Marseille Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in Marseille, France, with a history that goes back to the early 18th century. In its incarnation in 1877, it was the discovery site of a group of galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet, discovered by its director Édouard Stephan. Marseille Observatory is now run as a joint research unit by Aix-Marseille University and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
In 2000, Marseille Observatory merged with the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique Spatiale to become the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) within the broader Observatoire Astronomique Marseille Provence which also included the Haute-Provence Observatory.
In 2008, LAM was relocated to a new 10,000 square meter facility in the Technopôle Chateau-Gombert in Marseille. The facility includes two major technology platforms for qualification of space instruments and for fabrication and metrology of optical mirrors. LAM astronomers specialize in cosmology and galaxy evolution, exoplanets and Solar System, and R&D in optics and instrumentation.
In 2012, the Observatoire Astronomique Marseille Provence merged with other earth-sciences research institutes from Aix Marseille University and became a new entity called the Observatoire des Science de l'Univers Institut Pythéas (OSU-IP) which now includes 6 major labs for earth and universe sciences: CEREGE, IMBE, MIO, LAM. LPED, MIO as well as the Haute-Provence Observatory.