Harvard College Observatory

The Harvard College Observatory ( HCO Harvard College Observatory ) is an astronomical observatory of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. Together with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is part of the Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The observatory was built in 1839 at the suggestion of William Cranch Bond, who was the first director.

1847 refractor with 15 inches ( 42.5 cm) were prepared opening, which was the largest telescope in the world for the next twenty years.

Between 1847 and 1852 made ​​Bond and John Adams Whipple, a pioneer of astrophotography with the large refractor detailed images of the Moon. The recordings made ​​in 1851 at the World Exhibition in London's Crystal Palace, the prize for photography.

Started in the night of 16 July 17, 1850 Bond and Whipple, the first daguerreotype of a star, Vega in the constellation Lyra.

Over time, several asteroids at the Harvard College Observatory were discovered.


  • William Cranch Bond 1839-1859
  • George Phillips Bond 1859-1865
  • Joseph Winlock: 1866-1875
  • Edward Charles Pickering 1877-1919
  • Solon Irving Bailey 1919-1921
  • Harlow Shapley 1921-1952
  • Donald H. Menzel 1952-1953 ( Acting Director); 1954-1966 (Director )
  • Leo Goldberg 1966-1970
  • George B. Field 1971-1972