National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Night at Headquarters, Supporting Astronomy

Night Scape Photograph・

Photo of Mitaka campus Main Building

This is NAOJ Mitaka Campus. After going through the main gate and up the following slope, you are greeted by the sight of the NAOJ logo on the front of the building. The Administration Department responsible for the management of NAOJ is in the Main Building. This department is the center of all NAOJ’s many observatories, both inside and outside of Japan. NAOJ's missions are to promote astronomy research and instrument development, as well as to mentor next generation researchers. The Administration Department staff works hard to accomplish NAOJ's missions, so the light you can see through windows is the glitter of NAOJ's heart.

Mitaka Open House Day, the annual open campus, is held every October. We will greet you at the information desk located in front of this building. Before going around the campus, please visit the information desk.

The Night Sky in Summer 2016

When Mitaka Campus was established, Mitaka City was a rural area. Now, that city has developed and lights interfere with the night sky. So, Mitaka Campus is very bright now. Yet in summer of 2016, the bright light of the planets decorating the sky drew the eye. In the middle left, you can see the light trail of Mars moving above the research building and arcing down towards the top of a particularly tall tree. Mars had come closest to the Earth in the end of May 2016. The light path in the upper left, running beside Mars is Saturn. On the lower left of these two planets, you can find Antares, the 1st magnitude star in the constellation Scorpius. Antares and Mars rival each other in their reddishness. On the right, you can see one of the bright stars in the spring constellations, tracing an arc. This star, moving above the NAOJ logo, is Spica in the constellation Virgo. On the upper right of Spica, you can find a bright light trail, which is Arcturus in the constellation Boots. Straight lines in the picture are flight paths; airplanes frequently fly in the sky.

Text by: Seiichiro Naito (Public Relations Center, NAOJ)
Translation by: Hiroko Tsuzuki and Ramsey Lundock (Public Relations Center, NAOJ)

Image Data

Date21:00-23:20 July 6, 2016
PhotographerShogo Nagayama
CreditNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan


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