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is an astronomical observatory at the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...
in the East of England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
. It was first established in 1823 and is now part of the site of the Institute of Astronomy. The old Observatory building houses the Institute of Astronomy Library which has a fascinating collection of modern and historical astronomical books.
There are a set of optical telescopes at the site on the Madingley Road
Madingley Road is a major arterial road linking central Cambridge, England with Junction 13 of the M11 motorway. It passes by West Cambridge, a major new site where some University of Cambridge departments are being relocated....
in the west of Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...
. By modern standards these are small, as well as being affected by light pollution. However, the 36-inch telescope continues to be used for studies of stellar radial velocities and the historic Northumberland and Thorrowgood telescopes are used as part of the public outreach activities of the Institute. Much more significant is the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory
Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory is home to a number of large aperture synthesis radio telescopes, including the One-Mile Telescope, 5-km Ryle Telescope, and the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager...
, built in 1957 a few kilometres southwest.
From 1990 to 1998, the Royal Greenwich Observatory was based in Cambridge in Greenwich House, just to the north of the Observatory.