Public Events

Visiting Van Vleck Observatory

There are several choices for the public to visit the observatory and view the sky through our telescopes. In order to safely welcome back the community to campus, we will be working with the Middletown Parks & Recreation Department to streamline attendance for our public events.

 Space Nights at Van Vleck Observatory  

Join us to learn about what's up in the night sky. Each Space Night starts with a half-hour interactive presentation by a member of our department (astronomy majors, graduate students, or faculty)  on a topic of space news or recent discoveries in astronomy, followed by observing through the telescopes when it's clear. Aimed at high school level and above, but all visitors are welcome. Attendees must follow Wesleyan's current COVID visitor policies, available here.

Schedule:  Wednesdays from 8:00-9:00PM at Van Vleck Observatory. September 13th, 20th, 27th; October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th; November 1st, 8th, 15th, 29th (NOT Nov 22); and December 6th.

To stay informed about the latest Astronomy events at Wesleyan, subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email with the subject line "subscribe astro-events" to:

 Kids' Night at the Observatory  

 Join us for kid-friendly space-related activities led by Wesleyan students, including stargazing with the campus telescopes when it's clear. Aimed at elementary school ages, but open to all.  Attendees must follow Wesleyan's current COVID visitor policies, available here.

Schedule: Friday, September 29th, 7:30pm; Friday, November 3rd and Friday, December 1st, 7pm

Free registration is required! Register here through Middletown Parks and Rec. For entrance to this event, please give the name you registered under at the door, only those who have registered will be admitted. UPDATE: All dates are fully registered, please check back for our Spring 2024 dates.

 Monthly Saturday Night Observing (Runs All Year Long)  

One Saturday a month. Organized and hosted by the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford (ASGH), these observing sessions use our refurbished 20" refracting telescope. For details, schedule, and the COVID-19 policy please visit the ASGH website. ASGH has scheduled Saturday, September 9th and Saturday, October 28th from 9-11PM for public observing. Please check their website for more details.

Group Visits

We are happy to host group visits for school groups, scouts, or other similar parties. We do not host private functions at the observatory. Day and night visits are possible. To schedule a group visit, please contact Roy Kilgard. Please note that group visits are limited in size. Groups wishing to observe through the telescope are limited to 12, while daytime tours can be somewhat larger.

CCSU Planetarium Shows

Join our friends at CCSU for a tour of the heavens in their planetarium. You can find schedules and details  on their website.

Getting to the Observatory

Directions to the observatory can be found on our  directions page

 Clear Sky Chart:  Black background, blue writing "Observing @ Van Vleck"

Events Calendar

Mailing List

To keep up-to-date on all the events at the observatory, you may subscribe to our mailing list. To subscribe, send an email with the subject line "subscribe astro-events" to: