Van Vleck Observatory

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Van Vleck Observatory
Van Vleck Observatory
Van Vleck Observatory
Organization Wesleyan University
Location Middletown, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°33′18″N 72°39′33″W / 41.55500°N 72.65917°W / 41.55500; -72.65917
Altitude 65 meters (213 ft)
Established 1914 (1914)
Website Van Vleck Observatory
Perkin Telescope 0.6 m reflector
Alvan Clark Great Refractor 0.5 m refractor
Meade LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 0.4 m reflector
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Van Vleck Observatory (VVO, IAU code 298) is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Wesleyan University. It was built in 1914 and named after the former head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at the university, Prof. John M. Van Vleck. It is located in Middletown, Connecticut (USA).


The University owns three telescopes. A 16-inch (410 mm) and a 20-inch (510 mm) are both used for weekly public observing nights, open to the Wesleyan community and the general public. The third telescope, the 24-inch (610 mm) Perkins Telescope, is used primarily for research, including for senior and graduate student thesis projects, as well as for departmental research programs.[1][2][3][4] The Perkins scope is one of the largest telescopes in New England. Wesleyan participates in a consortium of universities that operate the WIYN .9-meter telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. Students (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty have the opportunity to spend time in Arizona doing research with the telescope. Wesleyan also is a member of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC).[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wesleyan University (university, Middletown, Connecticut, United States) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  2. ^ Public Observing at Van Vleck Observatory – Wesleyan University, Usdan Campus Information Center – Middletown, CT 06457 – FindLocal Hartford Courant. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  3. ^ Astronomy Department, Wesleyan University, Public Observations.
  4. ^ VVO Projects, Astronomy Department, Wesleyan University. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  5. ^ Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium, Swarthmore University. Retrieved 18 February 2011.

External links[edit]