"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards."

– Sir Fred Hoyle

Young Observer at C16

A young observer peers through the CAA's vintage Celestron 16 telescope.


In addition to the CAA's 12 Public Night events, the observatory is open each Saturday evening during the warmer months, typically April through October. There is no fee, but donations are always appreciated.

For open nights there are a few club members on site operating the telescopes, providing an opportunity for drop-ins to see what is up. Anyone is welcome to drop by on open nights, but it is intended for individuals and families. If you have a larger group and know before hand that you would like to drop by, please consider giving us a heads up so that we can make sure to have an appropriate number of helpers on hand or schedule a group visit with a reservation.

Public observing events are held in the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center at the Palisades-Dows Observatory and Preserve through a generous agreement with the Linn County Conservation Department. For directions, please visit our Map to Pal-Dows page or download a pdf version (276 kB.)

The Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc. is a participating member of Night Sky Network.