National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



About NAOJ

Activities and Objectives of NAOJ

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the national center of astronomical research in Japan, has the most advanced observing facilities in the world. As an Inter-University Research Institute, we promote the open use of these facilities among researchers throughout Japan, as well as encourage flexible international cooperation. NAOJ aims to promote the development of astronomy, astrophysics, and the related fields of science.

Astronomy is one of the oldest and yet most active sciences. This means that human beings possess the fundamental desire to seek our origin and the reason for our existence through an understanding of the Universe. Since the establishment in the 20th Century of the Big-Bang theory for the creation of the Universe, astronomers have been striving to describe the dynamics of the evolution of the Universe from material production, the generation of stars and planets, the creation of life forms, up to the birth of human beings.

The 21st century will be the era in which we search for planets and life forms outside the Solar System.

NAOJ is putting its best effort toward playing a key role in establishing a new paradigm for understanding the Universe, the Earth, and life as a whole. For this purpose, we conduct observations of various objects ranging from the Earth to the Universe itself, consider theoretically the fundamental laws behind the observed phenomena, as well as develop the technology to support these activities.