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College of Arts & Sciences
Physics and Astronomy

Horsehead Nebula from Melton

Melton Memorial Observatory

This historic observatory on the Horseshoe of the USC Columbia campus is currently open to the public on clear Monday nights from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, weather permitting. Anyone is welcome to come by and observe through the 16-inch Cassegrain telescope in the dome and other small telescopes on the observatory deck. See the Moon, planets, stars, star clusters, and more through our telescopes free of charge!

Update for November 6, 2017:

The Melton Observatory will be OPEN this evening (Monday, November 13) from 8:00-10:00 pm. We will be observing Uranus, the Andromeda Galaxy, and more. Hope to see you tonight!

Social Media Information:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on the Melton Memorial Observatory!

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Read the April 2017 story in @UofSC Today about Melton Observatory open nights and the upcoming total solar eclipse.

Public Observing Information:

Public observing nights are currently from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, weather permitting. It is also possible to observe the passage of orbiting satellites over Columbia, such as the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Current weather forecast from Accuweather.

Astronomer's forecast and clear sky chart from

We now have a live video stream posted to our website every clear Monday night! Live images from the telescope are available online during regular public observing hours.


Upcoming Special Events...