The Salem State University Collins Observatory




Observatory Status: 

Our streak of cloudy Monday nights is continuing. The weather forecast is calling for clouds and snow this evening. Therefore, Collins Observatory will be closed tonight, Monday, February 8, 2016. Also, next Monday is President’s Day, which is a school holiday, so Collins Observatory will be closed. We will reopen the following Monday, February 22, 2016 to the full Moon, weather permitting.

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.

The observatory now 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?

  • Jupiter is rising before 8:00 PM as of February 8, 2016, though it will be too low to observe clearly until about 9:00 PM. However, it will continue to rise earlier each night forward, and dominate the evening sky.
  • The planet Uranus is still visible though it’s low in the west southwestern sky after sunset.
  • The asteroid Vesta is still visible low in the west southwestern sky near Uranus, if the observing conditions are right.
  • If you have a dark sky location and large binoculars, or a good telescope, you may still be able to see comet Catalina before it rapidly fades from view, and the Moon blots it out later this month. For its location, see the Sky and Telescope website, or search the internet.
  • The Orion Constellation is now quite prominent early in the evening sky, with M42 being the showpiece of the constellation.

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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Copyright © 2016 North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club.
A non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.