Oak Ridge Observatory ( ORO, code: 801), also known as the George R. Agassiz Station, is located at 42 Pinnacle Road, Harvard, Massachusetts. It was operated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a facility of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) from 1933 until August 19, 2005.
Description [ edit ]
The observatory was established in 1933. Through its first 40 years, its primary research focus was on tracking
minor planets and asteroids in the Solar System. Starting in the 1980s, astronomers began to use the facility to measure stars over long periods of time, which led to hunts for extrasolar planets, i.e., planets outside the Solar System. Surveys at Oak Ridge found many such distant planets.
telescope east of Texas in the United States is the 61-inch reflector (see . However, most of its projects were discontinued in 2005. Hobby-Eberly Telescope) Harvard University's Optical SETI program continues at the site.
It also housed an 84-foot (26 m) steerable
radio telescope once used in Project BETA, a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A 41-cm (16-inch) Boller and Chivens Cassegrain reflector originally housed at Oak Ridge is available for public use at the National Air and Space Museum's Public Observatory Project on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
main-belt asteroid 4733 ORO, discovered at Oak Ridge in 1982, was named in honor of the observatory.
List of discovered minor planets [ edit ]
In addition to the discoveries below, the
Minor Planet Center inconsistently credits some asteroids such as 4760 Jia-xiang directly to the Harvard College Observatory although they have been discovered at Oak Ridge.
(12319) 1992 PC 2 August 1992
(13635) 1995 WA 42 22 November 1995
(14416) 1991 RU 7 8 September 1991
(14830) 1986 XR 5 5 December 1986
(15731) 1990 UW 2 16 October 1990
(16437) 1988 XX 1 7 December 1988
(17400) 1985 PL 1 13 August 1985
(26809) 1984 QU 24 August 1984
(43755) 1983 RJ 1 5 September 1983
(168315) 1982 RA 1 13 September 1982
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]
Oak Ridge Observatory
Harvard Optical SETI
Boston Globe: "Lights out", June 28, 2005 Bok, B. J., Ewen, H. I., & Heeschen, D. S., "The George R. Agassiz radio telescope of Harvard Observatory", Astronomical Journal, Vol. 62, p. 8, 1957.