The Iranian National Observatory (INO) is now operational, with its first images now available (see sample below). After 20 years and $25 million, Iranian astronomers now have their own view of the heavens. Fine tuning of the telescope is underway, but it should soon be ready for its initial focus on the evolution of galaxies and stars as well as the study of exoplanets.
Sadly, this positive scientific news is overshadowed by international sanctions, riots in Iran, and the nation’s involvement in the sale of drones to Russia now being used to bomb Ukrainian cities.
Even with all of these problems, INO Project Director Habib Khosroshahi, an astronomer at the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences in Tehran, recently stated in Tehran Times, “The door is open from our side…” for collaboration with other science teams around the world.
It would be great if collaborative science could continue in this time of strife, as demonstrated by work on the International Space Stations, but it will be very difficult.