Observatories at Vassar College

While at Vassar College this past weekend for the workshop on “STS in the Liberal Arts Curriculum,” I couldn’t resist having a look at the college’s two observatories.1

The original observatory, the Maria Mitchell Observatory. Completed in 1865, this was the first building to be completed at Vassar. It is named after the famous 19th-century American astronomer Maria Mitchell, who was the first manager of the observatory.

The newer observatory, the “Class of 1951 Observatory” was completed in the late 1990s. Two separate domes at the observatory house the main telescopes, a 32-inch and a 20-inch reflecting telescope.

1I also couldn’t resist finding my way onto the grounds of the former Hudson River State Hospital with its stunning Kirkbride main building.