Login

"O telescope, instrument of much knowledge, more precious than any sceptre!"

– Johannes Kepler

EIOLC CONSTRUCTION

The Grand Opening/Open House of the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center was held on May 10 with a public Open House held the following Saturday on May 12.


FIRST LIGHT

At the April Public Observing Night, vistors had the opportunity to observe Saturn through the 24-inch Boller & Chivens telescope after Doug Slauson's presentation on the Ringed Planet. EIOLC main page.

PHOTOS

Click on the thumbnails to see a few photos of the EIOLC:

Welcome to the EIOLC EIOLC grounds Reception area of EIOLC Meeting rooms in EIOLC Sunrise at the EIOLC


OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

We Still Need Your Help!
Although the initial funding goal has been met, additional funding opportunities still exist. Donations payable to the Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc., may be mailed to:

Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc.
P.O. Box 10786
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410

Specify the "EIOLC Project" on your donation.

Thank you for your support!

On Friday, September 7th, the much anticipated occupancy permit for the EIOLC the main building was granted. The receipt of the permit was very timely as on Saturday, September 8th, Brent Studer hosted the first Public Night presentation in the facility. Upwards of 98 people attended Brent’s Astronomy of Star Trek talk and all appreciated being indoors on a very hot, muggy and mosquito plagued night. Having only 85 chairs it was a standing room only opening event! One week later, the facility hosted 32 visitors for the CAA member Potluck.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the project over the last two years and all who have helped with the fundraising! While the $701,827 funding goal has been realized, addtional contributions and volunteer efforts will go towards interior furnishings and displays not covered under the capital campaign.


INSTALLATION OF 24-INCH MOUNT

On August 1, the massive 2,000 lbs steel base of the 24-inch Boller & Chivens telescope was installed in the 20’ automated Ash dome. The telescope base set down perfectly on the concrete pier’s three one-inch bolts and steel plate. The conical polar axis assembly (over 1,500 lbs) was then set on the base mount at a 42° angle to align it to the north celestial pole.

A large CAA crowd was on hand, including Carl Bracken, Greg Frohner, Forrest Tomes, Vern Jackson, John Leeson, Ken Sippy, Doug Slauson and Matt Neely, who was the last person to operate this telescope at The University of Iowa Riverside site about seven years ago. Also present were Heinz and Karin Blankenhagen, who graciously stored the telescope for the past three years in their barn.

Thanks to Coonrod Wrecker & Crane Service and the intrepid group of CAA volunteers the installation went as planned.

Click on the thumbnails to see the photos of the 24-inch mount installation:

Installation crew Sliding mount through shutter Attaching mount Looking mount over The finished installation


DOME AND MAIN BUILDING COMPLETION

Linn County Conservation staff efforts have shifted to completing the site work and landscaping of the grounds. Major site development has included final grading, tile for water drainage, concrete exit pads, and a concrete walk from the lower parking lot to the existing sidewalk. New sidewalk lights were added and the old ones repaired. All lights are now controlled by one breaker switch in the roll-off roofed building.

CAA volunteers are continuing efforts to complete interior work within the domes and building. The Boller & Chivens dome floor, walls, stairs, banister, lights and painting are largely complete. Work is focusing on the Robotic Dome, with emphasis on the floor and curved stairs. Much of the September progress is due to the efforts of John Leeson, Greg Frohner, Doug Nauman, and Jerry Warner. During one long Saturday volunteers installed 55 drywall panels (BIG ones – 12’ x 4 1⁄2' !!).

EIOLC main page.