Astronomical Observatory


Astronomical Observatory at Wheaton College - Wheaton, IL


Opening Hours

 August 31 -- October 14, 2016

 Monday - Friday: 8.00-10:00 PM*

*Observing may end early in the event of low attendance or unfavorable sky conditions.


If you want to visit the observatory outside of regular hours, or with a group that is larger than 8 people, please give the observatory coordinator, Dr. AJ Poelarends, a call and he will arrange a time with you.

Supermoon on November 14

The Observatory will open its doors for the Supermoon on Monday, November 14, 2016 from 5:15PM till 9:00PM. Everyone is welcome (especially families with children), entrance is free. The best time to see the supermoon is at moonrise (around 5:15PM) as the moon will look even bigger because of an optical illusion.
A supermoon is a full moon that is a little bit larger and brighter than normal full moons because it is a bit closer to the earth. The average distance between the earth and the moon is 238,900 mi, however, the actual distance varies throughout the year, between 225,804 miles at the perigee (closest) and 251,968 miles at the apogee (farthest). On Monday the distance will be 221,524 miles. The last time the distance between the earth and the moon was this close during a full moon was in 1948, and we will have to wait until 2034 to come even closer.


Current Weather


The observatory is located in the Meyer Science Center, on the corner of University Place and Howard Street. Parking is available across the street from the building at the corner of Howard Street and College Avenue. Access to the observatory is from the 4th floor of the science building.

Campus Map and Directions

Coordinates: 41.8661°N, 88.1069°W


Please contact the observatory coordinator, Dr. AJ Poelarends at 630 752-5894 for group appointments (scouts, church, etc.) or for individual appointments outside the regular opening hours.

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