The Salem State University Collins Observatory

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Observatory Status: The weather is cooperating on this, our last, regular public observing night of this school year. Therefore, Collins Observatory will be open tonight, Monday, May 6, 2019. We will remain open later tonight to compensate for the later sunset. Note: After tonight Collins Observatory will be closed until we reopen on September 9, 2019, weather permitting, but check back in case we open for a special occasion during the summer. 

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.

Notes:

What’s up tonight?

  • The summer constellations are starting to take over now, but there are still plenty of objects to view in the spring constellations that are still around.
  • It is getting much harder to pick Mars from the background of stars in the far western sky as evening twilight begins. However, it can still be seen in binoculars or small telescopes as a small dot.
  • As May begins, bright Jupiter rises about 11:00 PM, and won’t be high enough to view until after the observatory shuts down for the evening. Then, about two hours later, you will see a much fainter Saturn rising. They will continue to rise earlier as the summer approaches. A small telescope will reveal a wealth of detail from both of them.
  • 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.

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