Observatory Sign

Wilder Observatory is located on Snell Street in Amherst and offers free programming for visitors of all ages, Saturday evenings at 9 p.m., April–October. The Observatory is closed November–March.

Hours and Access

Open hours: Saturdays at 9 p.m., April–October

  • Students, faculty, staff, community members, family and friends are welcome. Weekend programs are provided in partnership with the Astronomy Association.
  • The observatory’s main level is accessible, while the telescope platform is not.

Directions

GPS-friendly address: 80 Snell Street, Amherst, MA, 01002

Wilder Observatory is located just west of the Amherst College campus on Snell Street, across from the Alumni Gymnasium. The main entrance to Amherst College is just east of the intersection of Routes 9 and 116 South, adjacent to the Amherst College PVTA (Public Transportation) bus loop. 

Parking and Passenger Drop-off

There is always ample parking adjacent to the Wilder Observatory. The parking lot includes a number of accessible parking spaces.

Visitor Policies

The Wilder Observatory on Snell Street is free and open to all, starting at 9 p.m. every clear Saturday from April through October. Depending on what is in the sky at the time, vistors may see the moon, planets, asteroids, comets, multiple stars, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and more through the large, world-class refractor telescope. Students, faculty, staff, community members, family and friends are welcome.

Young Visitors

The Observatory was originally designed academic research, but children and their caregivers are welcome and frequently part of visiting groups. As the equipment and facilities are quite old we ask that children be well-supervised. 

Personal Items

Personal items may be brought with visitors into the observatory.

Food, Drink & Bathrooms

Visiting groups may bring light food or beverages. There are no water fountains in Wilder Observatory. There are bathrooms in the lower level of the building.

Phones, Photography and Filming

Still photography and filming for personal use is permitted. During programs, all electronic devices must be silenced and all lit screens must be dimmed.  


Questions? Contact Alfred Venne, Observatory Director