"Suns haste to set, that so remoter lights beckon the wanderer to his vaster home."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Young Observer at C16

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


The CAA hosts at least 12 Saturday Public Observing events featuring a guest speaker that is followed—weather permitting—by celestial viewings through telescopes at the facility. During viewing hours, society members will be available to answer questions and provide everyone with an opportunity to look through the Society's telescopes and those of our members.

This site will be updated throughout the year as we assemble our speakers and events.


2018 Presentations


March 10, 7:30 p.m.
April 14, 7:30 p.m.
May 5, 8:30 p.m.
June 2, 8:30 p.m.
June 30, 9:00 p.m.
July 14, 8:30 p.m.
August 4, 8:00 p.m.
August 18, 3:00 p.m. The Sun – Solar Saturday
September 1, 7:30 p.m.
September 29, 7:30 p.m.
October 20, 7:30 p.m. Earth’s Moon - International Observe the Moon Night
November 3, 7:30 p.m.


2017 Past Presentations

March 18, 7:30 p.m.

Prof. Steve Spangler

University of Iowa, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Planets around Other Stars

April 29, 8:00 p.m.

Prof. Robert Mutel

University of Iowa, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Stellar rainbows: Spectroscopic observations using small telescopes

How to build and use spectrographs for small telescopes, how they work, and recent results from the Iowa Robotic telescope (Gemini).

May 13, 8:30 p.m.

Dr. Scott Bounds

University of Iowa, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and CAA Member

Hawkeyes In Space

May 20, 8:30 p.m.

Mr. Vince Vella

CAA Member and current President

What makes the stars shine? - The stories of six scientists who contributed to our current understanding of the Laws of Nature.

June 17, 9:00 p.m.

Mr. Carl Braken

CAA Treasurer

Astronomical Observing & Imaging Equipment: A presentation to showcase a range of typical astronomical observing and imaging equipment from the simple planisphere and star map, through binoculars, and different telescopes and mounts, eyepieces, and imaging options.

July 15, 8:30 p.m.

Mr. Vince Vella and Dr. Scott Bounds

CAA Members

The Solar Eclipse; why, what, where and when.

August 12, 8:00 p.m.

Prof. Scott Baalrud

University of Iowa, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Hawkeyes in Space: The Planeterrela

August 19, 3:00 p.m. -- Solar Day

Mr. Carl Bracken

CAA Member

The Sun and Solar Eclipses

September 16, 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Zachary Luppen

University of Iowa


October 14, 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Brent Studer

CAA member

Stars Behaving Badly

A talk about various extreme stars from Eta Carinae, Type Ia supernovae, and a few others that dont behave "normally" as they go through their evolutionary cycles.

October 28, 7:30 p.m. -- Lunar Night

Mr. Doug Slauson

CAA Member

Earth's Moon

International Observe the Moon Night, InOMN


November 11, 7:30 p.m.

Prof. Hai Fu

University of Iowa, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Galactic Cannibalism


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.