The Wheaton College Department of Physics and Astronomy maintains a astronomical observatory located on the roof of the Mars Center for Science and Technology. It currently consist of a number of telescopes including

  • Three 12″ Meade LX600 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector telescopes (SCT),
  • Three 14″ Celestron Edge HD SCTs,
  • Seven Celestron CPC-1100 SCTs,
  • A 20″ Dobsonian, and
  • Ten Orion StarBlast 4.5″ Newtonian reflectors.Many of our telescopes are equipped with CCD cameras and are remotely controlled from computer terminals within the department.
Sky-high view of the Wheaton College Astronomy Observatory

 

Observatory Open Nights

  • All Observatory Open Nights are Friday evenings.
  • Start times vary depending on season and rise and set times of observing highlights.
  • Check back to this page for an updated weekly schedule. The Friday Observatory Open Night event is free of charge.
  • Please check the ‘Status’ of the observing night in the Clear Sky Chart below, before coming. Given New England weather, often we are forced to postpone our decision until noon on Friday.

 

SCHEDULE

SPRING 2024 SCHEDULE
Date Time Description
February 23   7 pm Full Moon CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER
March 1   7 pm
March 8   7 pm
March 15   —– Closed, College Spring Break                                       
March 22   8 pm Full Moon
March 29   8 pm
April 5   8 pm
April 12   8 pm Crescent Moon
April 19   8 pm Gibbous Moon
April 26   8 pm
May 3   8 pm Last Open Night of Spring Semester

 

Directions to the public nights

Groups

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.

Clear Sky Chart


Clear Sky Chart

 

Photos taken by our astronomy student, Yanni Papakostas: