The Salem State University Collins Observatory




Observatory Status: The weather forecasts are predicting clear to mostly clear skies this evening. Therefore, Collins Observatory will be open this Monday, February 27, 2017. If you’re new to Salem State University, or haven’t been up to the observatory before, check us out when we open. We’re on the roof of Meier Hall. Please keep in mind that the temperatures are generally colder in the dome than at ground level, so please dress appropriately.

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. 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?

  • Venus is well below Mars in the western sky when we open, and will disappear in early March, so see it if you can.
  • Mars is low in the western sky at sunset, but is still visible when we open. March is the last month that we’ll be able to view it, as it will disappear in April
  • Uranus, though small in the eyepiece, may still be visible until early March as well.
  • Jupiter will reappear shortly before we close this evening, but will continue to rise earlier each night, and will dominate the sky this spring.
  • Orion, which is the deep sky showpiece of the winter, is visible just past due south as we open.

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.