After more than a decade of inviting visitors to observe the wonders of our universe, the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory is now entering a period of revitalization and transformation. While we transform, we are closed to the public. We expect that a brand-new, permanent Observatory will open in 2026 on the east terrace next to the Bezos Learning Center.
In the meantime, you can explore other astronomy programs by visiting our events page.
Astronomy programming is made possible by a gift from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation in honor of Phoebe Waterman Haas.
About Phoebe Waterman Haas
Phoebe Waterman Haas received her doctorate in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1913 — one of the first American women to earn such a degree. She also studied at the historic Lick Observatory near San Jose, California. She is believed to be the first woman to directly use the Lick telescope, which with its 36” lens was one of the largest telescopes in the world at that time. The observatory was named for her in recognition of a $6 million donation from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation to establish an endowment for the Museum's Public Observatory Program. It is the largest donation ever given to the Museum for science education programming. Phoebe Haas was the grandmother of the foundation's president, Thomas W. Haas.