Our Central Campus in Blue Bell offers an observatory for student and community use featuring:
- A SMART classroom for astronomy classes
- State-of-the-art technology, including a 16-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope
- An observation deck with additional telescopes
Our regional astronomical associations, Bucks Mont Astronomical Association (BMAA), Chesmont Astronomical Society (CAS) and Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers (DVAA), hold public and members-only activities and meetings at our observatory. All three associations provide discounts for high school and Montgomery County Community College students.
Community Open Nights
See the night sky up close through our observatory and observation deck on our free Community Open Nights, some of which are co-sponsored with astronomy associations. All ages are welcomed, and no prior registration is required.
We do ask participants to be careful with food, drink or chewing gum near scientific equipment and also expect parents to be responsible for their children. There are no community events during the winter break (December through January) or during the summer (May through August).
Check the Events Calendar for specific dates.
On Tuesdays we welcome scout troops for a tour and guided sky observation. Due to space constraints, we require prior registration. Each Troop Tuesday consists of three 45-minute sessions, each of which can accommodate up to two troops of about 10 children each. To schedule a troop night, contact Kelli Spangler at 215-641-6460 or email@example.com. Your date, time and session will be confirmed via email.
The observatory is located in our Advanced Technology Center at the corner of the Central Campus closest to the entrance at Morris Road. Parking can be found near the building, with additional parking in the larger Science Center lots. From the closest parking lot, enter the building through the main doors, find the stairwell on the right and go up the stairs. The observational deck is on the third floor, with the observatory one floor above it. There is elevator access to the third floor and observation deck.However, there is no elevator access to the roof where the dome of the observatory is located.You must walk up one flight of steps to reach the observatory.
Dress for the Conditions
Our observatory dome is somewhat protected from the wind and cold but is still susceptible to weather conditions, and our observational deck is completely open. Please be sure to dress appropriately for the weather with hats, scarves, gloves and warm coats.
We do cancel events due to clouds (light or heavy), lightning, rain, snow or any other active participation. If we intend to cancel an event we will post a message on the observatory hotline one hour before its stated start time, so please check the hotline at 215-641-6460 before coming to the observatory.
Kelli Spangler M.S.
Office and extension: ATC 304 x6460
Prior to becoming a full-time Montgomery County Community College instructor in 2007, Ms. Spangler taught part-time at the College as well as at Gwynedd Mercy College and Chestnut Hill College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from Colgate University and a master’s degree in physics from Drexel University.