the Birthplace of american astronomy

See through the oldest public telescope in the country.

First Light Night



Welcome to the


We are a fully functioning 19th century observatory used daily by the public and amateur astronomers, civic organizations, teachers and students, and history buffs.



A National Historic Landmark


Step back in time and space.

Explore the beautiful buildings and see through the large, historic telescopes which saw first light in 1845 and 1904.



 Sunday April 12, 7pm

Tonight we celebrate 170 years as the Birthplace of American Astronomy!.   

Guest speaker is architect Paul Muller, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) 

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History and Architecture


Two of Cincinnati's fabled seven hills are named because of us.  The science of meteorology started here.  And our main building, built in 1873, was designed by Cincinnati's premier architect.   

Learn more during our History Tours on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 1-4pm. 
Next program is April 12







Providing the astronomical pictures of our generation, the Hubble Space Telescope turns 25.  

Take a Look


First Light Night

Join Us

Join, donate, and volunteer to make the "Birthplace of American Astronomy" a vibrant center for education and wonder

Public Events

See "What's Up" at the Observatory.  Each season has a new planet, star cluster, or nebula to explore

School Programs

Plan a field trip, schedule an outreach visit to your classroom, or gather the scouts for an evening at the Observatory