University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Universe in the Park

University of Minnesota

Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics

UitP Logo

When are we going to your state park?

UitP - What is it?

Universe in the Park is a summer outreach program hosted by the University of Minnesota's Institute for Astrophysics and area state and local parks. This annual program, modeled after a very successful project at the University of Wisconsin, is headed by faculty member Evan Skillman and graduate student Dinesh Shenoy.

At our events, representatives of the Institute will present a short (20–30 min) public talk and slide show. Presentations cover a variety of astronomical topics such as: the history of matter, how astronomers "see", and a journey through our solar system.

Afterwards, if weather allows, attendees have the opportunity to view the sky through multiple 8-inch reflecting telescopes, operated by the staff and provided by the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics. Additionally, we provide free star maps (e.g. and are happy to show visitors how to use them. Throughout the evening, we encourage questions from the audience and enjoy discussing topics ranging from backyard astronomy to the latest scientific discoveries.

Through these events, we hope to convey the excitement of modern astronomical research while simultaneously providing an enjoyable introduction to amateur astronomy. Although a vehicle permit is usually required to enter the parks, the events are free to the public. Please join us!

Where are these events?

For locations we will be at on specific dates please see our schedule for the summer of 2014! Summer 2014 UITP Schedule

Past locations have included:

When and what time?

Events are scheduled Fridays and Saturdays, (rain or shine) usually beginning in June and ending mid-August. See the SCHEDULE for more details. Presentations typically run from 8:30 to 10:00 or 11:00pm, including telescope observing.

How much does it cost?

The events are FREE, although usually a vehicle permit is required to enter the parks. So bring your family and friends!

What should I bring/wear?

You don't need to bring anything besides yourself, friends, and an interest in astronomy: we'll provide all the equipment. However, we do have some recommendations...

Interested in more information? Contact Dinesh Shenoy at .