Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Open Nights

Upcoming Public Viewing Open Nights in the Observatory:

  • All Observatory Open Nights are Friday evenings.
  • Start times vary depending on season and rise and set times of observing highlights.
  • Please check the 'Status' of the observing night in the table below, before coming. Given New England weather, often we are forced to postpone our decision till 11 AM of that day.

The Wheaton College Observatory is now closed for the Summer 2017.
We will reopen for the Friday evening Open Observatory program in September 2017.

Schedule for Upcoming Open Nights:

Date and time Observing highlights Status

August 21, 2017 Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing, 1:30 pm - 4 pm ON
 The Wheaton College Observatory, located on the 4th floor of the Mars Science Center, will be observing the upcoming solar eclipse. There will be several telescopes mounted with special filters to allow direct viewing of the Moon as it moves across the Sun. From our location the eclipse is not total but up to 70% of the Sun will be in eclipse. Astronomers and astronomy students will be on hand to answer your questions. Weather permitting. Free


Sept 1      8:00 pm  Saturn

Sept 8      8:00 pm  Saturn

Sept 15      7:30 pm  Saturn

Sept 22      7:00 pm  Crescent Moon, Saturn

Sept 29      7:00 pm  Quarter Moon, Saturn

Oct 6      7:00 pm  Full Moon, Saturn

Oct 13      7:00 pm  Deep Sky

Oct 20      7:00 pm  Deep Sky

Oct 27      6:30 pm  Quarter Moon

Nov 3      7:00 pm  Full Moon

Nov 10      6:00 pm  Deep Sky

Nov 17      6:00 pm  Deep Sky

Nov 24    Thanksgiving Week - Closed

Dec 1      8:00 pm  Moon, Orion

Dec 8      8:00 pm  Orion constellation

Directions to the public nights: On the evenings marked by ** in the above table we will start our show at the Observatory located on the 4th floor of the Mars Science Center. On the remaining evenings we will meet first in the Hindle auditorium which is the old science center auditorium (on Howard St., just off Taunton Rd) for a slide show before proceeding to the Observatory.

Click here for a printable campus map. Parking lots 7, 8, and 9 are close to the Observatory and the Hindle auditorium.

Check back to this page for an updated weekly schedule. The Friday Observatory Open Night event is free of charge.


The Observatory welcomes pre-scheduled small groups to visit our facilities on public viewing nights. We ask that all groups larger than 10 arrange their visits to the observatory so that we can manage the number of visitors to our program. Families and smaller groups are welcome at all times and do not need to make prior arrangements.

For more information about our open nights program, please contact Tony Houser at houser_anthony@wheatoncollege.edu or 508-286-3979.

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