Welcome to Quad Cities Astronomical Society!

Stimulating an interest in the science of astronomy within the Quad Cities, nurturing an ongoing desire by our members to study the cosmos, and to providing members of our community opportunities to experience the
Joy and Beauty of Astronomy.

Upcoming Events

QCAS Dinner meeting at Dynasty Buffet.

The Meridian News

  • Eastern Iowa Star Party 2018
    Eastern Iowa Star Party 2018
    September 10, 2018

    Thank you so very much to those attending the 2018 Quad Cities Astronomical Society’s Eastern Iowa Star Party! Friday seemed a bit sketchy until David Levy chatted with those attendees present and Grant Harkness and Alan Sheidler stepped up and gave talks on the Wilton School Observatory Project and the 2019 NCRAL respectively… we then topped the night off with watching a movie called Deep Impact…. one which David Levy was conferred on… and had the midnight chili at 8:00 pm.….. we had 24 in attendance that day/night. Saturday was an incredible day…. Drs. Sipiera, Anderson and Levy gave incredibly interesting, education al and entertaining presentations followed by great Q&A sessions. We gave away 16 door prizes between talks… and had raffle winners for the second place…Televue 1.25″ 2X Barlow, and the grand prize, the 102mm Explore Scientific Carbon Fiber Triplet. We moved midnight stew up to about 7:00 PM and while we ate watched the movie, Armageddon…. the evening cleared a bit and we spent the night doing imaging and viewing… hanging out with David Levy as he continued his search for comets… Jennifer and Dave Anderson hung out with us and checked out the various views thru the various […]...

  • Perseid Meteor Shower at PVJHS 2018
    Perseid Meteor Shower at PVJHS 2018
    August 13, 2018

    Excellent event tonight! Thank you to all the Quad City Astronomical Society members that showed up to help! I haven't counted the signatures in the book, but I'm estimating between 200 and 300 guests attended tonight's event. I think that's a record breaker! Folks started arriving around 7:30 PM and like last year, we started packing up shortly after midnight. Along with a few dozen meteors, guests saw the planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, and quite a few satellites. Some saw a presentation on spectroscopy, discussed the Perseid event and saw the constellations in Stellarium on a large screen along with a number of DSO pics, and watched the sky via a live AllSky Cam! Great job to all the members, and thank you to all our guests! We'll do this again next August. Make sure you plan ahead! Clear skies! Jeff...

  • Iowa Naturalists visit the QCAS Jens-Wendt Observatory.
    Iowa Naturalists visit the QCAS Jens-Wendt Observatory.
    March 14, 2018

    On March 14th, 2018, the QCAS will host a tour of their Jens Wendt Observatory to the Iowa Association of Naturalists. This will be an open house style event for the Naturalists. If all goes according to plan, guests will be arriving at the observatory, located at Sherman Park about 6 PM on March 14th. They are planning a soup supper up at the house, all who are helping out with the observatory are welcome to join. There will be 2-3 varieties of soup including a vegetarian option and fresh baked bread. Reservations are appreciated. They are also planning an evening hike and a social campfire with music if the weather is nice. QCAS members are invited for it all. This will also allow people to filter over to the observatory so there is less need of a line at the scope. We hope that attendees can see some of the planets and maybe easier to see/find nebulae. Guests never forget their first view through a big telescope! If it is clouded over, we can tour the facility anyway. March 1st is the early registration deadline so we should have a pretty good idea of attendance for this trip by […]...

  • A Trip to Adler Planetarium
    March 5, 2018


  • Block House Clean Up
    February 20, 2018

    Member of QCAS got together this afternoon to clean out the blockhouse. Many ladybugs were vanquished!...

  • Hawkeyes in Space
    Hawkeyes in Space
    February 20, 2018

    Hawkeye in Space! A joint field trip for the Quad Cities Astronomical Society and The Popular Astronomy Club....

  • Dr. Mitchell Attends AAS 2018
    Dr. Mitchell Attends AAS 2018
    February 19, 2018

    Dr. Mitchell documents his visit to the American Astronomical Society's 2018 meeting. This video gives you an idea of what it's like to be there. He also did a few interviews with presenters at the conference....

  • Double Stars
    February 6, 2018

    Have you ever gone outside on a beautiful night, looked up at the sky and wondered just how many stars that there were? Did you know that about eighty percent of the points of light you are seeing are actually Binary Star Systems… aka double stars? Unfortunately, to fully appreciate double stars, a telescope is required, but don’t despair! It doesn’t take the Hubble to see them; even a common set of binoculars can do the trick for many of these gems! So what is a double star… a Binary System? Well, commonly it is two or more stars in very close proximity to each other… Some double stars just happen to line up in the sky, and appear close together… even touching, but they are so far apart that their travels in the sky have no impact on each other. We call these Visual Doubles. Then we have the binary systems where there are actually two or more stars that are physically close to each other… enough so that they do have an impact on each other. We call these Gravitational Doubles. They circle one another, many times growing closer and closer to each other where over millennia that they may collide and result in super nova… […]...

  • Blood Moon 01/31/2018
    Blood Moon 01/31/2018
    January 31, 2018

    Some images taken by members of the Blood Moon from 01/31/18. These are shoots that appeared in the QC Astromony Facebook Group...

  • Dr. Mitchell AAS
    Dr. Mitchell AAS
    January 19, 2018

    Dr. Robert Mitchell gave a presentation on the American Astronomy Convention and his participation.   Brian Didier and Shivani Ganesh were two undergrad students who worked with me over the last few years on my research. A spectrum is blueshifted if the object is moving toward you. In this case, it’s the photosphere (“surface”) of the supernova that’s rapidly moving toward us because of the explosion (on the order of 10,000 miles per second). The amount of blueshift in the spectral lines tells us just how fast. Assuming the photosphere is expanding at constant velocity during the supernova’s entire life (which is reasonable, since at these speeds, gravity would hardly slow it down at all), then the velocity times how long it’s been since the explosion gives us the radius of the photosphere The overall spectrum has a shape that depends on the temperature of the supernova’s “surface”. A theoretically perfect radiator of “heat radiation” (which only depends on the temperature of the object) is called a blackbody. For a blackbody, the absolute brightness depends only on the radius and the temperature. Comparing the absolute brightness to the apparent brightness gives us the distance to the supernova, and therefore to the […]...

We are always looking for more observing buddies!