Harvard Observatory

The Harvard College Observatory (HCO) is an institution managing a complex of buildings and multiple instruments used for astronomical research by the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and was founded in 1839. With the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, it forms part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.HCO houses a collection of approximately 500,000 astronomical plates taken between the mid-1880s and 1989 (with a gap from 1953–68). This 100-year coverage is a unique resource for studying temporal variations in the universe. A project currently is underway to digitally scan and archive these photographic plates.
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