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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 over 100 years of presenting lectures on astronomy & telescope viewing to the public.  

Public Evening Lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Steward Observatory Room N210.

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.


You can watch each lecture live on ZOOM at the following link:


Fall 2023 Lectures


Sep. 18

Dr. Tod Lauer

National Optical/IR Lab.

How Dark is Space?

Oct. 2 Vatican Observatory Panel 30th. Anniversary of the Vatican Advanced Techology Telescope
Oct. 9

Dr. Azalee Bostroem

LSSTC Catalyst Fellow

Steward Observatory

How Do Massive Stars End Their Lives?
Oct. 23

Dr. Carlos Vargas

Steward Observatory

Unveiling the Missing Universe with ASPERA
Nov. 6

Dr. Brittany Miles

51 Pegasi b Fellow

Steward Observatory

Probing the Depths of Planetary Atmospheres!

Nov. 20

(Date Change)

Dr. Tim Hunter

Maj. James McGaha, M.S.

Grasslands Observatory

E. E. Barnard and Dark Nebulae: Then and Now

book-signing after the lecture

Dec. 4

Dr. Kevin Wagner

Steward Observatory

Exoplanet Imaging: From Protoplanets to Exo-Earths




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.