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Save the Date! 100 Year Anniversary Celebration

On April 22, 2023 we will re-dedicate the Steward Observatory Dome and 36” telescope which started the 100 year journey to today. We thank Mrs. Lavina Steward for her generous $60,000 donation to the University of Arizona to build the dome and the “first All-American made reflecting telescope”, both are still in use today. 

At the dedication in 1923, Dr. Andrew Ellicott Douglass said the following:

“A dedication like this symbolizes the completion of a material part. But a dedication is dual, in being apart material and part spiritual. The material part is the building of brick and steel and glass which you see; the spiritual par is the living human force which enters this Observatory and makes it live. In this ceremony we dedicate ourselves to the perpetuation of this human force, which is nothing less than the soul residing in this physical structure.  I want this Steward Observatory to live, and in living it must grow, and in growing it must produce results. Its use for classes is fine; its use for the public is fine; but it will not live without scientific results. That means we must have scientific men [and women] to keep it busy. From time to time, further equipment should be added in order to enlarge human knowledge and suitable publications must present to the world the knowledge acquired here.”

As we celebrate this 100-year milestone, we will honor the great astronomers who have come before us and congratulate the astronomers of today for they continue the spirit of Steward Observatory and will pass this on to the next-generation.

In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the dedication we have refurbished the first floor of the dome.  It is now a combination museum, and small (but very deluxe) conference/class room.  Initial seed money was provided by Michael Chriss. From there, we added an accessible entrance and completely redecorated the interior. There is a display highlighting E. A. Douglass and the development of the telescope, and we rescued display cabinets originally built for Edwin Carpenter to display artifacts from the history of the observatory. Two large display screens act as programmable displays, and there is a touchscreen kiosk linking to the major observatory activities. 

We hope you will join us for this exciting event!

For more information contact:  Cathi Duncan, or 520-621-1320

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