The Williams College Observatory has the expected dome-like feature that we see on most observatories and planetariums.…
Hopkins Observatory at Williams College
The Williams College Observatory has the expected dome-like feature that we see on most observatories and planetariums. Cherished for its history, rather than its physical structure, it comes as no surprise that the Williams College students celebrate it almost religiously every year.
If you’ve frequented planetariums, you’ll find a few interesting differences in an observatory. A planetarium gives you a cinematic experience of the galaxy and the history that entails it. The Hopkins Observatory gives you the chance to feel like an astronomy professor does when they look through their telescopes with the planetarium experience on top.
The best time to visit is when they have their annual planetarium summer schedules hosted by the students.
The Hopkins Observatory immediately shows you the difference between a planetarium and an observatory since it offers both. The Planetarium, which is equally as popular, is called the Milham Planetarium and is located within the observatory itself. They use a premium projector called the Zeiss Skymaster which is capable of demonstrating phases of the moon, the retrograde, varying colors of the stars and locations of neighboring galaxies among other astronomy phenomena.
The modern and contemporary setting of the college is a sharp contrast from the rural environment that surrounds it. This also makes for a great architectural history lesson. When it's time to grab a bite, you could head 0.18 miles to a nearby cafe called Tunnel City Coffee. It has a wide selection of confections, a cool college vibe but still very friendly to seniors.
After visiting the observatory, consider the Clark Art Institute. It houses remarkable impressionists and a very green surrounding which calls out to you for a leisurely hike. It's a perfect visit actually on any day. The closest place to crash if you’re staying overnight is the Northside Motel. Just a convenient 0.41 miles away from Williams College, you won’t have to travel too far.
History buffs will no doubt enjoy the Williams College Museum of Art. What says ‘free admission’ better than a location less than 0.1 miles away from the planetarium?