Loines Observatory

  • The Maria Mitchell Association's Loines Observatory.
  • Moon with New Telescope
  • Spiral Galaxy
  • Field of stars and galaxies seen by Hubble Space Telescope
  • A giant elliptical galaxy

Built in 1968 and 1998, the two domes of this facility house a beautifully refurbished antique 8-inch Clark telescope and a new state-of-the-art 24-inch research telescope. It serves as both an active research observatory and venue for public astronomical programs.


The MMA Astronomy Department shares its research and expertise through hands-on workshops, lectures, and special observational programs.  The Loines observatory is open for regular public tours, programs, lectures, and is host to several special events throughout the year.

When something special is happening in the night sky – meteor showers, a new comet, lunar eclipse – the Maria Mitchell Observatories are the place to be. Unravel the mysteries of the night sky with our friendly and knowledgeable astronomy team. Discover how to make best use of your backyard telescope or learn how to navigate by the stars in one of our astronomy workshops. Discuss the search for life beyond Earth with a visiting speaker or hear about the latest discoveries in the universe at our summer lecture series featuring leading astronomers from universities and observatories around the world.  To learn more about our offerings, please check out our Upcoming Astronomy Programs.

Please note: public stargazing nights at Loines Observatory are cancelled if skies are too cloudy. If in doubt, please check the main MMA web page; cancellation notices will be posted there.

Stay informed! Sign up for our free AstroAlerts to find out when the next meteor shower. eclipse, chance to see the International Space Station overhead, or other astronomical events will be occur for Nantucket! You can receive AstroAlertts by email or on your cell phone by texting to 23559 with the message @astroalert.

Learn about our Upcoming Programs!