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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.


May 2018 “Meet the Astronomer” – Antonio Porras

Why is our Milky Way the way it is?

Date:  Friday, May 4, 2018 – 7:00PM

Millions of years after the Big Bang, the first stars and galaxies in our universe began to form. In 2020, NASA’s upcoming mission with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will look at those first stars and galaxies formed through the infrared wavelength, providing us new information about galaxy formation and evolution throughout history. Many astrophysicists use telescopes to observe galaxies far away from our own. Others use simulations to make predictions based on what we expect to observe. During this presentation, Antonio will talk about the revolutionary aspects of the JWST in astronomy. He will also explain how astronomers use telescopes and simulated-universes to make accurate predictions in the field of galaxy formation. By the end of the presentation, he hopes to answer the question: Why is our Milky Way the way it is?

A Question & Answer session will follow. The Seyfert telescope will open for viewing if weather permits.


About Antonio Porras: I am originally from a small neighborhood in the capital San José, Costa Rica. I discovered my passion for astronomy through a philosophy class in high school. I had many unanswered questions about the creation of the universe and its evolution over time. This curiosity led me to pursue my American dream, which started when I moved to the U.S. to study at Northern Virginia Community College, where I had the opportunity to expand my English. I knew that to understand the language of the universe, I needed to study mathematics, so later I graduated with a mathematics degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Now, I am a Master’s student in physics at Fisk University through the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge program. Here, I have conducted research in galaxy evolution theory. I am starting my PhD in astrophysics at Vanderbilt University this fall. My hope as a continuing graduate student is to share the exciting physics of our universe. During my spare time, I like weightlifting, playing soccer, and reading poetry.

Milky Way map courtesy NASA, Antonio Parros photo courtesy the speaker.

Ticket are Required.  You may 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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