Leander McCormick Observatory

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Leander McCormick Observatory, on Mt. Jefferson at the University of Virginia, Circa 1915-1928

The McCormick Observatory opened in 1885 as a research facility at the University of Virginia. Philanthropist Leander McCormick bequeathed enough funds to pay for the observatory, which had been originally planned by Thomas Jefferson.

In 1910 the facility was used to track Halley's Comet. [1]

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The observatory is one of the oldest in the world, and as of April 2010 is undergoing renovation[2].

The observatory is open to the public on the first and third Friday of the month for viewings of the night sky.

Apprentice astronomers

  • Charles Pollard Olivier (b. 1884 – d. 1975) was an American astronomer, notable for his contributions to the study of meteors, double stars and variable stars. Charles founder of the American Meteor Society. Born in Charlottesville, he became an assistant in 1910 and a Vanderbilt fellow at the observatory in 1905.


  1. Web. Growing Fainter, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, May 30, 1910, retrieved May 30, 2016 from University of Virginia Library.
  2. Web. McCormick Observatory Gets New Look for Birthday, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, 13 Apr. 2010

External links

Official site