Direct Your Attention to the Sky at Gaithersburg Observatory Park
Observatory Park in Gaithersburg was established in 1899 as part of an international scientific effort of physicists and astronomers to measure the movement of the Earth upon its polar axis. When satellite and computer technology made the historic observatory obsolete in the 1980s, the National Park Service (and later, the city of Gaithersburg) took possession of this important landmark, in order to preserve its role in providing historic and scientific education to the community.
The site’s landscaping and placement of the observatory and meridian pier help to illustrate the movement of planet Earth through space, while copious signage throughout the park explains both the scientific principles the observatory is illustrating, as well as the history of the facility itself. Even if astronomy isn’t your thing, the park is a pleasant outdoor spot to read a book or bring a picnic lunch. You’ll find a small parking lot along DeSellum Avenue.