Tate Dome

Outreach Presentations & Events


To complement our rigorous teaching curriculum and extensive research programs, the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics is heavily involved in public outreach programs. We offer public telescope viewings of the night sky on the roof of the Tate building, 116 Church St. SE, each Friday night during the regular academic year when school is in session. During the summer months we travel to various Minnesota State Parks for our Universe in the Park program to give a short presentation followed by telescope viewing. If you are interested in learning more about the various topics in astronomy, these are excellent opportunities to do so and our staff of graduate students are more than happy to answer your questions.

However, our public outreach program does not end with these two public viewing events. We take it a step further by offering our services (free of charge) to groups who are looking for a more personalized event to suit their particular interests. These groups include schools, churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, rotary clubs, senior citizens, etc. In some cases, we may be able to travel to your location. The event can consist of a class on a particular subject, telescope viewing, hands-on demonstrations, or anything else that is feasible. As examples, in the past we have done talks on the solar system, galaxies, formation of the Universe, and the history of astronomy. The possibilities are endless!


Each year, MIfA faculty and staff volunteer for over 60 public presentations on astronomy topics. Please contact our Public Outreach Coordinator at , if you would like to organize an event. Be sure to include your contact information, the time(s) and date(s) of the desired event, the location, and the desired presentation or activity.

*** We do not guarantee that all requested events can be accommodated. Because the Tate Laboratory of Physics & Astronomy is currently under construction, we cannot accommodate as many requests as we used to. All requests are first-come, first-serve!

*** Events should not last more than 3 hours, including travel time to and from the event. (Due to oversubscription, longer events are unlikely to be filled.)

*** Please email at least three weeks in advance of your desired event.

*** Accepted requests during the summer months are limited due to decreased availability of volunteers.

About the Program

The Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics is dedicated to bringing the excitement of modern astrophysical research to the Minnesota public.

Throughout the year, we host numerous programs including our Universe in the Park series, Friday night observing sessions with our on-campus telescope, and school and group presentations.

MIfA hopes to share its passion of astronomy through our series of scheduled public viewings. Please join us in observing some of the same celestial objects that have inspired sky-gazers throughout history.

Contact Information

MN Institute for Astrophysics

University of Minnesota
John T. Tate Hall, 116 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: (612) 624-4811

E: MIfA@umn.edu