About Us

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The UCI Observatory is managed by the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Located in the fields on the southeastern side of the campus, the UCI Observatory hosts a large, 24-inch computer-controlled telescope and numerous other smaller, portable telescopes. The UCI Observatory is used for educational purposes, including classroom learning and experiments, and serves as a great venue for group and community affairs including K-12 school field-trips, scout troop gatherings, and the popular Visitor Nights at the Observatory.

A vibrant group of leading experts made up of eleven astrophysicists are engaged in teaching and conducting world-leading research on galaxy evolution, dark matter, and super-massive black holes. They use state-of-the-art research facilities like the Keck 10-m telescopes in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope. As a public university, UCI’s mission is to share research breakthroughs with the community, and the UCI Observatory offers a fabulous setting for learning and engagement.  Since 1999, the UCI Observatory has been a great friend of the Southern California community, offering popular lectures and star-gazing opportunities during the Visitor Nights at the UCI Observatory, where individuals and families explore the universe. 

Professor Tammy Smecker-Hane is the director of the UCI Observatory. The team of UCI astrophysicists, along with graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in the UCI Observatory's events and initatives.