The SBO follows a dynamic tradition of astronomical observatories that date back long before telescopes. Observatories helped ancient people plot stars for navigation across seas and deserts, to know when to plant and harvest crops, and even when to go to war. But the invention of the telescope revealed significantly more stars in the sky than ever seen before, moons circling other planets, and they led to scientific investigations into the nature of light itself. In particular, astronomers learned how to "read" the light to know what distant objects are made of. When radio signals from space were detected, many observatories were built to scan the sky for light we cannot see. Observatories like the SBO have a powerful role in the exploration of the Universe. CU Science Update is a production of the Journalism and Mass Communication program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Hosted by Katie LaSalle.

CU SCIENCE UPDATE