Astronomy and Space Sciences
Astronomy, which means “science of the stars”, is one of the important branch of 21st century’s sciences. It concerns with distribution, movement, chemical composition, evolution and physical characteristics of every type of matter and relations/interactions with one to another in the universe. Based on the purpose and subject, astronomy has several sub-branches as general astronomy, astrophysics and space sciences. Astronomy is a positive science and not related with astrology.
Establishment and Progress of the Department
The roots of Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences depends on the “Astronomical Institute” which was established in 1944 as a sub-branch of Department of Mathematics to start astronomy research and education. In the beginning, this institute was started educational activities in the main building of Gazi-Ešitim Institute under the mathematics-astronomy double-license department. The Institude was started an effective development process with the appointment of Prof. Dr. E. A. Kreiken as the director in 1954. The Institute was progressed very rapidly during the successful academic administration of Prof. Dr. E. A. Kreiken until his death due to a painful disease in 1964. The Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences owe its today existence to him.
The name of the institute was changed to “Astronomy Chair” in 1965 and to “Department of Astronomy” in 1974. It became a four year full time educational department with a regulation issued in 1976. Finally its’ name was changed to “Department of Astronomy and Space Science” with the Higher Education Law issued in 1982. The department subdivided to two main branches; “General Astronomy” and “Astrophysics”.
Our department has a typical small university observatory to perform observational studies by the staff and undergraduate/graduate students. It is 18 km. away from the city center and established with the great efforts by Prof. Dr. E. A. Kreiken. The observatory officially opened on 26 August 1963 during a scientific meeting entitled “The Structure of Stellar Systems” which was sponsored by NATO and Turkish Military-Research and Development Unit (ARGE). Initially it was a sub-division of the Faculty of Science, later became a independent research institute in 1964 and finally organized as one of the Research and Application Centers of Ankara University in September 1994.
Currently, the department has 2 professors, 2 associated professors, 4 assistant professors, 2 lecturers, 6 research assistants and 1 specialist performing the educational and research activities.
The Main Research Fields are:
1- Stellar photometer and reduction of the related observations
2- Magnetic activity in solar atmosphere
3- Atmosphere of cool strars
4- Analysis of satellite ultra-violet spectra
5- Orbital analysis of binary strars
6- Physical characteristics of the binary stars such as RS CVn, W Uma, Algol and W Ser types.
7- Orbital determination of comets and asteroids
8- Estimation of the Sun and the Moon eclipses
9- Investigation of atmospheric structure of supergiant stars.