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The South Carolina State Museum is home to the Boeing Observatory featuring a 1926 Alvan Clark 12 3/8″ refracting telescope connected to state-of-the-art technology that gives students all over the state the ability to control the telescope and observe the night sky all from their classroom.

The Boeing Observatory offers a variety of on-site field trip experiences and distance learning programs for SC schools, as well as professional development opportunities for South Carolina Teachers.



Open Exploration Visit
The Boeing Observatory opens daily at 10 a.m. to all visiting museum guests and school groups. Public solar observing times are: Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m to 5 p.m., Sat. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. Solar observing is dependent on clear skies. If your school group does not have time to schedule one of the museum educator led classes linked below, you are still welcome to visit the observatory at any time during while you are here. An astronomy educator will be there to greet you. Please note: Observatory may be in use for scheduled school classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am-1:45pm. Click HERE to learn more about booking a field trip.

Educator Led Classes
The Boeing Observatory also offers astronomy educator led observatory classes for visiting 1st, 4th and 8th grade groups. Click HERE to learn more and see a full schedule of available classes.

Night-sky Viewing During Second Shift Twosday
The State Museum is open late every Tuesday night for museum exploration, night-sky viewing in the observatory, planetarium shows, 4D movies and more. Did you know that this time of day is great for organized field trips as well? Teachers can register as a school group and simply tell school families what date and evening to show up. Please note: a minimum of 10 students is required. Click HERE to learn more.


NEW!! 2017 Eclipse Program
Did you know on August 21, 2017 Columbia, SC will be one of the best places to witness the Solar Eclipse of 2017 in totality? Observatory educators have developed a FREE 30 minute distance learning program to help students learn all about the 2017 eclipse, safe viewing techniques and more. Click HERE to learn more.

NEW!! Solar Observing Livestreams
The Boeing Observatory offers weekly Solar Observing Livestreams just for South Carolina classrooms each FRIDAY from 9 to 10 a.m. Please note: these livestreams ARE dependant on good weather and clear skies.

Click HERE to sign up for livestream email reminders and notifications!

Click HERE to see archived video of the most recent Solar Observing Livestream.


Questions about Observatory offerings for schools? Email Boeing Observatory staff at