Historic observatories are the places where modern astronomy was born and our understanding of the universe emerged to be sites of awe and discovery.

Members of the Alliance of Historic Observatories thrive as robust institutions that inspire awe, contribute to advancing astronomical discovery, and carry out our missions.



The Alliance of Historic Observatories (AHO) acts as a vehicle for global collaboration in research, inspiration and engagement, and preservation of historical resources.



Develop strategies for preserving and sharing our legacies with future generations.

Share methods to preserve the infrastructure of historic observatories.

Tell our stories as a model for how the observatories inspire people around the world to foster greater literacy in science.

Become model institutions of youth STEM programs.

1 / 8
Yerkes Observatory south fa├žade (source)
2 / 8
The 24-inch Clark Telescope at Lowell Observatory (Lowell Observatory/S.Gilbert)
3 / 8
The Hale Telescope dome at Palomar Observatory (Palomar Observatory/Caltech)
4 / 8
The 100-inch Hooker Telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory (Mt. Wilson Observatory/D.Jurasevich)
5 / 8
Aerial view of Griffith Observatory (source)
6 / 8
The 36-inch Great Lick Refractor at Lick Observatory (UC Regents/Lick Observatory/C.Schodt)
7 / 8
The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope at Mt. Graham International Observatory (source)
8 / 8
Pic du Midi Observatory (Pic du Midi)

Founding Members and Affiliates

The AHO was established in 2019 as a group of scientifically and historically prominent observatories gathered to consider their future.

Griffith Observatory

est. 1935

Lick Observatory

est. 1888

Lowell Observatory

est. 1894

Mt. Wilson Observatory

est. 1904

Palomar Observatory

est. 1948

Pic du Midi Observatory

est. 1873

Vatican Observatory

est. 1577

Yerkes Observatory

est. 1892

Antique Telescope Society

est. 1991

Explore Scientific

est. 2008

Institute for Student Astronomical Research

est. 2017


AHO Meetings

AHO observatories meet every fall, typically for a couple of days, to discuss and plan alliance matters, exchange ideas, share experiences, and celebrate the achievements of our members. Yerkes Observatory will host the next meeting on 5 - 7 October, 2023.


Visit our Observatories—Virtually

Several of our facilities have virtual tours in video or interactive form. Below are links to these media: