National Register of Historic Places in Mendocino County

National Register #91001936: Ukiah Latitude Observatory in Mendocino County, California 12 September 2010
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National Register #91001936
Ukiah Latitude Observatory
432 Observatory Avenue
Built 1899

From the Wikipedia entry, International Latitude Observatory:

The International Polar Motion Service program was created by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1899 to study the precession, or "wobble" of the Earth's axis, and its effect on measures of latitude. Six separate observatories were created along the parallel 39º 08' north latitude. The alignment of all six stations along the parallel helped the observatories to perform uniform data analysis. Twelve groups of stars were studied in the program, each group containing six pairs of stars. Each night, each station observed two of the star groups along a preset schedule and later compared the data against the measurements taken by the sister stations.

Economic difficulties and war caused the closings of some of the original stations, though a newer station was created in Uzbekistan after World War I. The various stations continued to function until advances in computer technology and satellite observations rendered them obsolete in 1982. The data collected by the observatories over the years still has use to scientists, and has been applied to studies of polar motion, the physical properties of the Earth, climatology and satellite tracking and navigation.

The observatories were located in Gaithersburg, Maryland; Cincinnati, Ohio; Ukiah, California; Mizusawa, Japan; Charjui, Turkestan; and Carloforte, Italy.

This property may have been delisted.

It is included in, but it is not included in the National Park Service Focus Database.

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