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Salem State Univ. Observatory

Observatory Status
By Dennis Gudzevich
Posted: 2024-02-26T19:13:37Z

Observatory Status

The weather forecasters are predicting clear to mostly clear skies as the evening arrives, and maybe turning partly cloudy as the night goes on. Therefore, Collins Observatory will be open this evening, Monday, February 26, 2024.

Note: Collins Observatory will be open to all SSU students, faculty, and staff, and non SSU individuals. Masks are no longer required in the observatory, but they are recommended due to the tight quarters in the observatory dome itself.

Please check back on this site for any changes, or updates about openings, or COVID-19 protocols in the future.

Collins Observatory is normally open on CLEAR, or MOSTLY CLEAR Mondays from 7-10 PM, or later depending upon the time of sunset. We’re open during the school year from September to May, and are closed on school holidays, when the school is on vacation, mandated closings, and during the summer. It is also available for special group visits during the year when feasible.

The observatory houses a Meade 12-inch LX-200 ACF telescope, which does fairly well in the light polluted skies over Salem.

Please call the observatory at 978-542-6452, if you’re coming from a distance, as the weather is a bit unstable this close to the ocean.


What’s up tonight?

  • The winter constellations are in control of the night sky now, but some of the spring constellations are starting to move into our viewing time frame.
  • The planets Jupiter, and Uranus are getting lower now, but are still fairly well placed to observe.
  • Jupiter, is in the WSW when we open, and is still easily visible with the unaided eye.
  • Uranus is just into the WSW when we open, and is not too far from Jupiter at this time.
  • Neptune sets before we open, and is no longer visible.
  • M42 in Orion is well placed, and almost due south as we open. It's one of the best deep sky objects that can be viewed when it's clear.

Visit us: Map

Located on Rt. 114, ( Lafayette St. ) in Salem, MA.

Parking has improved – we suggest you attempt to use the new parking garage in the lower student parking lot, or the street, which is RT. 114, in front of Meier Hall. Meier Hall is the second building from the faculty parking area “A”, and next to the school theater. Enter through the front door on RT. 114. Go down the hall to the back of the building and take a left. There is an elevator about thirty feet down from there on your right. Go on the elevator and press floor “P” (sixth floor). Turn right upon leaving the elevator. Turn left after the double hall doors and go out the glass doors to the roof. Take the stairs on the left to the observatory.