Observatory Status: The weather folks are once again calling for cloudy skies with a chance of rain today. Therefore, Collins Observatory will be closed tonight, Monday, May 2, 2016. We haven’t had much luck with the weather this spring, and are hoping for good weather next week to finish off the observing season. Therefore, Collins Observatory will reopen for the last public observing session this season next Monday, May 9, 2016, weather permitting, and we will remain open until at least 11:00 PM to view the planets. After that Collins Observatory will be closed for the summer, and reopen on Monday, September 12, 2016, weather permitting. We wish everyone has a happy and safe 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. 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 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?
- If you are a skilled solar observer, or if you have special solar glasses (Be careful, as all solar glasses aren’t safe, and read instructions carefully before using.), or solar equipment, and the weather cooperates, you may be able to view the 2016 Mercury transit on Monday, May 9, 2016, from 7:12 AM EDT to 2:42 PM EDT. You can also build a simple “solar pin hole projector” to view it as well. The plans are online. Remember, never look directly at the Sun without serious protective eye gear. Otherwise, it can result in instant blindness! If you have any doubts about safety, view the transit online. Note that Collins Observatory won’t be open for this event.
- Jupiter, along with its moons, is well placed for observing, and will stay that way until we shut down for the summer.
- Mars rises after we normally close. So, if we manage to open next Monday we will remain open until at least 11:00 PM to view it. So keep that in mind, if you wish to see it.
- Saturn will also make an appearance after Mars rises, and we hope to view that as well.
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.