Welcome to the Astronomy Department and the Whitin Observatory
Our academic program is designed to serve both the novice stargazer who wants to explore the workings of the Universe and our place within it, and also majors who will make astronomy a central part of their future lives.
The Whitin Observatory is the home of the Wellesley College Astronomy Department and houses classrooms, astronomy laboratory facilities, the Astronomy Library, and faculty offices. Built in 1900, and enlarged in 1906, 1966, and 2010, it is considered an unusually fine facility for undergraduate training in astronomy, and the telescopes are used for College teaching activities and research observing nearly every clear night. We also open to members of the public during our monthly “Whitin Nights” events.
Our students have many opportunities to engage in astronomy-related activities beyond the formal curriculum. They learn to operate our historic and modern telescopes and serve as nighttime lab assistants, research assistants, and tour guides. They observe the sky for fun as part of club A.S.T.R.O. They can carry out research under the direction of Wellesley faculty and, during the summer, with faculty at other schools within the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium or other NSF-funded programs.
Friends of our Observatory are invited to keep in touch on Facebook.