Stargazers can take an enhanced peek at the night sky with some help from the Quad Cities Astronomical Society (QCAS). The group is hosting a free public viewing session at the Msgr. S.G. Menke Observatory on Saturday, July 23rd. The event will begin shortly after sunset, weather permitting. Their observatory is located near the entrance of the Wapsi River Environmental Educational Center, 31555 52nd Avenue in Dixon, IA. This facility houses some of the area’s largest telescopes, including 30″, 20″ and 12″ Newtonians and a 14″ computer controlled Schmidt Cassegrain. All these telescopes are expected to be available for guests to use. Members will have telescopes doing a variety of activities, including electronically assisted astronomy (EAA) and astrophotography.

On July 30th, the QCAS will raffle off a new 4.5″ Orion StarBlast telescope. This is a great entry level scope and an excellent grab-n-go scope for the more advanced astronomer. It could be a great finder scope for someone with a large telescope. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5 and are available at any of the Society’s public events. The winner doesn’t need to be present to win and all proceeds go toward the Society’s Observatory Relocation Project.

For more information on the QCAS, visit their Facebook page by clicking here.