In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have cancelled all 2021 events at Ashton Observatory, including Saturday Public Nights and private group events. We are disappointed, but everyone’s health and safety naturally comes first.
Please follow official government guidelines about how to protect yourself and others. We are all in this together, and need to act with consideration for how to take care of each other. Stay well.
Check back here to see any updates that might apply to future DMAS events.
When normal activities resume, this is what we say about it: Saturday Public Nigths are every Saturday, April through October, beginning at 8:00 p.m. with a classroom program followed by stargazing through our large telescopes as sky condition allow. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. (click HERE for map)
The Des Moines Astronomical Society, Inc. (DMAS) is here to promote interest in astronomy, and to share opportunities for viewing the night sky. Our Ashton Observatory is home to two large diameter telescopes. From there you will be able to see the Milky Way and study the deep space objects that are so fascinating, guided by the friendly, enthusiastic, and experienced members of DMAS.
FYI: If you are wanting to make arrangements for camping or other activities in the Ashton-Wildwood County Park, you need to contact Jasper County Conservation Department. The Observatory is located in the park, but we have nothing to do with arranging other activities in the park.
Click here to download a monthly target list or star chart, and to learn more about what you can see with your naked eye, or through a telescope this month. Each day the sky advances a bit towards the west. Everything moves 30 degrees per month. It's always a new sky, night after night.
Click here to learn more about scheduling an event for your group. April through October, Ashton Observatory is open to the public every Saturday night, or may be available for private groups on other days. Join us for a night under the stars. Look through our telescopes and see the wonders of the universe! We enjoy sharing our hobby with everyone.