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Public Evening Lecture Series



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 celebrate 100 years of presenting lectures on astronomy and telescope viewing to the public.  

Please save the dates for the following Public Evening Lectures, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Steward Observatory Room N210 and on ZOOM at the URL:

All of the lectures and the use of the telescope are free of charge and open to the general public.

For more information, contact Dr. Thomas Fleming at 621-5049 or

Sign up for our monthly Astronomy Newsletter for more information about our lectures and other events taking place at


Click here to stream podcasts of previous Public Evening Lectures.


Spring 2023 Centennial Year Lectures



Jan. 16

Dr. Thomas Fleming

Dr. Buell Jannuzi, Director

Steward Observatory

100 Years of Steward Observatory

Encore Presentation

Jan. 30

Dr. Catherine Fielder

Steward Observatory

An Alien's-eye View of the Milky Way
Feb. 13

Dr. Vasileios Paschalidis

Steward Observatory

Feb. 27

Dr. Melissa Brucker

Lunar & Planetary Laboratory

The First 40 Years of SPACEWATCH®: Asteroids, Planetary Defense, and the Steward Observatory 36-Inch Telescope
Mar. 13

Dr. Kate Alexander

Steward Observatory

The Messy Eating Habits of Snacking Black Holes
Mar. 27

Dr. Emma Beasor, Bok Fellow

Steward Observatory

How do Massive Stars Live and Die?
Apr. 10

Dr. Everett Schlawin

Steward Observatory

JWST's First Stares at Planets that Peek in Front and Behind their Stars
Apr. 24

Dr. Christopher Impey

Distinguished Professor 

Steward Observatory

Worlds Without End:  Exoplanets and the Search for Life Beyond Earth

Book-signing for Prof. Impey's new book Worlds Without End after the lecture 




For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.