Welcome to the Van Allen Observatory (VAO) website. The University of Iowa  Department of Physics and Astronomy maintains these pages as a guide to the Van Allen Observatroy located on the roof of Van Allen Hall in downtown Iowa City. The telescope consists of a 0.41 m (17 inch) Cassegrain reflector, high QE CCD camera, eight position filter wheel, and a 2048-channel digital spectrometer. The VAO is used by students and faculty at the University of Iowa for astronomical laboratories and research.

Astronomy courses which use these facilities include the introductory non-major survey course Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe, the major-level course General Astronomy, and the upper-level course Astronomical Laboratory. Check the  VAO Facebook page for daily scheduled observations and 

The system was recently upgraded with funds by the Carver Trust.  A short introductory vdieo of the VAO is available below. 

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