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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 videos of previous Public Evening Lectures.


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


Spring 2024 Lectures


Jan. 22

Dr. Christopher Walker

Abram Young

Steward Obervatory

What's up with GUSTO?  A Status Report

Feb. 5

Dr. Sean Linden

Peter A. Strittmatter Fellow

Steward Observatory

A Cosmic Odyssey: The Epic Journey of our Milky Way Galaxy
Feb. 19

Dr. Marcia Rieke

Elizabeth Roemer Chair

Regents Professor

Steward Observatory

JWST: Two Years of Operations Are Changing Astronomy!

A Lecture to Celebrate Dr. Rieke's Winning of the A.S.P.'s Catherine W. Bruce Medal

Mar. 4

Dr. J. Roger Angel

Regents Professor

Steward Observatory

  50 Years at Steward: Optics for Astronomy and Now to Reverse Climate Change*
Mar. 11

Dr. Jeffrey Bennett

Univ. of Colorado

Pathway to a Post-Global Warming Future

Co-Sponsored by The Arizona Environment Program

book-signing after the lecture

Mar. 25

Dr. Andras Gaspar

Steward Observatory

Forty years of debris disks: From IRAS to JWST

Apr. 15

Dr. Christopher Cokinos

Dept. Of English

University of Arizona

Still as Bright: An Illuminating History of the Moon

from Antiquity to Tomorrow

book-signing after the lecture

Apr. 29

Dr. Kathryne Daniel

Steward Observatory

Galactic Symphony: The Harmonic Evolution of Our Milky Way Galaxy


*Roger will give an update on what Steward's big spun-cast mirrors are doing and where they are
heading. Also how other telescope ideas are doing - like fibers catching starlight, and lobster eye
optics now imaging the x-ray sky.   He will also talk about new ways to use optics to counter
climate change, by shading the Earth, or better, by powering carbon dioxide removal using



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.