The Salem State University Collins Observatory

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Observatory Status: Collins Observatory is now closed for the summer, we will reopen in September, except with the possible exception as follows. Note: With the university’s permission, we may attempt to open for one evening, weather dependent, in late July to observe Mars at its closest approach. That is not guaranteed, so check back in that time period for an update. 

Please check back on this site for any changes or updates in the future.

Collins Observatory is normally open on CLEAR, or MOSTLY CLEAR Mondays from 7-10 PM, or later depending upon the time of sunset. We’re open during the school year from September to May, and are closed on school holidays, when the school is on vacation, and during the summer. It is also available for special group visits during the year.

The observatory houses a Meade 12-inch LX-200 ACF telescope, which does fairly well in the light polluted skies over Salem.

Please call the observatory at 978-542-6452, if you’re coming from a distance, as the weather is a bit unstable this close to the ocean.


What’s up tonight?

  • The summer constellations will dominate the sky for the next few months.
  • Venus appears as the brightest object, other than the sun and the moon, in the western sky.
  • Jupiter is always spectacular, and will continue to rise earlier as the weeks go on.
  • Saturn currently rises after Jupiter and will show off its rings, even in a small telescope, or moderate power binoculars.
  • Mars will continue to rise earlier as the months go on. Note: If you can go out the view it in the east over the next few months, it will be worth it, as it will become considerably brighter and larger, and will be at its brightest at the end of July, surpassing Jupiter in brightness, before it fades again.

Visit: Map
Located on Rt. 114, ( Lafayette St. ) in Salem, MA. Parking is improving – we suggest you attempt to use the new parking garage in the lower student parking lot, or the street, which is RT. 114, in front of Meier Hall. Meier Hall is the second building from the faculty parking area “A”, and next to the school theater. Enter through the front door on RT. 114. Go down the hall to the back of the building and take a left. There is an elevator about thirty feet down from there on your right. Go on the elevator and press floor “P” (sixth floor). Turn right upon leaving the elevator. Turn left after the double hall doors and go out the glass doors to the roof. Take the stairs on the left to the observatory.

Club Merchandise!

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A non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.