Loines Observatory is a truly unique location, for both Nantucket and beyond, and
should be experienced by all Nantucket residents. As one of two observatories on Nantucket, the
other being the Maria Mitchell Association’s (MMA) historic Maria Mitchell Vestal Street Observatory,
Loines Observatory serves as the island’s beacon for learning about astronomy and Maria Mitchell’s
legacy as America’s first female astronomer.
This week’s Look Up schedule is as follows:
Monday – Thursday June 13-16 from 9-10PM
The MMA’s Look Up Program provides the opportunity for every student in the Nantucket school
system, public and private, to visit Loines Observatory and learn from our professional astronomers. In
May and June, the MMA will host a special version of our Open Night program geared towards
children aged five through eighteen. Students will be invited to attend the Look Up Program with
their families entirely free-of-charge. We also welcome all teachers and other school employees to join
us for this program. This program is generously funded by the Weezie Foundation, along with support
from our donors.
At the Look Up Program, MMA astronomers will lead constellation tours and guide participants
through different viewing stations outside the observatory domes. Students will be able to peek at our
historic 8-inch Alvan Clark refractor and our modern 24-inch research telescope and then admire their
live views projected on large screens outdoors. Students will have the chance view the Moon, planets,
star clusters, nebulae, and even other galaxies! If it’s a particularly dark and clear night, the Milky Way
will be visible.
Students will also have the opportunity to talk with professional astronomers and learn about the
cutting-edge research being conducted at the Maria Mitchell Observatory (MMO). As part of this program, students who attend will receive a free star chart from the MMA to promote scientific
learning outside of the classroom. When students arrive at Loines Observatory, they will receive a
special Look Up t-shirt to celebrate their participation in this program. The MMA will also have a
Spanish translator at all Look Up Programs in an effort to increase accessibility.
The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works
to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria
Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an
aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of
science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.