Association of Universities for Research in AstronomyAlternative names
Records of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Tucson, Arizona.
From the description of Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy records, 1953-1974. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34423049
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) was formed in 1957 by eight universities, including the University of Michigan, for purposes of building and administering the national astronomical observatory. AURA now operates Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile, under contract for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
In the early 1950's American astronomers saw the need for a cooperative observatory to increase observing opportunities on large telescopes. The Flagstaff Photoelectric Conference sponsored by NSF in September 1953, resulted in a request to NSF to appoint a committee to study the needs of astronomy in the United States. By January 1954, Robert R. McMath had assembled the Advisory Panel for the National Astronomical Observatory, and for the next three years the panel studied the problems of the organization and location of the national astronomical observatory.
By 1957 the Advisory Panel had decided on the form of the association that would operate the observatory, and AURA was organized to assume the responsibility of operating it. Shortly thereafter, Kitt Peak was chosen as the site of the observatory, and construction began on a series of telescopes, including the McMath Solar Telescope, the Mayall 4-Meter Telescope, and others.
In 1960 AURA began searching for a suitable observatory site in Chile with the purpose of developing the first large observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. As a result of this survey, the Cerro Tololo, Interamerican Observatory was established in 1963, and construction began on several large telescopes.
The history of AURA since that period has been one of steady growth and increased service to the astronomical community through the two observatories.
From the guide to the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Records, 1953-1974, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|McMath Solar Telescope|