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Drake observatory programs to explore satellites

Photo of people looking through telescope at Drake Municipal Observatory
Assistant professor of physics and astronomy, Charles Nelson, educates participants at free Drake observatory programs.

Aug. 30, 2007

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu


Fifty years of satellites will be explored during the fall series of Friday evening public presentations at the Drake Municipal Observatory in Waveland Park on the west side of Des Moines.

The free series will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, with a presentation on how satellites get to outer space and how they stay there.

Each week there will be a non-technical, illustrated presentation on an astronomical topic by Charles Nelson or Herbert Schwartz of Drake University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. The presentation will be 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, which begin at 8 p.m. each Friday from Sept. 7 through Oct. 26. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children.

The schedule for the fall series is listed below:

• Sept. 7: “The View from High Up”

• Sept. 14: “The Birth of the ‘Space’ Age”

• Sept. 21: “Anatomy of a Satellite”

• Sept. 28: “The Earth from Space”

• Oct. 5: “To Go Where No Man has Gone Before”

• Oct. 12: “Working Satellites”

• Oct. 19: “Satellites with Special Missions”

• Oct. 26: “The Future of Satellites”

For more information, contact Drake’s Department of Physics and Astronomy at 515-271-3141.