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The Universarium of Nice to ope in late 2020
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The Universarium of Nice to open in late 2020

The Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur is currently undergoing renovation and transformation of listed historic buildings that are part of its structures. The purpose is to make this major international centre for scientific and technical research more accessible to the public at large.

Designed by Gustave Eiffel and Charles Garnier in 1881, the Observatory of Nice will include, after complete renovation, a centre for the dissemination of scientific culture. This cluster, named Universarium, will organise educational activities and exhibitions on a permanent basis to enable the public to discover our astronomic heritage. Visitors will be able to have a close look at the Grande Lunette, one of the world’s largest telescopes still in service.


The Observatory of Nice and the Universarium project with its five edutainment facilities should open to the public in November 2020!

Cost of the programme: €4 million, funded by Région Sud (€2.3 million), the French State (€900,000), Regional Cultural Affairs Directorate (€300,000), City of Nice (€100,000), etc.

Today, 200 researchers, engineers and technicians are working on this site, participating in many international projects, both in Space and on the ground. The Observatory of Nice is one of 28 Observatories for Science and the Universe in France, engaged in constant systematic gathering of data. As an independent establishment and founding member of Côte d’Azur University, it is internationally acclaimed as a jewel for exploration, in particular the recent discovery of an exoplanet, the Matisse Mission in Chile and a gravitational wave detector.

The Observatory’s scientific activities are structured in three research units:

  • ARTEMIS: detection of gravitational waves
  • LAGRANGE: planetology, stellar physics, data analysis and cosmology, fluids and plasma, and turbulence and cosmology.
  • GEOAZUR: Earth Sciences, lithosphere dynamics and metrology of the Near Universe. This unit works closely with Nice-Sophia Antipolis University, CNRS and IRD, with its Ocean Bottom Seismometer. It is pursuing the development of modern underwater instrumentation, including Mermaid drifting hydrophone buoys.

Article published on 04 March 2019