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Welcome to the Kakioka Magnetic Observatory

     Routine geomagnetic observations in Japan began at Akasaka (Tokyo) in 1883, during the First International Polar Year (1882 – 1883). The observatory moved to Kakioka (Ibaraki Prefecture) in January 1913, and observations have continued there for more than 100 years.

     The Kakioka Magnetic Observatory performs geomagnetic and geoelectric observations and related research in its role as an auxiliary organization of the Japan Meteorological Agency. Geomagnetic fields, earth currents and atmospheric electricity are operationally observed at the facility in collaboration with the global network of magnetic observatories. Observations are also implemented at two branches in Memambetsu (Hokkaido) and Kanoya (Kagoshima Prefecture), and at an unmanned station in Chichijima (the Ogasawara Islands).

     In 1973, the Kakioka Magnetic Observatory was designated as one of four such facilities worldwide to be involved in the calculation of the Dst index, which represents the strength of the equatorial ring current encircling the earth. It is also Japan's only institute for the standardization and calibration of magnetic instruments.

     In addition to its observation work, the Observatory has also achieved outstanding results in improvement of magnetic instruments and observation techniques, analysis of physical phenomena in the upper atmosphere, and study for the prediction of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It additionally collaborates with a national research project being conducted in Antarctica, dispatching several staff members as part of Japan Antarctic Research Expedition wintering parties to investigate the aurora and other upper-atmosphere geophysical phenomena. Data from the Observatory play an important role in space weather forecasting, magnetic chart production and other areas of research.

Kakioka Magnetic Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency
595 Kakioka, Ishioka-shi, Ibaraki-ken

Positions of the observatories
Latitude (N) Longitude (E)
Kakioka 36 ° 13 ’ 56 " 140 ° 11 ’ 11 "
Memambetsu 43 ° 54 ’ 36 " 144 ° 11 ’ 19 "
Kanoya 31 ° 25 ’ 27 " 130 ° 52 ’ 48 "
Chichijima 27 ° 05 ’ 46 " 142 ° 11 ’ 06 "
(Japanese Geodetic Datum 2000)

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