The Quad Cities Astronomical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to 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.

Our club observatory is located at Sherman Park, north of Dixon, IA. It houses a 20" EQ mounted Newtonian reflector in a roll-off roofed building as well as a 16" Newtonian reflector in a dome and several "loner" scopes for the use of club members and at star parties.

We hold public star parties the last Saturday of each month April through September (weather permitting) beginning shortly after sunset at the Sherman Park Observatory. We also host the annual Eastern Iowa Star Party.

Membership is $20 for an individual and $10 for each additional family member 16 years of age and up. Membership includes access to member section of this website, use of club facilities and scopes, and a great feeling of being a part of the best club this side of the Mississippi!

Membership meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:00pm at St. Ambrose University's McCarthy Hall on the first floor .
Founding of the Quad Cities Astronomical Society

by Wayne Jens

Mr. Andy Clark, of the Park & Recreation Dept. in the summer of 1979, contacted Mr. Morris Calsyn of St. Ambrose to set up an astronomy program with telescopes for a public viewing. Mr. Calsyn contacted a few amateurs and asked them to participate on three Tuesday evenings. The program was advertised to schools and boy and girl scout groups. The first night the program and scopes were set up next to the putting green at Emeis Park. The program went fine, with a large group of people, until the automatic sprinkler system turned on requiring the scopes to be moved quickly. The following week we moved to the area south of the tennis courts where we held public programs for many years. Mr. Calsyn talked about organizing a club and wrote a letter 17 Nov. 1980 for a meeting at the St. Ambrose Faculty Lounge. A large group came and a club was formed with Wayne Jens President, Dana Taylor Vice President, Andrea Schneider Secretary, Rachel Serianze Treasurer, Ron Pearson Programs, Walter Bredbeck Facilities, Morris Calsyn & Joe Getz Publicity. By-laws were drafted at a later meeting and Dana Taylor designed a Logo. The first meetings were held at Lewis Hall St. Ambrose. Presidents who served; Wayne Jens 1980 - 83, Ron Pearson 1984 - 86, Dana Taylor 1987 - 88, Al Cattior 1989 - 90, Bill Brown 1991 - 93, Ken Boquist 1994, Bill Meyers 1995 - 96, Bill Brown 1997. Members serving on the Board: John Waack, Dennis Means, Andrea Schneider, Richard Batcher. The Eastern Iowa Star Party started in 1982 at Eden Valley County Park with the assistance of Bob Bryant. The star party became too big for Eden Valley and required equipment to be moved to the top of the hill. The Party moved to Sherman Park in 1990 then to the Boy Scout Camp, which became the Wapsi River Environmental Center in 1991. Papers for Non-Profit Corporation were filed 5 Aug. 1982. Early meeting notices were sent out by Post Cards. The newsletter "Meridian" was started in April 1982, by Gene Ullsmith. Early Astronomy Day Programs were held at North Park shopping Mall and also at Le Claire Park in May 1991. The club has assisted Mr. Don Schafer at Bettendorf High School, Mr. Tom Irvin at North High School. A few programs were set up at the Putnam Museum, The Corps of Engineers Recreation Centers and the Bettendorf Museum. The storage building and telescope Pads at Sherman Park were built by members in Nov. 1987.