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The Institute of Astronomy & Space Science
Al al-Bayt University

by:
Dr. Hanna A. Sabat
Chargé d’Affaire of the Institute

The Institute of Astronomy & Space Science (IASS) was established in 1994 at Al al-Bayt University (AABU) with the aim of preparing local expertise in the various branches of astronomy and space sciences, in order to be able to handle technical developments and perform scientific research in these fields.


The IASS grants the M.Sc. degree in astronomy & space science. Currently, it has three professors and seven M.Sc. students.
Accomplishments of the IASS :

  1. More than 60 students were awarded the M.Sc. degree in the various specialties of astronomy and space sciences.
  2. The establishment of the Maragha Observatory at the University campus, which contains a 16-inch (40-cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector telescope, a CCD camera, one PC, astronomy software, and accessories.
  3. The formation of the nucleus of a modern astronomical library, comprising books, handbooks, magazines, and journals, in the various fields of astronomy and space sciences.
  4. The Jordanian membership of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Thanks to the IASS, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (HKJ) is proud to have become one of the nearly 60 countries that are members of the IAU (from around 190 member states of the United Nations Organization).
  5. The organization of a number of Arab, Islamic & International conferences on astronomy and space science at the IASS/ AABU, the latest of which being the 7th Arab Conference on Physics and Astronomy (7th ACOPA) in 2005, and the 4th Islamic Astronomical Conference (4th IAC) in 2006.

Among the future perspectives of the IASS/ AABU, we would like to mention:

  1. Upgrading the Maragha Observatory (PC & operating system, astronomy software, UBVRI filters, …).
  2. Creating a computational laboratory as part of the IASS/ AABU. This includes modern PCs & mainframe computers and terminals, broadband internet connections, datashow devices, as well as all the software necessary for computational astronomy, astrophysics & space sciences, including statistical, numerical & programming packages.
  3. Increasing the number of professors, researchers and research assistants at the IASS/ AABU, and giving them all the necessary theoretical & practical training in the various fields of such sciences.
  4. Opening new inter-disciplinary programs in cooperation with other departments (such as the Physics Department/ the Faculty of Science, and the Institute of Earth & Environmental Sciences).
  5. Beginning a national site-testing project, as a first step towards the establishment of a large National Observatory (equipped with a one- or two-meter-diameter telescope).


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