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Astronomical Observatories
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Managed By: Icon Here Astronomers
Historically, observatories were as simple as containing a sextant (for measuring the distance between stars) or Stonehenge (which has some alignments on astronomical phenomena). Modern astronomical observatories typically contain one or more permanently mounted telescopes contained in buildings with a rotating or removable dome.
Expanded Description:

  • The 'Astronomical Observatory' must be a permanent facility.
  • A permanent mount for the telescope is required, minimally a pier for the telescope.
  • Observation buildings should have a movable overhead structure, though radio observatories will clearly be an exception.
  • Please make a single entry for observatories with multiple telescopes.
  • Active and retired facilities are welcome.

    It is your responsibility to obtain permission of the owner before waymarking a private observatory.

  • Instructions for Posting a Astronomical Observatories Waymark:

    Include a default close-up photo and an area photo of the observatory site taken by you.
    Additional photos with proper credits may also be posted.
    -- Please do a search for additional information and fill in the variables as completely as you can.
    -Check the requirements on the previous page before completing this page.
    Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
    Note the time of day of your visit, and your own photo of your favorite part of the observatory. This might be the view from the observatory, picture of your favorite building or favorite exhibit. (Be mindful of flash photography rules!)

    If you participated in an observing session, let everyone know what you saw!

    Category Settings:
    • Waymarks can be added to this category
    • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
    • Category is visible in the directory
    • Observatory Purpose
    • Optical / Infrared Telescopes?
    • Radio Telescopes?
    • Solar Telescopes?
    • Open to the Public?
    • Is this a Club Observatory?
    • Public Viewing Allowed?
    • Active Observatory?
    • Number of Telescopes or Antennas
    • Site URL
    • Year Dedicated or Opened
    • Altitude (meters)
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    Image for Gaithersburg Latitude Observatoryview gallery

    here0 km

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    Astronomical ObservatoriesGaithersburg Latitude Observatory

    in Astronomical Observatories

    One of six world-wide latitude observatories built in 1899. The precise nightly star measurements from here were used to prove and monitor the "wobble" of the earth on its north-south axis. Satellites replaced these observatories in 1982.

    posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member HaricotVert_52

    location: Maryland

    date approved: 8/13/2016

    last visited: 5/25/2015

    Image for Turner Farm Observatory - Fairfax, Virginiaview gallery

    SWSW18.5 km

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    Astronomical ObservatoriesTurner Farm Observatory - Fairfax, Virginia

    in Astronomical Observatories

    Located in Turner Park along the northbound side of Springvale Road.

    posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flyingmoose

    location: Virginia

    date approved: 3/16/2021

    last visited: 1/29/2022

    Image for Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory - Washington, DCview gallery

    SESE31.7 km

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    Astronomical ObservatoriesPhoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory - Washington, DC

    in Astronomical Observatories

    An observatory at the National Air and Space Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution.

    posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote

    location: District of Columbia

    date approved: 11/24/2018

    last visited: 11/23/2018

    Premium Member Downloads: download.GPX Lite File       download.LOC File       download .KML File (Google Earth)