Macalester observatory

Observatory Nights–Fall 2023

Observatory Nights for the Macalester College community resume for the fall semester on Thursday evenings beginning September 14th.

Since all campus buildings remain secure and can only be accessed by MacPass card access, that means that these Observatory Nights are open to the Macalester community only, and are not available to the general public at this time.

Observatory Nights Schedule

Dates: Observatory Nights will be held weekly on Thursday evenings, from 14 September through 7 December.

Times: 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Any cancellations, amendments, or changes to this schedule will be announced in the Mac Daily and on this web page.

About our Observatory Nights

On observing nights our 16-inch telescope will be open for viewing and education. Observatory Nights is an ongoing student-run event which allows the greater Macalester College community to take advantage of the college’s science-grade observatory.

Weather permitting, potential targets include the Moon, planets, globular clusters, star clusters, binary star systems, galaxies, and planetary nebulae. In the case of cloudy skies, poor visibility, or precipitation, we will not be able to open the dome for observing; however, if you would still like to see the facilities and chat about the universe, our astronomy students will be present to show the dome and answer questions. Hope to see you there!

Directions to Observatory

  1. To access the telescope, enter Olin Rice Hall using MacPass access.
  2. Take the stairs or service elevator on the SOUTHWEST side of the building up to the fourth floor.
  3. Enter the first room on the left — you will see a spiral staircase.
  4. Ascend the spiral staircase to the roof. The dome is only accessible by this staircase.

Contact Info

Brian Adams
Laboratory Supervisor and Observatory Manager
[email protected]