THE BOWMAN OBSERVATORY
The Observatory is operated by members of the Astronomical Society of Greenwich on behalf of the Greenwich Board of Education. The Observatory is on the grounds of the Julian Curtiss School, East Elm Street, Greenwich (see map below), and is open to the public free of charge twice a month, and for special celestial events. The Observatory is also open by appointment for group visits, and we welcome the opportunity to acquaint area teachers, students, and parents with the joys of amateur astronomy. Open the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month (if skies are clear). Spring/Autumn 8-10 PM Summer 9-11 PM Winter 7-9 PM
Alden W. Smith, a science teacher at Greenwich High School, built the Bowman Observatory in 1940 as a teaching facility; it is owned by the Greenwich Board of Education. When the Astronomical Society of Greenwich was formed in 1984, the Observatory had not been used for some time and needed considerable work; also the telescope was damaged beyond repair. Members of the Society took on the project, including installation of a 12 1/2″ Newtonian Reflector telescope that was named in honor of Alden Smith. The Observatory was reopened in 1986 so it could be used again for Greenwich school students and the public.
In 2007, the town of Greenwich funded replacement of the old dome with a motorized Observa-dome that rotates 360 degrees.
Thanks to the generosity of several donors, in 2014 The Astronomical Society of Greenwich installed a state-of-the-art RCOS Carbon Truss 16″ Ritchey-Chretien F/8.4 telescope in the Observatory. This new telescope allows increased, easier usage by Greenwich school students, and it substantially increases the number of sightings visitors can enjoy on public nights.
The old 12 1/2″ telescope can now be used for special events and community outreach.
CLEAR SKY CHART
DIRECTIONS, MAPS From I-95: Take Exit 3 (Arch Street in Greenwich). At bottom of ramp, northbound, turn left; southbound, turn right. Follow Arch Street north under railroad bridge, through Railroad Avenue intersection, bear right up hill to Greenwich Avenue. Cross Greenwich Avenue to Havemeyer Place. Go east two short blocks, turn left at light onto Milbank Avenue. Go three blocks north, passing Union Cemetery on right. (Please note: while following Milbank Avenue you will cross the lower section of East Elm Street; DO NOT turn off here!) At rotary, take right turn onto East Elm Street. First driveway on left is the entrance to the Julian Curtis School. Bear left around the circle in front of the school and double back along driveway running parallel to East Elm Street. Observatory is on the school grounds, to the left of the playing field, on a small hill. From Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 31 (North Street, Greenwich). Northbound, turn left at end of ramp; southbound, turn right. Follow North Street south until it ends at a four-way intersection; turn left onto Maple Avenue. Follow Maple Avenue south to US 1 (a.k.a. East Putnam Avenue, Boston Post Road). Turn right onto US 1, make an immediate left into Milbank Avenue. Follow Milbank Avenue south one block to rotary. From US 1: Eastbound, follow US 1 through Greenwich business district. Milbank Avenue is the right turn immediately after the last block of stores, opposite the Second Congregational Church (stone church with tall thin steeple). Westbound, turn left onto Milbank Avenue opposite the church and just before the stores. Observatory is in middle of map, parking just below it on left. Julian Curtiss Elementary School building is at bottom right.