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historic building with big dome

Allegheny Observatory

The Allegheny Observatory is one of the major historic astronomical research institutions of the world.  It is located in Riverview Park, four miles north of the Golden Triangle (downtown Pittsburgh) and eight miles from the University of Pittsburgh of which it is an integral part.

The Allegheny Observatory was an initial pioneer in research in the United States and this continues to be an important function of the observatory. Its telescopes and instrumental equipment are available for use by students of the university, and observatory astronomers use it to teach university classes.   Throughout its long history the observatory has always been aware, too, of its obligation to allow the public to become acquainted with the wonders of the night sky by actual observations and illustrated lectures.

Astronomy, the oldest of the sciences, is education in its purest form, for astronomy exists only because people want to know and understand the universe that surrounds them.  

--Theodora M. Lauterbach--

Observatory at night with dome open
Undergraduate Education at the University of Pittsburgh

There are a variety of undergraduate classes at the University of Pittsburgh that use the observatory. Astronomy 0086 is an introductory class offered three times every two years.  Astronomy 1263 includes significant research projects and is offered to majors once every two years.

Undergraduate research includes the STEPUP program. 

full view of the building
Public Tours and Lectures

The evening public tour program operates on Fridays from April through October and on Thursdays in May through August.

Field trip and group reservations are available for day or evening tours.

There is no cost but reservations are required.