Welcome to the Astronomy Home

The Astronomy branch of Macalester’s Physics Department provides a variety of courses as well as edifying facilities for students interested in the study of the universe itself.

The Astronomy Emphasis physics major allows interested students to explore both theoretical and observational astrophysics. These classes build fundamental skills that are suitable for graduate study in exciting areas such as planets, stars, galaxies, and the nature of the cosmos itself.


The Macalester College Observatory Public Observing Nights program is on hiatus.  For more information, as well as any announcements about when we are able to resume the program, please check the Public Observing Nights page.

Astronomy News

Friday, 8 November 2019: The Statewide Star Party: The Moon and Beyond

Statewide Star Party

The Macalester Observatory will host a special Public Observing Night on Friday, November 8th from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. This is one of more than 30 such events being held at various sites across Minnesota over the weekend, collectively known as the first ever Statewide Star Party, and is part of a continuing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing. Come to Olin-Rice Room 404 for some fun Moon-related educational activities, and (if clear skies permit) observe the waxing gibbous Moon and other celestial objects through our telescopes. Children and adults of all ages are welcome!
For more information: Statewide Star Party

9 September 2019: Seven new tenure-track faculty members have joined Macalester this fall including Physics’ and Astronomys’ Anna Williams! Congratulations, Anna!