Macalester observatory

Public Observing Nights–on hiatus indefinitely

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions and in following the current guidance and recommendations provided by MDH and the Infectious Disease Task Force at Macalester, our Public Observing Nights program is on hiatus. We have no plans to resume as of Fall 2021. We will continue to follow these recommendations, which are evolving from day to day. When we are able to resume offering Public Nights safely, we will do so. Please watch this web page for any announcements related to the resumption of Public Nights at the Macalester Observatory. Updates are also available at our Public Nights Facebook group page (see below).

Public Observing Nights

On observing nights our 16-inch telescope will be open for viewing and education. Public 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!

Weather Updates and Cancellations

For weather updates, cancellations or other amendments to this schedule, please refer to the  at .
Macalester Public Observing Nights Facebook group page:

Directions to Observatory

  1. To access the telescope, enter Olin Rice Hall via either of the NORTH entrances on the NORTH side of the building.
  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

Public Observing Nights Schedule–No nights scheduled for 2021 until further notice.