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Van Vleck Observatory

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).

Van Vleck Observatory
Van Vleck Observatory
Van Vleck Observatory
OrganizationWesleyan University
Observatory code 298 Edit this on Wikidata
LocationMiddletown, Connecticut
Coordinates41°33′18″N 72°39′33″W / 41.55500°N 72.65917°W / 41.55500; -72.65917
Altitude65 meters (213 ft)
Established1914 (1914)
WebsiteVan Vleck Observatory
Perkin Telescope0.6 m reflector
Alvan Clark Great Refractor0.5 m refractor
Meade LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain0.4 m reflector
Van Vleck Observatory is located in the United States
Van Vleck Observatory
Location of Van Vleck Observatory
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

This has a surviving Great refractor, a long telescope with lens popular in the late 1800s, as well as some other telescopes.


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 alsoEdit


  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 Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine, Astronomy Department, Wesleyan University. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  5. ^ Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium, Swarthmore University. Retrieved 18 February 2011.

External linksEdit