The Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics engages in many forms of Public Outreach. This page gives a summary of some of our efforts as well as pointing you toward other information on astronomy and science geared for the public. If you are interested in more information, please visit the links below or contact our current Public Outreach Coordinator, Nardin Vahidi Azar. If you would like to be notified of future outreach events, please send an e-mail to and we will put you on our list of e-mail notifications.
- Nardin Vahidi Azar
Observing Nights - Held every Friday during the Fall and Spring semesters, our graduate students invite you to join them at the University for some backyard astronomy (weather permitting).
School/Group Presentations - Our faculty members and graduate students are always eager to share their knowledge and interest in astronomy free of charge.
- MIfA Public Lecture Series: Held once per semester, this lecture communicates the exciting research activities of MIfA researchers directly to the public.
- Karlis Kaufmanis Lecture Series: The Kaufmanis Lecture is presented in memory of beloved Professor of Astronomy Karlis Kaufmanis. This series brings distinguished scientists to the campus to provide public lectures on the latest hot topics in research.
Minnesota Starwatch - An online newsletter describing the night sky.
Universe in the Park - Held on weekend evenings during the summer months, these events consist of public presentations and night sky viewing (weather permitting) at area state parks.
- August 13, 2017 Bell Museum Pre-Eclipse Block Party Enjoy University of Minnesota scientist talks, hands-on activities, solar telescope observing, and free mini ExploraDome planetarium shows.
- October 2014 Partial Eclipse Viewing - Over 500 members of the UMN community joined graduate students and faculty on the roof of Tate in October 2014 to watch the partial eclipse of the moon.
Other resources - The Institute has collected a number of links to external sources of astronomical information.