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Encyclopedia > United States Naval Observatory
Aerial view of USNO.
Aerial view of USNO.

The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States. It is located in Northwest Washington, D.C.. It is one of the very few observatories located in an urban area (when it was initially constructed, it was far from the light pollution generated by the then-smaller city center). Aerial view of the United States Naval Observatory Source of image Taken on March 13, 2004 from [1]: USNO Time Service Department File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Aerial view of the United States Naval Observatory Source of image Taken on March 13, 2004 from [1]: USNO Time Service Department File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Science For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... Color-enhanced USGS satellite image of Washington, DC, taken April 26, 2002. ... Nickname: the District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Official website: http://www. ... Moletai Astronomical Observatory An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial and/or celestial events. ... This photo of New York City shows excessive Sky glow, one form of light pollution, partly caused by many unshielded lights. ...


Established in 1830 as the Depot of Charts and Instruments, the observatory's primary mission was to care for the U.S. Navy's chronometers, charts and other navigational equipment. It calibrated ships' chronometers by timing the transit of stars across the meridian. Initially located downtown in Foggy Bottom (near the Kennedy Center), the observatory moved to its present location in 1893, atop Observatory Hill overlooking Massachusetts Avenue, amidst perfectly circular grounds. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for conducting naval operations around the globe. ... A chronometer is a clock accurate enough to be used as a portable time standard on a vehicle, usually in order to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation. ... Deimos transits the Sun, as seen by Mars Rover Opportunity on March 4, 2004 The word transit has two meanings in astronomy: A transit is the astronomical event that occurs when one celestial body appears to move across the face of another celestial body, as seen by an observer at... The Pleiades star cluster A star is a massive body of plasma in outer space that is currently producing or has produced energy through nuclear fusion. ... This article is about the astronomical concept. ... Foggy Bottom is one of Washington, DCs oldest 19th century neighborhoods, so named because, as a low-lying area, fog (endemic to the swamps of early Washington) tended to congregate there. ... The Kennedy Center as seen from the Potomac River. ... 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Massachusetts Avenue, colloquially abbreviated Mass. ... A circle, in Euclidean geometry, is the set of all points at a fixed distance, called the radius, from a fixed point, the centre. ...


The first superintendent was Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S.N. Maury had the first time ball vulcanized created by Charles Goodyear for the United States observatory which may have been the 1st and perhaps only timeball Goodyear created. It was the first timeball in the United States, and the 12th in the world. Maury kept accurate time by the stars and planets. The timeball can be seen in the old photos and drawings. When the timeball was dropped, a flag was mechanically raised letting all ships and civilians know the exact time. Thus time was kept not only for Washington D.C. but, through the use of the telegraph also for every state in the Union. Time was also sold to the railroads. Matthew Fontaine Maury Matthew Fontaine Maury (January 14, 1806 – February 1, 1873), was an American oceanographer. ... The timeball at Greenwich is shown in the top right of picture A time ball is a large metal or painted wooden ball, visible to shipping, that drops at a predetermined time to enable sailors to set their chronometers. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Telegraphy (from the Greek words tele = far away and grapho = write) is the long distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally over wire. ...


The names National Observatory and Naval Observatory were both used for ten years until a ruling was passed to use only the term Navy Observatory. Former President John Quincy Adams had intended for it to be called the National Observatory. John Quincy Adams spent many nights at the observatory with Maury watching and charting the stars because it had always been one of Adams' hobbies to study the stars which is another reason he passed the bill for the creation of a national observatory just before his leaving presidential office. John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American lawyer, diplomat, politician, and President of the United States (March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1829). ...


Today, as in the past, the modern United States Naval Observatory continues to be a major authority in the areas of time-keeping and celestial observation. In collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory it determines the timing and astronomical data required for accurate navigation and fundamental astronomy and distributes this information in the Astronomical Almanac. Perhaps it is best known to the general public for its highly accurate ensemble of atomic clocks and its year 2000 Timeball replacement. The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) at the Chilton/Harwell Science Campus is a UK scientific research laboratory near Didcot in Oxfordshire. ... There are several traditions of navigation. ... Lunar astronomy: the large crater is Daedalus, photographed by the crew of Apollo 11 as they circled the Moon in 1969. ... Atomic clock Chip-Scale Atomic Clock Unveiled by NIST An atomic clock is a type of clock that uses an atomic resonance frequency standard as its counter. ...


Since 1974, Number One Observatory Circle, a house situated in the grounds of the observatory (formerly the residence of its superintendent), has been the official residence of the Vice President of the United States. 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... Vice presidents house Number One Observatory Circle is the official residence of the Vice President of the United States and his family. ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government. ...


Related pages

The Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) is an interferometer operated by the US Naval Observatory, the Naval Research Laboratory and The Lowell Observatory. ...

External links

  • [1] USNO, "What Time is it?"
  • [2] Transcription: Lieut. Matthew Fontaine Maury's 1847 Letter to President John Quincy Adams on the many details of the United States National (Navy, Naval)Observatory.

  Results from FactBites:
 
United States Naval Observatory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (542 words)
It is located in Northwest Washington, D.C. It is one of the very few observatories located in an urban area (when it was initially constructed, it was far from the light pollution generated by the then-smaller city center).
John Quincy Adams spent many nights at the observatory with Maury watching and charting the stars because it had always been one of Adams' hobbies to study the stars which is another reason he passed the bill for the creation of a national observatory just before his leaving presidential office.
Today, as in the past, the modern United States Naval Observatory continues to be a major authority in the areas of time-keeping and celestial observation.
United States Naval Observatory - definition of United States Naval Observatory in Encyclopedia (251 words)
The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States.
Today, the U.S. Naval Observatory is the preeminent authority in the areas of time-keeping and celestial observation.
Since 1974 Number One Observatory Circle, a house situated in the grounds of the observatory (formerly the residence of its superintendant), has been the official residence of the Vice President of the United States.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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