Observatory

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Observatory'

Observatory Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    observatory n
  1. a building designed and equipped to observe astronomical phenomena
  2. a structure commanding a wide view of its surroundings [syn: lookout, observation tower, lookout station]
Observatory Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Observatory \Ob*serv"a*to*ry\, n.; pl. Observatories. [Cf. F. observatoire.]
  1. A place or building for making observations on the heavenly bodies. The new observatory in Greenwich Park. --Evelyn.
  2. A building fitted with instruments for making systematic observations of any particular class or series of natural phenomena.
  3. A place, as an elevated chamber, from which a view may be observed or commanded.
  4. (Mil.) A lookout on a flank of a battery whence an officer can note the range and effect of the fire. --Farrow.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Observatory'


An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial and/or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Historically, observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant (for measuring the distance between stars) or Stonehenge (which has some alignments on astronomical phenomena).

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, and 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 usually do not have domes.

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Observatory Sample Sentences in News


  • Giant Galaxy-Spying Telescope Set to Break Ground in Hawaii
    A giant, 100-foot-diameter (30 meters) telescope has been green-lighted for construction on the island of Hawaii. The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources gave approval on July 25 for construction to begin on the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a massive observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea, said representatives for The TMT Observatory Corp., a  collaborati Read more on this news related to 'Observatory'
  • Islamic State jihadists fight Kurds, Sunni tribe in Syria
    The jihadist Islamic State (IS), which has taken over large swathes of war-torn Syria in just a few months, was on Thursday engaged in fighting Kurds and members of a Sunni tribe. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the well-equipped Kurds, who started fighting IS soon after it emerged in Syria in spring last year, had on Wednesday taken back several hill Read more on this news related to 'Observatory'
  • The Observatory provides weather information on WeChat
    The Observatory starts providing weather information through her official account on WeChat today. From this account, users can acquire weather information including weather warnings, special weather tips, weather forecasts... Read more on this news related to 'Observatory'

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