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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!

Melton Memorial ObservatoryNEWS:

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


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WEATHER REPORT: April 24, 2017

Scattered thunderstorms tonight, so Melton will be closed.

Public Observing Information

Public observing nights are currently from 8:00pm to 10:00pm, weather permitting. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Ring Nebula will highlight this season's observing. 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...




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