Astronomy at Williams College spans the very old and the very new. The Hopkins Observatory is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in the United States and houses the earliest Alvan Clark telescope. At the same time, current astronomy faculty and students carry out research with some of the world’s most advanced telescopes.

The Department offers courses for both majors and non-majors. Most astronomy courses take advantage of on-campus observing facilities that include a 24-inch computer-controlled telescope with CCD detectors for imaging and spectroscopy, along with our computer network for image processing.

Students interested in majoring may choose either to be an Astrophysics major, administered jointly with the Physics Department, or an Astronomy major.

Williams College is a member of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium, comprised of astronomy faculty and students from eight liberal arts colleges in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. Among our activities are a summer exchange program for astronomy research students and a fall student research symposium.

After you have finished browsing our pages, you might want to explore some of these other astronomy sites.

For more information on the department and its activities, please feel free to contact us directly at the address below or

E-mail Prof. Karen B. Kwitter
E-mail Prof. Jay M. Pasachoff
E-mail Dr. Steven P. Souza