Get Lost in Space: Visiting the Melton Observatory at USC

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Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what secrets it holds? If you’re a lover of all things space, then the Melton Observatory at the University of South Carolina is definitely worth a visit. This totally free, educational opportunity is located on USC’s Columbia campus, offering visitors a chance to explore the wonders of the universe in a unique and immersive way.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this distinctive destination.

Check out the Melton Observatory for free in Columbia, SC

What is the Melton Observatory?

The Melton Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. The observatory is named for the late Dr. William Davis Melton, who was the president of the University of South Carolina in the 1920’s. The observatory features a dome and a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope, which is used for viewing the stars, planets, and other objects in space.

What can you see at the Melton Observatory?

Visitors can use the telescope to view a wide range of objects, including planets like Jupiter and Saturn, as well as star clusters, and galaxies. The observatory also offers a livestream during the hours of their public viewing for free. The Melton Observatory livestream can be accessed on Monday nights from 9:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

I’ve also taken advantage of viewing their past livestreams, available on their website, and admired some of their previous videos of the moon, stars, and planets around us.

The recorded livestreams are a great options for families with young children who can’t quite stay up late enough for a visit to the observatory!

Visit the Melton Observatory for Free!

The Melton Observatory is located at 1429 Greene Street in Columbia and is open to the public on Monday nights from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm on clear nights. During these public observing nights, visitors can use the telescope to view the night sky and learn more about the stars and planets. If you’re interested in visiting the observatory, be sure to check the Melton Observatory website for the most up-to-date schedule of events and to ensure the skies are clear for viewing.

Mom Review: Free, Educational, and Recommended!

Whether you’re a seasoned astronomer or just looking for a unique and educational experience, the Melton Observatory at the University of South Carolina is definitely worth a visit. With its state-of-the-art telescope and knowledgeable staff, this observatory offers visitors the opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe and galaxies around us.

The observatory does welcome children, but particularly due to the expensive equipment, children must be supervised!

I can confidently recommend a visit to the Melton Observatory – it’s a unique and educational experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and complexity of our universe. And we love that USC brings this experience FREE to the public.

Our family of adventurous natural world explorers really appreciates all that they have to offer. So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure that combines nature, education, and beauty; add a trip to Melton Observatory at USC to your list and share your experience with us in the comments!

About the Author
Hunter grew up on a horse farm in Calhoun County before moving to the Columbia area. She is a mom to one child and three energetic dogs. She loves hiking and spending time in nature with her family

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