National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

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National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (国立天文台, kokuritsu tenmondai), also known as NAOJ,[1] is a Japanese astronomy research organization. NAOJ has several facilities in Japan; and it has an observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Entrance at Mitaka, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



NAOJ was established in 1988.[2] Three institutions merged. They were the

In 2004, NAOJ became part of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS). NINS was created to promote collaboration among researchers of the five constituent institutes.[3] NAOJ merged with four other national institutes. They were


  • 1888 Tokyo Astronomical Observatory was established by the University of Tokyo
  • 1899 Latitude Observatory was established in Mizusawa.
  • 1908 Astronomical Society of Japan established.
  • 1949 Nobeyama University Atmospheric Research Center established
  • 1960 Okayama Astrophysical Observatory established
  • 1981 Hinotori satellite launched
  • 1988 NAOJ established
  • 1992 Nobeyama Radio Heliograph began observations
  • 1996 Introduction and open use of super computers
  • 1997 HALCA satellite launched
  • 1999 Subaru Telescope begain working on Mauna Kea in Hawaii
  • 2004 NAOJ merged into NINS
  • 2006 Ishigakishima Obervatory established, Akari satellite launched
  • 2007 Kaguya satellite launched


The Headquarters, Astronomy Data Center, Advanced Technology Center, Public Relations Center
Solar Flare Telescope, Sunspot Telescope, TAMA 300 gravitational wave detector
Tokyo Photoelectric Meridian Circle
Historical instruments: Solar Tower Telescope, 65cm refractor dome, 20cm refractor dome 35°40′31″N 139°32′17″E / 35.6752172°N 139.5380831°E / 35.6752172; 139.5380831
45m Millimeter Radio Telescope, Nobeyama Millimeter Array, Nobeyama Radio Heliograph

35°56′28″N 138°28′13″E / 35.9410112°N 138.4702528°E / 35.9410112; 138.4702528

20m radio telescope, 10m VLBI radio telescope

39°08′06″N 141°08′00″E / 39.1350952°N 141.1332035°E / 39.1350952; 141.1332035

Historical building: Dr. Kimura Museum
  • Norikura Solar Observatory at Mount Norikura, Nagano
10cm Coronagraph, 25cm Coronagraph

36°07′01″N 137°33′09″E / 36.116925°N 137.552528°E / 36.116925; 137.552528

  • Okayama Astrophysical Observatory at Mount Chikurinji, Okayama.
188cm telescope, 91cm telescope, 65cm Coude-Type solar telescope

34°34′34″N 133°35′39″E / 34.5760726°N 133.5941148°E / 34.5760726; 133.5941148

  • VERA 20m radio telescopes
Ogasawara. 27°05′30″N 142°13′00″E / 27.09167°N 142.21667°E / 27.09167; 142.21667
Iriki. 31°44′52″N 130°26′24″E / 31.7478213°N 130.4399443°E / 31.7478213; 130.4399443
Ishigakijima. 24°24′43.834″N 124°10′15.578″E / 24.41217611°N 124.17099389°E / 24.41217611; 124.17099389
  • Hawaii Observatory on the island of Hawaii
Subaru 8m telescope (Mauna Kea) 19°49′33″N 155°28′35″W / 19.825814°N 155.476455°W / 19.825814; -155.476455
Hilo Base Facility (Hilo, Hawaii). 19°42′10″N 155°05′25″W / 19.70289°N 155.0902498°W / 19.70289; -155.0902498




  1. NAOJ is an English acronym. NAOJ stands for "National Astronomical Observatory of Japan".
  2. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), History Archived 2012-06-08 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-8-12.
  3. National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), About the NINS Archived 2012-08-18 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-8-12.

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