Director of the Public Relations Center: Toshio Fukushima
|1994||Public Information Office founded|
|1995||NAOJ website launched|
|April 1996||Stargazing parties using the 50-cm Telescope for Public Outreach started|
|June 1998||Public Information Office, New Objects Information Office, and Ephemeris Computation Office combined to form the Public Relations Center|
|July 2000||Mitaka Campus Visitors’ Area opened|
|April 2004||Library Unit and Public Relations Unit added to the Public Relations Center|
|2011||Repsold Transit Instrument registered as an important cultural property|
|2014||Office for Astronomy Outreach added to the Public Relations Center|
|April 2019||Frequency Resource Protection Office added to the Public Relations Center|
Public Relations Office
“A New View of the Universe” at Your Finger Tips
Head: Hitoshi Yamaoka
Internet Information Distribution
We manage the NAOJ website and continue stable, regular information-distribution. We also issue email magazines from time to time.
We release press releases and hold press conferences regarding NAOJ research results, etc.
Internet Live-Relays, Video Production
We broadcast lectures and notable heavenly phenomena, such as solar and lunar eclipses, live via the internet. We also produce videos.
By using data obtained from the observation facilities of NAOJ, such as the Subaru Telescope, we aim to bridge the gap between the public and researchers through research projects in which citizens can participate.
We disseminate information through press releases in English, and host booths at international meetings to build relationships with overseas journalists.
Outreach and Education Office
Striving to Develop Astronomy Education and Science Entertainment
Head: Hidehiko Agata
Department of Public Visits
The Outreach and Education Office conducts tours and special events at Mitaka Campus, which is the open research facility where the headquarters of NAOJ is located. See more
At NAOJ Mitaka Campus there are exhibition rooms open to the public to display the latest research and preserved observational instruments. Group tours are also offered.
We conduct screenings at the “4D2U Dome Theater,” where all-sky images envisioning the structure and evolution of the Universe based on the latest observational data and theoretical research results are projected on the dome screen.
We hold regular stargazing parties (fixed capacity reservation system) in urban areas where the city lights hide the night sky, to look up at the Universe overhead and experience the appeal and wonder of astronomy.
Events related to Cultural Properties
We conduct tours of the historical cultural-property facilities preserved in Mitaka Campus.
The Outreach and Education Office answers questions related to astronomy and space from everyone, offering information to strengthen interest and understanding in astronomy. See more
This website offers answers to questions about first and foremost the Sun and Moon, but also covering all of the Universe, astronomy, the calendar, and NAOJ.
Questions about astronomical phenomena and the calendar that can’t be resolved through the “Frequently Asked Questions,” as well as other astronomy questions are answered via telephone or letters.
Department of Events and Education
The Outreach and Education Office plans and carries out a wide range of events for the purposes of astronomy outreach and education. See more
This department conducts the overall organization for the Mitaka Open House Day, a special public event carried out by NAOJ; the Institute of Astronomy, the University of Tokyo; the Astrobiology Center; and the Department of Astronomical Science, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies.
This department executes various national level outreach and education events.
Since 2010, we have conducted this program for NAOJ astronomers to visit elementary and junior-high schools across Japan and conduct classes.
We conduct outreach and education events in cooperation with NAOJ Mitaka Campus, City Hall, and related organizations.
Department of Content Development
In the Outreach and Education Office, we publish web content, including introductions of the outreach and education activities occurring in each department and reference material for enrich the experience and understanding of astronomical phenomena. We also work on producing printed matter, teaching materials, etc. See more
We compile and publish the “Astronomical Events Information” which lists astronomical phenomena every for each month and explains viewing methods.
We offer Makali`i, educational use data reduction software for FITS images obtained by researchers, free of charge.
We have made available on the internet the series of science posters marketed by the Japan Foundation of Public Communication on Science and Technology, which includes the NAOJ project “U Chu Zu.”
Frequency Resource Protection Office
Protection of the Environment for Radio Astronomy Observations
Head: Masatoshi Oishi
Conferences and Negotiations
We participate in conferences held by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications or ITU and argue back and forth with radio users.
Ephemeris Computation Office
Setting the Japanese Calendar
Head: Masato Katayama
Publication of the Calendar and Ephemeris
We publish information about various heavenly phenomena, such as the apparent positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets.
Release of the Reki Yoko
Particularly important information from the calendar and ephemeris is selected, and an outline of next year’s calendar is published in the first official gazette in February each year.
Compilation of the Calendrical Section of the Rika Nenpyo
As the most trusted “handbook of natural sciences” in Japan, the Rika Nenpyo, with its more than 90 years of history, is published through cooperation with numerous research institutes.
A Hub Library for Astronomy Research in Japan
Head: Mizuho Tamefusa
Storing Domestic and International Books on Astronomy and Related Fields
Opening the Library to the General Public
On weekdays, members of the public are free to use the library.
Preservation and Exhibition of Important Historical Documents
We store about 3000 books, including, Japanese and Chinese books especially those preserved by the Tenmonkata (Astronomer for the Edo Shogunate), almanacs, and occidental books.
Digital Journals for use by NAOJ Researchers
We offer more than 5000 digital journal titles centered on astronomy, space-sciences, and related fields.
We introduce NAOJ through easy to understand publications.
Head: Toshio Fukushima
Issuing the “Annual Report of NAOJ” and “Publications of NAOJ”
We produce the “Annual Report of NAOJ” and “Publications of NAOJ” as needed.
Monthly issues introduce NAOJ research results and topics.
We update the Japanese pamphlet annually and the English pamphlet every 2 years.
Other Printed Materials
We produce calendars, posters, leaflets, and other assorted printed materials for public relations /outreach and education.
Office for Astronomy Outreach
Astronomy for Everyone - In Cooperation with the IAU -
Supervising Director: Hidehiko Agata
The IAU selects NOC’s (National Outreach Contacts) for each country and the OAO conducts astronomy outreach activities through the NOC network.
We publish a peer-reviewed journal focused on astronomy outreach and science communication twice a year.
The Astronomy Translation Network is a global volunteer network that translates astronomy materials into various languages. We now have about 400 volunteers working in several groups to translate each language.
We are promoting the IAU 100 projects as one of the implementing organizations of the IAU 100 anniversary project in cooperation with the IAU 100 Secretariats established at the IAU secretariat and Leiden University. In addition to international distribution of NAOJ telescope kits, we are responsible for the three projects “Inspiring Stars”, “Dark Skies for All”, and “Name ExoWorlds II”.
We hosted “Inspiring Stars” with tactile exhibitions enjoyable by everyone regardless of whether or not they have visual impairment and held workshops in different countries.
Anyone can read the “IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter” issued twice a month by the OAO. It delivers the latest information from around the world, covering everything from local events to international activities.
The OAO distributes astronomy outreach material, particularly through Facebook and twitter, to interact directly with people around the world.
In addition to simple explanations of the latest astronomy topics, we also provide answers for questions the IAU has received from many people around the world over the years, for example, “What are the effects of light pollution?” or “How do I become an astronomer?”