Beginning September 22, the 3M Observatory will be open on Saturday evenings from sunset to around 9 p.m., weather permitting.
The 3M Observatory opened in 2013. It is located on the hill outside the Planetarium, adjacent to Parking Lot 7.
The Observatory consists of three buildings: a domed observatory, a roll-off-roof observatory, and a utility building. The domed observatory houses a 16” Meade telescope. The telescope sits on top of a pier whose foundation extends two dozen feet into the ground. At the surface, the floor by the pier is slightly separated from the surrounding floor of the observatory to keep the telescope as steady as possible. The roll-off-roof observatory has a 14” Celestron telescope purchased by the Somerset County 4-H. In addition, the Planetarium has other portable telescopes in a variety of sizes that can be brought out for observing events. These include a 6” Dobsonian, 8” Dobsonians, 8” Schmidt-Cassegrains, a Coronado 90 H-alpha telescope for observing the Sun, and several Sunspotters, also for making solar observations.