Built in 1900 and expanded in 1906, 1966, and 2010, the Whitin Observatory is a beloved campus landmark and highly esteemed undergraduate astronomy facility.

With a rich history rooted in the College’s earliest years, the Observatory is the spiritual home for generations of astronomy students. Enjoying a library, seminar rooms, and interdepartmental teaching and computer labs, the Observatory welcomes amateur stargazers and future trailblazers.

Our equipment

Primary telescopes include a PlaneWave 0.7-meter reflector, a Fitz/Clark 12-inch refractor, and a Clark 6-inch refractor. Additional equipment includes a Hale spectrohelioscope to study the solar spectrum and a fleet of Meade 8-inch reflectors for observation, digital imaging, and astrophotography.

Public events

About once per month during academic semesters, the student-run A.S.T.R.O. Club hosts public nights, when the Observatory is open to all Wellesley students, faculty, staff, and their families and friends, plus local town residents. Visitors can take a tour, listen to talks, and (when clear) look through the historic 12-inch and 6-inch refracting telescopes. Public nights are free and take place regardless of weather conditions. Please note that the entrances to the 12-inch and 6-inch telescopes require walking up a few steps.

Visitors must park in the Davis Parking Facility and walk to the Observatory. Accessible parking spaces are located near the Science Center.

Whitin Observatory

Whitin Observatory
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
Jonathan Kemp
Observatory Manager