The Jack C. Davis Observatory is open to the public and provides a research-level facility for WNC students and the community. The observatory is located at 2269 Vanpatten Ave., on the northern end of the Carson City Campus.
Wishing on a Star . . .
The Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College in Carson City is a premier place in northern Nevada to get “up close and personal” with the moon, stars and planets. With both interior and exterior telescopes, and perched on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Davis Observatory is the place to be for astronomical happenings, planetary walks, and informative classes that keep students, scientists and the community on the edge of the latest technological advances.
. . . . Dreams Can Come True
It took the vision of WNC faculty, the work of community volunteers, and the generous donations of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations to create the Jack C. Davis Observatory. Named for the founding president of Western Nevada College, the Davis Observatory’s First Light on May 15, 2003, featured a lecture by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, and visits by hundreds of well-wishers.
Saturday Night Star Parties
The Jack C Davis Observatory hosts free star parties on Saturdays, opening time varies with the season, between October 1 and March 31, doors open at 6 p.m. During the spring and summer months, April 1 through September 30, doors open at 7 p.m.
Currently the lecture series is suspended due to COVID-19 concerns. There is no definite timeline to when they might resume. When they do we will start with lectures on the 3rd Saturday of each month with special events as needed which will show on the calendar link below.
This year, we have upcoming scheduled special events planned for Sunday May 15, 2022 (a lunar eclipse AND the observatory’s 19th anniversary!) and Monday November 7, 2022 for another lunar eclipse.
Lecture topics have included:
- Alexander the Great
- A Tour of the Universe
- Celestial Wonders
- Star Trek
- The Trojan War
- Greatest Discoveries in 400 Years of Astronomy
- The Voyagers
- Hubble Space Telescope Images
- Top Ten Recent Astronomy Stories
- Galileo the Astronomer
- Jules Verne, the father of Science Fiction
- Isaac Newton
- Space Art
- Kaguya, Japan Goes to the Moon
- 2001 A Space Odyssey
- Lord Horatio Nelson, Admiral of the Seas
- A Giant Step The story of America’s journey to the Moon. Two 50 Min lectures.
- Jack C. Davis Observatory Astrophotography
- Omega Centauri, King of the Star Clusters
- Flash Gordon
- 2012, The End of the World?
- Killer Asteroids from Outer Space
- NASA-Project Mercury
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Wyatt Earp, The Legend