The Paris Observatory (in French, Observatoire de Paris or Observatoire de Paris-Meudon) is the foremost astronomical observatory of France, and one of the largest astronomical centers in the World. Its historic building is to be found on the Left Bank of the Seine in central Paris, but most of the staff works on a satellite campus in the Meudon suburb of Paris.
Administratively, it is a grand établissement of the French Ministry of National Education, with a status close to that of a public university. Its missions include:
- Research in astronomy and astrophysics;
- Education (four graduate programs, Ph.D. studies);
- Diffusion of knowledge to the public.
It maintains a solar observatory at Meudon and a radio astronomy observatory at Nançay. It was also the home to the International Time Bureau until its dissolution in 1987.
Meudon 33-inch Great Refractor
The Meudon great refractor (Meudon 33-inch) was a 83 centimetres (33 in) aperture refractor, which with September 20, 1909 observations by E.M. Antoniadi helped disprove the Mars canals theory. It was a double telescope completed in 1891, with secondary having 62 centimetres (24 in) aperture Lens
for photography. It was one of the largest active telescopes in Europe
Also known as the Observatoire du Pic de Château Renard, the Observatoire de Saint-Véran was built in 1974 on top of the Pic de Château Renard (2900 m), on the commune of Saint-Véran in the Haut Queyras (Hautes Alpes département). A coronograph was in operation there for ten years; the dome was moved there from the Perrault building of the Observatoire de Paris.Nowadays, the AstroQueyras amateur astronomy association operates the facility, using a 60 cm telescope on loan from the Observatoire de Haute Provence
. Numerous asteroids have been discovered there.