The Astronomy Department of the Maria Mitchell Association was established over 100 years ago. Since 1908, the Observatory has been the site of research, lectures, and other programs, and even Open Nights called “Moon Nights” before Loines Observatory was built.
The Vestal Street Observatory is open for a guided tour at 2pm Monday through Saturday. A property pass is required for this tour and this pass also allows admission to our other properties, including the Aquarium, the Mitchell House – birthplace of Maria Mitchell, and the Natural Science Museum. During your visit to this facility, you can view an outdoor scale model of the solar system, learn how to operate a sundial, and may be able to observe some sunspots if it is a clear day. Learn more about modern astronomy touring a permanent indoor exhibit.
In addition to our public programming, one of the major tasks of the Maria Mitchell Astronomy Department is to conduct astronomical research, in particular, supervised research for talented, carefully selected astronomy undergraduate students from all over the country. This highly successful Presidential Award winning program is funded by the National Science Foundation.
To view our public programs, private programs, and special events, please check out our Upcoming Astronomy Programs.