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Marseille Observatory (French: Observatoire de Marseille) is an astronomical observatory located in Marseille, France, with a history that goes back to the early 18th century. In its incarnation in 1877, it was the discovery site of a group of galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet, discovered by its director Édouard Stephan. Marseille Observatory is now run as a joint research unit by Aix-Marseille University and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Marseille Observatory
Observatory code 014 Edit this on Wikidata
LocationMarseille, France
Coordinates43°18′32″N 5°23′09″E / 43.30889°N 5.38583°E / 43.30889; 5.38583Coordinates: 43°18′32″N 5°23′09″E / 43.30889°N 5.38583°E / 43.30889; 5.38583
Altitude40 m (130 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Established1702 Edit this on Wikidata
Marseille Observatory is located in France
Marseille Observatory
Location of Marseille Observatory

In 2000, Marseille Observatory merged with the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique Spatiale to become the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) within the broader Observatoire Astronomique Marseille Provence which also included the Haute-Provence Observatory.

In 2008, LAM was relocated to a new 10,000 square meter facility in the Technopôle Chateau-Gombert in Marseille. The facility includes two major technology platforms for qualification of space instruments and for fabrication and metrology of optical mirrors. LAM astronomers specialize in cosmology and galaxy evolution, exoplanets and Solar System, and R&D in optics and instrumentation.

In 2012, the Observatoire Astronomique Marseille Provence merged with other earth-sciences research institutes from Aix-Marseille University and became a new entity called the Observatoire des Science de l'Univers Institut Pythéas (OSU-IP) which now includes 6 major labs for earth and universe sciences: CEREGE, IMBE, MIO, LAM. LPED, MIO as well as the Haute-Provence Observatory.

Focault operated his 80 cm silver-on-glass reflector at Marseille Observatory[1] (a telescope with aperture 80 cm (31.5 inches) from about1862 to its retirement in1965.[2] The telescope was noted for being a pioneering design, that used silver-coated glass in a reflecting telescope.[3]


  1. ^ Tobin, William (1987), "Foucault's invention of the silvered-glass reflecting telescope and the history of his 80-cm reflector at the observatoire de Marseille", Vistas in Astronomy, 30 (2): 153–184, Bibcode:1987VA.....30..153T, doi:10.1016/0083-6656(87)90015-8
  2. ^ "1996QJRAS..37..101G Page 101". Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  3. ^ "1996QJRAS..37..101G Page 101". Retrieved 2019-10-05.

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