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Oak Ridge Observatory
George R. Aggasiz Station, Harvard - 1.jpg
Oak Ridge Observatory
Location Harvard, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates
Established 1933
Closed August 19, 2005

The Oak Ridge Observatory, also known as the George R. Agassiz Station, is located at 42 Pinnacle Road, Harvard, Massachusetts, and was formerly operated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a facility of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).

The observatory was established in 1933. Through its first 40 years, its primary research focus was on tracking minor planets and asteroids in the solar system. Starting in the 1980s, astronomers began to use the facility to measure stars over long periods of time, which led to hunts for extrasolar planets, i.e., planets outside our solar system. Surveys at Oak Ridge found many such distant planets.

Until its closure in 2005, it housed the largest telescope east of Texas in the United States, a 61-inch reflector. It also housed an 84-foot steerable radio telescope once used in Project BETA, a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A 41-cm (16-inch) Boller and Chivens Cassegrain reflector originally housed at Oak Ridge is available for public use at the National Air and Space Museum's Public Observatory Project on the National Mall in Washington, DC.[1]

Harvard University's Optical SETI program continues at the site.

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