Wheaton College Observatory

Wheaton observatory Planewave telescope

Opening Hours

In Fall 2023, the observatory will be open M, W, Th, F and normally closed on Tuesday nights.

The Wheaton College Observatory is located on the roof of the Meyer Science Center and is open from mid-September through mid-November in the fall and from mid-March through the end of April in the spring. Normal opening hours are 8-10 PM Monday through Friday when skies are favorable. The observatory serves students taking astronomy courses at Wheaton as well as other visitors from on and off campus as time and staffing allows. Please contact Dr. Darren Craig with any questions.


The observatory is located in the Meyer Science Center, on the corner of University Place and Howard Street. Parking is available across the street from the building at the corner of Howard Street and College Avenue. Access to the observatory is from the 4th floor of the science building.

Campus Map and Directions

Coordinates: 41.8661°N, 88.1069°W

View Weather Underground Dashboard

Observatory Deck Equipment


The observatory crowning the new science center houses a state-of-the-art PlaneWave Instruments CDK24 telescope, with a 24-inch diameter primary mirror and a Corrected Dall-Kirkham design to maximize image clarity and focus over an exceptionally large field of view. The CDK24 has a carbon fiber, dual truss design, with 11 cooling fans to equilibrate the temperature of its mirrors.  

Medium Square Variant

Image Gallery

Every semester students in our astronomy courses take images with the Planewave telescope. Although the skies are often cloudy in Chicago and the lightpollution is severe, these images show how beautiful the universe is beyond what we can see with the unaided eye.

Image of the Lemon, the first observatory at Wheaton

History of the Observatory

Astronomy at Wheaton College has a rich history. Already in 1890 the college was home to a telescope (aka "the Lemon"), situated at that time on Blanchard lawn. Who knows whether the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, who grew up in Wheaton, got inspired by visiting the Lemon on clear nights.

Contact the Physics and Engineering Department

Need assistance? Have a question? Want more information about department activities and opportunities? We're here to help: 630.752.5007 | physics@wheaton.edu