​About the Observatory


The Phillips Exeter Academy Grainger Observatory is a state of the art facility for astronomical research. The facility includes two domed observatories, a heated classroom building with library and numerous additional instruments to assist students with their research. The observatory is used by the three astronomy courses at the Academy as well as by other courses as required. The facility is also open to the public on clear Friday evenings when school is in session.

The observatory was first opened in 1989 and has seen many changes since that time. In 2006, an ambient temperature storage annex was added behind the Chart House to store optics and other equipment.

Directions to the Observatory

The observatory is located off of Gilman Lane near Stuckey House. It is recommended to go through town, cross the Exeter River on High Street and walk a ways to Gilman Lane. For an online map to the observatory, use the following: Google Maps


  • SBIG CCD Imaging cameras.
  • UBVRI Photometric filters.
  • PlaneWave 0.70m Corrected Dall-Kirkham telescope.
  • Takahashi FSQ-106n refracting telescope.
  • Takahashi FS-125 refracting telescope.
  • RC Optical 10" Ritchey-Chretien telescope.
  • Meade 16" SCT telescope.
  • Byers Heliostat with H-Alpha filter.
  • 60mm H-Alpha Solar Telescope.
  • Questar 3.5” telescopes.
  • Numerous binoculars.
  • SBIG high resolution spectrograph.
  • Numerous filters, eyepieces and related imaging equipment.


The Grainger Observatory wishes to recognize the following people, trusts, and companies for their intellectual and/or monetary contributions to the observatory. Their generous gifts have made the observatory a place to both challenge the mind and wonder at the sky. They have helped bring astronomy to life to both academy students and the general community. Without their support this could not have been possible.

  • George I. Alden Trust
  • Charles Bickel (dec.), Emeritus and Honorary '65
  • Christopher Case '74
  • David Grainger '45
  • The family of Jonathan Grassbaugh '99
  • Jerry Gunn
  • Walter Hawley, St. Paul's School
  • Chris Harper
  • Daniel Hogan '61
  • Emily James
  • Leers Weinzapfel Associates
  • John & Irene MacKenty '46
  • George Ricker, parent '96 and '03
  • Brad Robinson
  • Scott Saltman
  • Gary Tuttle and the Carpentry Shop