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Release: Feb. 5, 2001

UI donates telescope to Cedar Rapids Amateur Astronomers

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A recent gift from the department of physics and astronomy in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts to the Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc. (CAA) of Cedar Rapids has brightened the outlook for local amateur astronomers.

The gift, in the form of a surplus, 34-year-old telescope the university had relegated to storage, has been reconditioned by the amateur group and set up at the CAA's Palisades Dows Observatory, located at the Palisades Dows Botanical Preserve. According to the CAA, the 16-inch Celestron telescope will allow additional local astronomy enthusiasts to enjoy the night skies.

UI department of physics and astronomy chair Wayne Polyzou said that he is happy that the university was able to offer the gift of surplus equipment and that its refurbishment and maintenance by the amateur astronomers will benefit the public. He also said that the astronomy faculty have taken many students on tours of the Dows Observatory and that the UI department of physics and astronomy values this mutually beneficial relationship with the CAA.

The CAA is a family oriented, non-profit group dedicated to showing the science and wonder of astronomy to Cedar Rapids and the surrounding communities. In conjunction with the Linn County Conservation Department, the CAA provides free monthly observing programs from March through October at Palisades Dows Observatory. Additional information is available at the CAA web site: