UA Science
Steward Observatory Public Evening Lecture Series - Wednesday, September 28 - Celebrating 100 Years!

100 Years of Public Evening Lectures

Lavinia Steward made her historic contribution of $60,000 to the University of Arizona “…TO BUY TELESCOPE OF HUGE SIZE,” on October 18, 1916.  However, the United States entry into World War I delayed the construction of the Steward Telescope and its 36-inch mirror.  That original Steward Telescope was finally used for the first time on July 17, 1922.  It would take another 9 months before the Steward Observatory and Telescope would be formally and officially dedicated on April 23, 1923.
The Telescope, however, was ready to be used before the official dedication date and Prof. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, the first Director of Steward Observatory, did not leave the telescope idle. He invited members of the campus and Tucson communities to view the wonders of the night sky through this new, large (for the time) telescope.  The date was September 28, 1922, and the Steward Observatory Public Evenings were born.
We are thrilled to able to celebrate 100 years of presenting lectures on astronomy and telescope viewing to the public by offering a special Public Evening Lecture on the 100th Anniversary of...

UArizona Spacewatch discovered the larger of the twin asteroids targeted in NASA's upcoming DART mission

On a spring night in 1996, a camera on the University of Arizona Steward Observatory's 36-inch telescope atop Kitt Peak captured three important images of a bright object sweeping across a backdrop of seemingly static stars.

The object turned out to be a half-mile-wide, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid, caught on camera by Joseph Montani, a member of the university's Spacewatch group in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Originally dubbed 1996 GT, the asteroid would later be renamed Didymos – which is Greek for "twin" – at Montani's suggestion. The name was inspired by the discovery in 2003 that the asteroid has a small companion, only 525 feet across....

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