About Us

The Visitor Centre of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh is housed in the original Observatory Building, beneath the one of the iconic green telescope domes. Our purpose is to promote and respond to public interest in astronomy, support science education, and promote access to the work of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

As well as being a historic site, The Royal Observatory Edinburgh is a working observatory which houses nearly 140 staff and students. It encompasses two organisations: The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) and the Institute for Astronomy (IfA). The UK ATC is part of UK Research and Innovation, and the IfA is part of the University of Edinburgh.

Engineers at the UK ATC design extremely sensitive cameras and other instruments for many of the world's best telescopes and for the big telescopes of the future. They are also finding innovative ways of using this technological expertise in fields outside of astronomy, including earth observation and medicine.

The research of scientists at the IfA tackles many of the big questions in astronomy, including the search for life-bearing planets and studying the oldest and most distant objects in our universe.

Work with us

We have a team of Observatory Educators, who work on a casual basis. Their role is to deliver our schools and public programme, which includes:

  • Delivering outreach sessions for local schools
  • Running activities for schools and uniformed groups visiting the observatory
  • Leading tours of the observatory for private groups and public events
  • Presenting talks and demonstrations for a variety of audiences

Currently the team consists of science communicators, undergraduate and postgraduate astronomy students, amateur astronomers and retired staff of the Observatory.

We are always interested to hear from people who might like to join the team. You need to have enthusiasm for science, in particular astronomy, and some experience of public speaking, working with the public or science communication. You do not necessarily need to be an expert in astronomy, as we provide training in specific astronomy topics that we cover.

If you are interested in working with us as an Observatory Educator, please email us at vis@roe.ac.uk expressing your interest and attach a copy of your CV.