Whitin Observatory

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. Read about the Whitin Observatory Construction Project: Links to the Past and a Vision for the Future. (ca. 2001, PDF file, 1 Mb; requires Acrobat Reader.)

Telescopes at Whitin Observatory

Clark 6-in refractor Fitz/Clark 12-inch refractor
Clark 6-in refractor, used for introductory astronomy courses and recreational observing. Fitz/Clark 12-in refractor, used for introductory astronomy courses and recreational observing.   Planewave 0.7-m reflector, used for the observational astronomy class and research.


Students in the introductory subjects also use our small fleet of 8-in Meade LX-200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes in evening laboratories for visual observing, astrophotography, and digital imaging, and the Hale spectrohelioscope is used to study the spectrum of the Sun.


Our spring Public Events will take place on 2/16, 3/8, and 4/26.


Eclipse 2024

The Wellesley community will also be fortunate to experience the solar eclipse of April 8, 2024.