Founded by a group of wealthy industrialists called the Allegheny Telescope Association, the observatory initially was intended to be used for public education. Due to financial reasons, however, the focus shifted to research in 1867, and the buildng was donated to the university.
Research done at the observatory focuses on detecting extrasolar planets by measuring the brightness of stars. Lectures, an annual open house and public tours are offered without charge from April through October.
– Beth Turnbull, WordWrite Communications