Home Official News Releases Drake Observatory program to explore a possible planet that never formed

Drake Observatory program to explore a possible planet that never formed

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

Public presentations at the Drake Municipal Observatory this summer will continue Friday, July 18, with a session on “Search for the Fifth Planet: Does the Rocky Debris between Mars and Jupiter Indicate a Planet That Never Formed?” The event will start at 9 p.m. at the observatory in Waveland Park on the west side of Des Moines. 

The observatory can be reached by turning west off Polk Boulevard onto Observatory Road and following the road into the park. Parking is available adjacent to the observatory. 

Each week there is a non-technical, illustrated presentation on an astronomical topic by Charles Nelson or Herbert Schwartz of Drake’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Every presentation is followed by the opportunity to view several stellar objects through the large refracting telescope and several smaller reflecting telescopes. 

The programs are 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 9 p.m. each Friday from June 13 through July 25, with the exception of Friday, July 4. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children. 

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

  • July 25: “Earthlings on Parade: How did Earth Life Start, What’s Changed It and Extreme Life Forms Just Discovered on Our Planet.”

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