniborg, Denmark 1581: Stjerneborg, Denmark 1642: Panzano Observatory, Italy 1642: Round Tower, Denmark 1633: Leiden Observatory, Netherlands 1667: Paris Observatory, France 1675: Royal Greenwich Observatory, England 1695: Sukharev Tower, Russia 1711: Berlin Observatory, Germany 1724: Jantar Mantar, India 1753: Stockholm Observatory, Sweden 1753: Vilnius University Observatory, Lithuania 1753: Navy Royal Institute and Observatory, Spain 1759: Trieste Observatory, Italy 1757: Macfarlane Observatory, Scotland 1759: Turin Observatory, Italy 1764: Brera Astronomical Observatory, Italy 1765: Mohr Observatory, Indonesia 1774: Vatican Observatory, Vatican 1785: Dunsink Observatory, Ireland 1786: Madras Observatory, India 1789: Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland 1790: Real Observatorio de Madrid, Spain, 1803: National Astronomical Observatory, Bogotá, Colombia.
1811: Tartu Old Observatory, Estonia 1812: Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Italy 1830/1842: Depot of Charts & Instruments
Voice of America
Voice of America is a U. S. government-funded international multimedia agency which serves as the United States federal government's official institution for non-military, external broadcasting. It is the largest U. S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, radio content in more than 40 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe, it is viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its leaders. VOA was established in 1942, the VOA charter was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford; the charter contains its mission "to broadcast accurate and comprehensive news and information to an international audience", it defines the mandated standards in the VOA journalistic code. VOA is headquartered in Washington, DC and overseen by the U. S. Agency for Global Media, an independent agency of the U. S. government. Funds are appropriated annually by Congress under the budget for consulates.
In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million. Some commentators consider Voice of America to be a form of propaganda. In response to the request of the United States Department of Justice that RT register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Russia's Justice Ministry labeled Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as foreign agents in December 2017; the Voice of America website had five English language broadcasts as of 2014. Additionally, the VOA website has versions in 42 foreign languages: The number of languages varies according to the priorities of the United States government and the world situation. Before World War II, all American shortwave stations were in private hands. Controlled shortwave networks included the National Broadcasting Company's International Network, which broadcast in six languages, the Columbia Broadcasting System's Latin American international network, which consisted of 64 stations located in 18 different countries, the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation in Cincinnati, all of which had shortwave transmitters.
Experimental programming began in the 1930s. In 1939, the Federal Communications Commission set the following policy: A licensee of an international broadcast station shall render only an international broadcast service which will reflect the culture of this country and which will promote international goodwill and cooperation. Any program intended for, directed to an audience in the continental United States does not meet the requirements for this service; this policy was intended to enforce the State Department's Good Neighbor Policy, but some broadcasters felt that it was an attempt to direct censorship. Shortwave signals to Latin America were regarded as vital to counter Nazi propaganda around 1940; the Office of Coordination of Information sent releases to each station, but this was seen as an inefficient means of transmitting news. The director of Latin American relations at the Columbia Broadcasting System was Edmund A. Chester, he supervised the development of CBS's extensive "La Cadena de las Americas" radio network to improve broadcasting to South America during the 1940s.
Included among the cultural diplomacy programming on the Columbia Broadcasting System was the musical show Viva America which featured the Pan American Orchestra and the artistry of several noted musicians from both North and South America, including Alfredo Antonini, Juan Arvizu, Eva Garza, Elsa Miranda, Nestor Mesta Chaires, Miguel Sandoval, John Serry Sr. and Terig Tucci. By 1945, broadcasts of the show were carried by 114 stations on CBS's "La Cadena de las Americas" network in 20 Latin American nations; these broadcasts proved to be successful in supporting President Franklin Roosevelt's policy of Pan-Americanism throughout South America during World War II. Before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U. S. government’s Office of the Coordinator of Information had begun providing war news and commentary to the commercial American shortwave radio stations for use on a voluntary basis through its Foreign Information Service headed by playwright Robert E. Sherwood, the playwright who served as president Roosevelt’s speech writer and information advisor.
Direct programming began a week after the United States’ entry into World War II in December 1941, with the first broadcast from the San Francisco office of the FIS via a leased General Electric’s transmitter to the Philippines in English. The next step was to broadcast to Germany, called Stimmen aus Amerika and was transmitted on February 1, 1942, it was introduced by "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and included the pledge: "Today, every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war... The news may be good or bad for us – We will always tell you the truth." Roosevelt approved this broadcast, which then-Colonel William J. Donovan and Sherwood had recommended to him, it was Sherwood who coined the term "The Voice of America" to describe the shortwave network that began its transmissions on February 1, from 270 Madison Avenue in New York City. The Office of War Information, when organized in the middle of 1942 took over VOA's operations. VOA reached an agreement with th
Light pollution known as photopollution, is the presence of anthropogenic light in the night environment. It is exacerbated by excessive, misdirected or obtrusive uses of light, but carefully used light fundamentally alters natural conditions; as a major side-effect of urbanization, it is blamed for compromising health, disrupting ecosystems and spoiling aesthetic environments. Light pollution is the adding-of/added light itself, in analogy to carbon dioxide, etc.. Adverse consequences are multiple. Scientific definitions thus include the following: The degradation of photic habitat by artificial light; the alteration of natural light levels in the outdoor environment owing to artificial light sources. The alteration of light levels in the outdoor environment due to man-made sources of light. Indoor light pollution is such alteration of light levels in the indoor environment due to sources of light, which compromises human health; the introduction by humans, directly or indirectly, of artificial light into the environment.
The first three of the above four scientific definitions describe the state of the environment. The fourth one describes the process of polluting by light. Light pollution competes with starlight in the night sky for urban residents, interferes with astronomical observatories, like any other form of pollution, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects. Light pollution is a side-effect of industrial civilization, its sources include building exterior and interior lighting, outdoor area lighting, factories and illuminated sporting venues. It is most severe in industrialized, densely populated areas of North America and Japan and in major cities in the Middle East and North Africa like Tehran and Cairo, but relatively small amounts of light can be noticed and create problems. Awareness of the deleterious effects of light pollution began early in the 20th Century, but efforts to address effects did not begin until the 1950s. In the 1980s a global dark-sky movement emerged with the founding of the International Dark-Sky Association.
There are now such educational and advocacy organizations in many countries worldwide. Energy conservation advocates contend that light pollution must be addressed by changing the habits of society, so that lighting is used more efficiently, with less waste and less creation of unwanted or unneeded illumination. Several industry groups recognize light pollution as an important issue. For example, the Institution of Lighting Engineers in the United Kingdom provides its members with information about light pollution, the problems it causes, how to reduce its impact. Although, recent research point that the energy efficiency is not enough to reduce the light pollution because of the rebound effect. Since not everyone is irritated by the same lighting sources, it is common for one person's light "pollution" to be light, desirable for another. One example of this is found in advertising, when an advertiser wishes for particular lights to be bright and visible though others find them annoying. Other types of light pollution are more certain.
For instance, light that accidentally crosses a property boundary and annoys a neighbor is wasted and pollutive light. Disputes are still common. Where objective measurement is desired, light levels can be quantified by field measurement or mathematical modeling, with results displayed as an isophote map or light contour map. Authorities have taken a variety of measures for dealing with light pollution, depending on the interests and understandings of the society involved. Measures range from doing nothing at all, to implementing strict laws and regulations about how lights may be installed and used. Light pollution is caused by unnecessary use of artificial light. Specific categories of light pollution include light trespass, over-illumination, light clutter, skyglow. A single offending light source falls into more than one of these categories. Light trespass occurs when unwanted light enters one's property, for instance, by shining over a neighbor's fence. A common light trespass problem occurs when a strong light enters the window of one's home from the outside, causing problems such as sleep deprivation.
A number of cities in the U. S. have developed standards for outdoor lighting to protect the rights of their citizens against light trespass. To assist them, the International Dark-Sky Association has developed a set of model lighting ordinances; the Dark-Sky Association was started to reduce the light going up into the sky which reduces visibility of stars. This is any light, emitted more than 90° above nadir. By limiting light at this 90° mark they have reduced the light output in the 80–90° range which creates most of the light trespass issues. U. S. federal agencies may enforce standards and process complaints within their areas of jurisdiction. For instance, in the case of light trespass by white strobe lighting from communication towers in excess of FAA minimum lighting requirements the Federal Communications Commission maintains an Antenna Structure Registration database information which citizens may use to identify offending structures and provides a mechanism for processing citizen inquiries and complaints.
The U. S. Green Building Council has incorporated a credit for reducing the amount of light trespass and sky glow into the
Quinn, South Dakota
Quinn is a town in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 54 at the 2010 census; the town is the home of the Badlands Observatory, located in the former community hospital, built in 1950. Quinn was laid out in 1907; the town was named for a local rancher. A post office called Quinn has been in operation since 1907. Quinn Methodist Church is on the National Register of Historic Places. Quinn is located at 43°59′15″N 102°07′38″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.16 square miles, all of it land. Quinn has been assigned the ZIP code 57775 and the FIPS place code 52500; as of the census of 2010, there were 54 people, 23 households, 14 families residing in the town. The population density was 46.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 27 housing units at an average density of 23.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 85.2% White, 7.4% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 1.9% from other races, 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.
There were 23 households of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 39.1% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age in the town was 41.5 years. 25.9% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the town was 57.4% male and 42.6% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 44 people, 18 households, 10 families residing in the town; the population density was 45.9 people per square mile. There were 23 housing units at an average density of 24.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 93.18% White and 6.82% Native American. There were 18 households out of which 44.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.1% were married couples living together, 38.9% were non-families.
38.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.36. In the town, the population was spread out with 34.1% under the age of 18, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 69.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.3 males. The median income for a household in the town was $40,750, the median income for a family was $41,750. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $22,500 for females; the per capita income for the town was $13,119. None of the population or families were below the poverty line
Wall, South Dakota
Wall is a town in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 766 at the 2010 census. Wall was platted in 1907 when the North Western Railroad was extended to that point; the town was incorporated in 1908. Wall was named from the nearby steep Badlands; the town is most famous for the Wall Drug Store, which opened as a small pharmacy in 1931 during the Depression, but developed into a large roadside tourist attraction. The National Grasslands Visitor Center is located in Wall. Wall is located at 43°59′30″N 102°14′27″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.22 square miles, of which, 2.17 square miles of it is land and 0.05 square miles is water. Wall has been assigned the ZIP code 57790 and the FIPS place code 68380; as of the census of 2010, there were 766 people, 359 households, 212 families residing in the town. The population density was 353.0 inhabitants per square mile. There were 436 housing units at an average density of 200.9 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the town was 88.9% White, 0.1% African American, 7.0% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population. There were 359 households of which 21.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, 40.9% were non-families. 39.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.82. The median age in the town was 47.1 years. 21.4% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the town was 50.4% male and 49.6% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 818 people, 349 households, 212 families residing in Wall; the population density was 404.2 people per square mile. There were 438 housing units at an average density of 216.4 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the town was 91.44% White, 0.24% African American, 6.11% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.49% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.73% of the population. There were 349 households of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 39.0% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.03. The age distribution was 25.9% under 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, 18.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males. The median income for a household was $36,563, the median income for a family was $45,417.
Males had a median income of $29,286 versus $19,821 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,848. About 5.8% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.4% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over. Wall, South Dakota Government Website Wall Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce Wall Drug Store
Kitt Peak National Observatory
The Kitt Peak National Observatory is a United States astronomical observatory located on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O'odham Nation, 88 kilometers west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona. With 22 optical and two radio telescopes, it is the largest, most diverse gathering of astronomical instruments in the northern hemisphere; the observatory is administered by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Kitt Peak was selected by its first director, Aden B. Meinel, in 1958 as the site for a national observatory under contract with the National Science Foundation and was administered by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy; the land was leased from the Tohono O'odham under a perpetual agreement. The second director was Nicholas U. Mayall. In 1982 NOAO was formed to consolidate the management of three optical observatories — Kitt Peak; the observatory sites are under lease from the Tohono O'odham Nation at the amount of a quarter dollar per acre yearly, overwhelmingly approved by the Council in the 1950s.
In 2005, the Tohono O'odham Nation brought suit against the National Science Foundation to stop further construction of gamma ray detectors in the Gardens of the Sacred Tohono O'odham Spirit I'itoi, which are just below the summit. The largest optical instruments at KPNO are the Mayall 4 meter telescope and the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope. The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope is the largest solar telescope in the world and the largest unobstructed reflector; the ARO 12m Radio Telescope is at the location. Kitt Peak is famous for hosting the first telescope used to search for near-Earth asteroids, calculating the probability of an impact with planet Earth. Kitt Peak hosts an array of programs for the public to take part in, including: Daytime tours, speaking about the history of the observatory as well as touring a major research telescope; the Nightly Observing Program, which allows visitors to arrive in the late afternoon, watch the sunset, use binoculars and telescopes to view the cosmos. Additionally, there is the Overnight Telescope Observing Program.
This program allows for a one-on-one, full night of observing using any of the visitor center's telescopes. Guests may choose to do DSLR imaging, CCD imaging, or take in the sights with their eye to the telescope. Kitt Peak's Southeastern Association for Research and Astronomy Telescope was featured in the WIPB-PBS documentary, "Seeing Stars in Indiana"; the project followed SARA astronomers from Ball State University to the observatory and featured time-lapse images from various points around Kitt Peak. Due to its high elevation, the observatory experiences a much cooler and wetter climate throughout the year than most of the Sonoran desert. List of astronomical observatories List of radio telescopes Richard Green Discover Magazine article about Kitt Peak, May 2005 Kitt Peak docent training book, 2008 Kitt Peak National Observatory – official site Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center – visiting and tour information Kitt Peak Webcam Kitt Peak Clear Sky Chart Forecasts of observing conditions NOAA general forecast for KPNO NOAA detailed forecast for KPNO Observing At Kitt Peak – General Overview for Observers and Staff