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Registration now open for 2018 Space Science Summer Camps

The focus of Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory’s camp is astronomy and space science.

Campers learn how scientists discover the secrets of the universe, from exotic black holes to the nature of light. During the week, campers are engaged in exciting hands-on educational science activities which may include launching rockets, working with and building electronics, making model comets, and working with telescopes. The camp curriculum has been created by an expert team of astronomy professors, space scientists, and area science teachers.

Go to our Summer Camp page for more information and application materials.


Open House Days & Telescope Nights

Tickets are available one month before each event. Please note that these events sell out quickly, so plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Visit our Open House Days and Telescope Nights pages for tickets and more information.

There are no Open House or Telescope Night dates in the months of December, January or February, because Dyer Observatory is closed.


April 2018 “Meet the Astronomer” – Dr. Bob Schweikert

Sundials: What Time Is It?

The origin of sundials is unknown but may date back to as much as 5,000 years. The history of science finds in them evidence of very early understanding of some of the fundamentals of astronomy. Modern science finds them useful in describing the solar system and orbital dynamics. The mathematics of sundials may be incorporated in the teaching of plane and spherical trigonometry. Architects use them in the design of buildings and formal gardens. Artists find them useful in paintings, engravings and stonework. Summer science projects can include the drawing of an analemmatic sundial on the ground. Sundials were of interest to many scientists and scholars such as Sir Isaac Newton and Thomas Jefferson.

The discussion will focus on the ancient history of sundials from the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans to their resurgence during the renaissance and on to the present day. The presentation will also include a non-mathematical explanation of their workings and basic orbital dynamics. Illustrations of modern sundials will be presented and everyone will be able to make a working sundial for Nashville.

A Question & Answer session will follow, as will a telescope viewing if weather permits.

Date:  Friday, April 6, 2018 – 7:00PM

Ticket are Required.  You can purchase tickets at this link.

Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory
1000 Oman Drive, Brentwood TN 37027
phone: (615) 373-4897

We are open Tuesday-Friday 8am-4pm, March through November.

If you wish to visit, please call first to confirm the facility is available. Or reach us via email here.
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