The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 47 US institutions and 3 international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories for the National Science Foundation and NASA. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. In addition, AURA is deeply committed to public and educational outreach, and to diversity throughout the astronomical and scientific workforce. AURA carries out its role through its astronomical facilities.

Our Mission: AURA provides innovative, open resources to enable discovery and excellence in research, to unify the astrophysics communities, and to promote public understanding of our universe and the benefits of scientific exploration.

AURA is responsible for the successful management and operation of its three centers: NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab); the National Solar Observatory (NSO); and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

AURA Strategic Plan 2050 (pdf)

AURA leadership is committed to creating a world in which astrophysics discovery inspires and engages all of humanity.
The AURA Board establishes policies, approves its budget, and elects members of the Management Councils.
There are 47 U.S. Institutions and 3 International Affiliate Members which comprise the Member Institutions of AURA.