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Why Join?

Student looking through a telescope

Membership donations are pivotal to keeping the Observatory an active and vibrant Cincinnati institution since our founding in 1843. 

In 1842, our founder, Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel engaged a committed group of Cincinnatians to invest $25 each with the goal of securing the finest telescope available for America's first public observatory. With additional fundraising and a donation of land, as well as skilled talent and needed supplies, the telescope was purchased in Munich, Bavaria and the Observatory was born. Since then, the Observatory has made a lasting impact for many generations in Greater Cincinnati, as well as serving as an important institution in the greater astronomy and space science community. The same telescope purchased so many years ago is used on a daily basis to ‘wow’ school students and adults alike with the wonders of the universe. Modern visitors to the Observatory can’t help but marvel at the beauty and elegance of the telescopes, as well as the stunning architecture of the National Historic Landmark buildings.

Please continue the Observatory’s legacy with a membership contribution in order to assure that the telescopes and grounds are available for the next generations of star gazers. Please note that memberships are tax deductible.

Join the Observatory Using Our Online Form  

You can also join the Observatory's mailing list by clicking here! 

For questions regarding membership, please contact our Executive Director, Anna Hehman at

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