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.
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.
||CANCELED DUE TO RAIN|
|October 6||7 pm|
|October 13||7 pm|
|October 20||7 pm||First Quarter Moon|
|October 27||7 pm||Full Moon|
|November 3||6 pm|
|November 10||6 pm|
|November 17||6 pm||Crescent Moon|
|November 24||—||Closed Thanksgiving|
|December 1||6 pm|
|December 8||6 pm|
Directions to the public nights
- Come directly to the Observatory, 4th floor, Mars Science Center.
- Click here for a printable campus map. Parking lots 7, 8, and 9 are close to the Observatory.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-286-3979.
Clear Sky Chart
Photos taken by our astronomy student, Yanni Papakostas: