Since the foundation of the Spanish Navy Observatory (Real Observatorio de la Armada, ROA), the mission of the Astronomy Section has been the observation and theoretical studies of the positions of the stars and Solar System bodies. At first, the observations were focused on the stellar objects needed to publish the Nautical Almanac and the Astronomical Ephemerides. Once the objectives of the Observatory were extended and all the stellar objects reachable with the Observatory instrumental capability and working techniques were observed, mainly those recommended by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Therefore, Astrometry is the main research field for the Astronomy Section. New instrumental, calculation and research techniques have been incorporated over the course of time in a constant effort of the ROA to be at the vanguard of astronomical science. International collaboration has been very important in this process of continuous upgrading of the Astronomy Section of the Observatory.

The agreements signed with several Spanish universities and institutions like the University of Cádiz (UCA), the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias (IAC) and the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona (RACAB); stress the willingness of the Spanish Naval Observatory and its Sections to be involved in the development of subjects of mutual interest. This involvement is being carried out by means of doctoral studies or conducting joint investigations.

To achieve its objectives, the Astronomy Section is divided into three Services: Wide-field Astrometry, Solar Astrometry Service and Meridian Astrometry Service.


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