About the industry
The National center for Astronomy is one of the research and development centers affiliated with King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology. It aims at meeting the needs of the Kingdom of research, studies and applications. The most important needed applications include:
- Determining prayer times and the beginning of the lunar month.
- General applications such as determining the right time for agricultural seasons, adjusting the time, solar activities studies, radio observations, spectrum studies in addition to some military applications .
- Enhancing the astronomical sense and awareness and activating the role of astronomical studies in supporting learning and education of all levels
- Enhancing the scientific position of the Kingdom and stimulating interest in science.
The National Center for Astronomy depends on the following capabilities to achieve its objectives:
- The qualified and highly trained specialists in the field of Astronomy.
Developed observatories and observations equipment.
- Initiating close relations with several concerned authorities.
- The ability to do research and professional astronomical observations.
KACST owns seven observatories that were designed to meet the astronomical needs. These observatories are distributed in different areas and cities as follows:
- Umm Al Qura Observatory near Makkah Al Mukarramah, which has a 16-inch telescope.
- Tabuk Observatory, which has a 16-inch telescope.
- Alwajeh Observatory, which has a 16-inch telescope.
The Center also develops devices for astronomical observations, as well as makes a software to analyze astronomical images and control telescopes remotely to observe celestial objects. The center also is working to connect all observatories.