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Astronomical Observatory

Wheaton observatory Planewave telescope

Opening Hours

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 openening 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 (darren.craig@wheaton.edu ) with any questions.

Location 

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.

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Coordinates: 41.8661°N, 88.1069°W

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The observatory is a wonderful place to learn more about the stars. Hundreds of students visit us each semester and many people from the community find their way up to the fourth floor of the Meyer Science Center where the observatory is located. 

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Equipment

The Observatory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including a research grade 24-inch Planewave telescope. Several smaller telescopes on the observatory deck are available for visitors to peek through during the academic year.

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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.

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History

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.