Visiting Van Vleck ObservatoryThere are several choices for the public to visit the observatory and view the sky through our telescopes:
Weather-permitting, weekly public observing at Van Vleck Observatory is held on Wednesday evenings during the normal academic semester. Please check the Wesleyan Events Calendar to see if classes are in session. We invite members of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities to come view the skies through our telescopes. The telescope are open from 8:00 - 9:00 pm, however not all objects of interest may be available throughout that time. This event is free and open to everyone. Wednesday night observing will not happen during University holidays or during final exams.
Clear skies are mandatory.
Want to know if observing is happening? Follow us on Twitter! @WesAstro
Organized and hosted by the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford (ASGH), this is a great opportunity to view the sky through our beautiful 20" refractor. Refurbished in recent years in honor of Walter Scott "Scotty" Houston who used this instrument many nights, we can now share this telescope with the public on regular occasions. For details please visit the ASGH website.
2013 Schedule for public observing on our 20" refractor:
May 24, 9:00pm-11:00pm — Friday Commencement/Reunion Weekend Observing
May 25, 9:00pm-11:00pm — Saturday Commencement/Reunion Weekend Observing
June 15, 9:00pm-11:00pm
July 6, 9:00pm-11:00pm
August 3, 9:00pm-11:00pm
September 14, 9:00pm-11:00pm
October 12, 9:00pm-11:00pm
November 1, 9:00pm-11:00pm — Friday Homecoming/Family Weekend Observing
November 2, 9:00pm-11:00pm — Saturday Homecoming/Family Weekend Observing
November 9, 8:00pm-10:00pm
December 7, 8:00pm-10:00pm
January 4, 2014, 8:00pm-10:00pm
Van Vleck Observatory sponsors day and evening group visits to our institution. Daytime tours (usually reserved for school groups) consist of a brief lecture on current astronomical events that can be viewed from one's back yard, a slide show, and a walk through of our facility. Evening tours are usually held on a predesignated evening, which may or may not coincide with Wednesday Public Observing, and are of a rain or shine, open-house nature. To schedule a group visit to the observatory, please contact Roy Kilgard. For Saturday observing, consult the ASGH website. For Wednesday observing, consult the Middletown weather forecast.directions page.
For those joining us from off campus please DO NOT PARK IN THE OBSERVATORY PARKING LOT.Parking is available on Vine St. near the tennis courts. To get to the observatory from there cross the street and take the long stairs to the top of the hill. The observatory is the stone building with all the white domes on it. A campus map can be found here.