The Salem State University Collins Observatory




Observatory Status: The weather forecasts are calling for partly cloudy skies this evening, and clouding up later, but from the sky around here, and the weather maps as I see them, it will be mostly cloudy with deteriorating conditions.  Since most of the observable objects tonight will be deep sky objects that are heavily affected by clouds, I have decided that Collins Observatory will be closed tonight, Monday, December 11, 2017. We will try reopen next Monday, December 18, 2017, weather permitting. Please note: Collins Observatory will be closed on Monday, December 25, 2017 and Monday, January 1, 2018 for the holidays. We will reopen on Monday, January 8, 2018, 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, 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 Planets Uranus and Neptune are the only planets currently visible when Collins Observatory is open. They are currently in the south southeastern sky, and may be visible after twilight ends.
  • M42, which is one of the best deep sky objects, is above the eastern horizon when we open the observatory, and should put on a great show for several months.

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.