Astronomy Research Guide

Welcome to the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' Astronomy Research Guide. This is a select list of mostly freely-available resources for students, teachers, and researchers to learn about astronomy. This guide is complimented by our Aeronautics Research Guide and our Earth and Space Science Research Guide. Please feel free to Contact Us with suggestions for additional resources or with questions.

Clubs, Departments, and Societies


  • Absolute Astronomy: General facts and information site on astronomy - commercial site.
  • Astronomical Almanac Online: Online astronomical almanac jointly maintained by the U. S. Nautical Almanac Office in the United States (USNO) and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO) in the United Kingdom.
  • Astronomy Dictionary and Glossary
  • Astronomy Thesaurus: Astronomical thesaurus maintained by the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Australian National University.
  • Astroweb: General, searchable astronomy site with links to astronomy-related information on the Internet.
  • Earth and Sky: Site of the award-winning science radio program Earth and Sky.
  • Site that provides information everything space.
  • Sunrise/Sunset Calendars: Site provides sunrise and sunset times, as well as moonrise and moonset times - commercial site.
  • Wikisky: uses the wiki-eye on space. Use the draggable space model with highlighted constellations, submit your own star information and view a model of the stars that are above you in real time.

Image Collections




  • Allegheny Observatory: Observatory affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The observatory is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Apache Point Observatory: Observatory located in the Sacramento Mountains in Sunspot, New Mexico.
  • Appalachian State University's Dark Sky Observatory: Observatory located in Boone, North Carolina affiliated with Appalachian State University.
  • Cloudbait Observatory: Robotic observatory located in the Colorado Rockies (Guffey, Colorado).
  • College of Staten Island Astrophysical Observatory: NASA funded observatory located at the College of Staten Island, New York.
  • Custer Institute and Observatory: Observatory located on Long Island, New York.
  • Dudley Observatory: Observatory located in Albany, New York. It is the oldest independent astronomical research organization in the United States.
  • Gemini Observatory: Observatory with two Gemini telescopes at two different sites, Mauna Kea, Hawaii and Cero Pachon, Chile.Cerro Pachón, Chile.
  • Griffith Observatory: Observatory located in Los Angeles, California. The observatory sits on s south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in L.A.'s Griffith Park, it commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin, including downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory: The observatory is United States astronomical observatory located on the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O'odham Nation, southwest of Tucson, Arizone. The observatory is considered to be part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), although some of the telescopes located here, belong to other groups such as the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. With 23 telescopes, it is the largest, most diverse gathering of astronomical instruments in the world.
  • Lick Observatory: Observatory located on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California. It is owned and operated by the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • McDonald Observatory: Observatory located the town of Fort Davis, Texas. The observatory is under the auspices of the University of Texas, Austin.
  • Minneapolis Planetarium:The Minneapolis Planetarium is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Mount Wilson Observatory: Observatory located on Mount Wilson in Southern California.
  • National Solar Observatory: The National Solar Observatory has two observing facility locations: Kitt Peak, Arizona and Sacramento Peak, New Mexico.
  • Ott Planetarium: The Ott Planetarium is located at Webster State University, Ogden, Utah.
  • Palomar Observatory: Observatory is located in North San Diego County, San Diego, California. It is home to five telescopes, and is under the auspices of the California Institute of Technology.
  • Steward Observatory: Observatory located at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
  • U.S. Naval Observatory: One of the oldest scientific agencies in America. Official Source of Time for the Department of Defense (DoD),lobal Positioning System (GPS),and a Standard of Time for the United States. 
  • University of Virginia Observatories: Observatories either located on the University of Virginia's campus in Charlottesville, Virgina or observatories that area affiliated with the University of Virginia.
  • Van Vleck Observatory: Observatory located at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
  • Yerkes Observatory: Observatory located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, affiliated with the University of Chicago.



  • Sky and Telescope: Astronomy magazine is considered to be the premier astronomy magazine - commercial site.
  • The Astronomer: Online edition of astronomy magazine for the advance amateur. 
Last Updated March 29, 2021