About once a month during the spring and fall semesters, Wellesley students and faculty open the Observatory to members of the public. Visitors are invited to take a tour, listen to talks, and (when clear) look through our 6-inch and 12-inch telescopes.
Public nights are free and will be held regardless of weather conditions. No reservations are required.
Children must be supervised by their grownups. We regret that we cannot accommodate groups.
If you are visiting us for a Whitin Night, please know that the Observatory driveway and circle are closed to vehicles after sunset. (more information)
Talks and activities happen at the scheduled time rain or shine, and telescopic observing only if skies are clear.
- Fri. Feb. 15: Kids' Night Activities 6:30-8pm (accompanied by observing, weather permitting)
- Fri. Mar. 8: SNOWED OUT: POSTPONED UNTIL APRIL 26.
- Fri. Mar. 29: Wellesley Astronomy Students talks at 8pm (accompanied by observing from 8-10pm weather permitting)
- Fri. Apr. 26: Joshua Roth, Ph.D. “An Invitation to Stargazing” talk at 8pm: see description below in Highlights (accompanied by observing from 8-10pm weather permitting)
An Invitation to Stargazing, by Joshua Roth, PhD (April 26): Believe it or not, you can see many of the universe's wonders, from nearby Jupiter to distant galaxies, from your suburban backyard, using relatively inexpensive equipment. That is, if you know where to look! We'll begin the evening with an overview of the season's constellations and then move on to the planets, stars, and nebulas that populate our universe. We'll then look at choosing and using telescopes for backyard astronomy. Weather permitting, we'll observe Jupiter, the Orion Nebula, and the glittering Pleiades, using Whitin Observatory's historic refractors as well as portable telescopes that probably cost less than your cellphone. Books and digital resources to help you further your exploration of the cosmos will be on display.
A lecturer at Emmanuel College and Lesley University, Joshua Roth (www.jrothastro.com) is a Caltech-trained astronomer who served as a longtime editor of Sky & Telescope Magazine. He teaches astronomy, stargazing, and physics courses to the public through the Massachusetts Audubon Society and several community-education programs in the Boston area.