Drake Municipal Observatory

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Public Events

Drake University hosts public educational lectures at the Municipal Observatory each Fall, Spring, and Summer term.

Read on for details on upcoming lectures.

Visitors can expect an Astronomy lesson followed by stargazing with expert guidance. Lectures begin at 8 PM, regardless of weather. Sky Viewing begins at dark if clear conditions. Children 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact Drake Physics & Astronomy to request accommodations. Admission is free and open to all! 

A group of community members sits inside the observatory facing forward. There are pictures of stars, planets, and outer space on the walls of the room. One man stands at the front of the room facing the group. There is a projector and screen behind him, an a small modern telescope next to him. He appears to be speaking to the group.

Previous recorded lectures are available on YouTube.

If you have questions or comments regarding public nights please contact:  Herb.folsom@drake.edu

Or call Drake Physics & Astronomy department at 515-271-3141

Spot the International Space Station: Sighting Opportunities

Special Events

Solar Eclipse: April 8th

The Drake Municipal Observatory, in cooperation with the Science Center of Iowa, will be hosting a star party to view the partial solar eclipse on Monday April 8
th . We will be open between Noon and 3:30 with maximum coverage (83%) at 1:58. There will be safe telescopic viewing with solar filters, and eclipse glasses will be available.

Spring Lecture Series 2024

March 22nd :     Sol: Our Local Star

March 29th  :     Luna: Our Unique Satellite

April 5th  :          Asteroids: The Leftover Rocky Bits of Our Solar System

April 12th    :      Comets: The Leftover Icy Bits of Our Solar System

April 19th:         Dwarf Planets: They Get No Respect!!

April 26th:         Guest Lecture: Vulcan: The Planet That Never Was

May 3rd :           Guest Lecture: Cecilia Payne and the Composition of the Sun

May 10th :         Mystery Topic ????

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