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Drake's Summer Observatory Program to Explore the Zodiac

June 21, 2006
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CONTACT: Charles Nelson, (515) 271-3034, charles.nelson@drake.edu
Lisa Lacher, (515) 271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu


The summer series of Friday evening public presentations at the Drake Municipal Observatory will feature a program titled  “The Zodiac” on Friday, June 16. This program will explore the constellations of the zodiac and how these members of the "sky zoo" got their names.


All of the Friday night sessions, which are free and open to the public, start at 8 p.m. at the observatory in Waveland Park on the west side of Des Moines. The summer series, which continues through July 21, is presented by Herbert Schwartz and Charles Nelson of Drake’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Each week there will be a non-technical, illustrated presentation on an astronomical topic followed by the opportunity to view several stellar objects through the large refracting telescope and several smaller reflecting telescopes. The program will be held regardless of the weather, although the selection for observation is subject to change due to sky conditions or other special circumstances.


Individuals, families and small groups are welcome to attend the presentations. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children.


The schedule for the remainder of the summer series is listed below:



  • June 23: “The Zodiac.”
  • July 7: “ The Oldest Constellations.”
  • July 14: “The Beginnings of the Universe.”
  • July 21: “Astrology: Does it work?”

For more information, contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy at (515) 271-3141.