The Observatory & Astronomy

In 2009 Scotland was ranked number one in the world in space science! Opened in 1896, the Royal Observatory Edinburgh site is at the heart of Scotland and the UK's astronomical success. The site has a special place in the world of astronomical heritage, science and technology.

Today, with nearly 140 staff and students, the site's main speciality is in technology. We design extremely sensitive cameras and other instruments for many of the world's best telescopes and for the big telescopes of the future.

Our science using the instruments built here, includes the search for life-bearing planets and studying the oldest and most distant objects in our universe. Our astronomers also tackle many of the other big questions in astronomy.

We are now finding innovative ways of using our technological expertise in fields outside of astronomy, including earth observation and medicine.

Our heritage of buildings and collections, including the internationally significant Crawford Collection of astronomical books, completes the story of a site that has an inspirational place in the past, present and future of astronomy.

For all the very latest developments in the wider world of astronomy, go to the Portal to the Universe.