College of Letters & Sciences
Physics students studying


Contact Information

Robert Benjamin
Department Chair & Professor
Phone: (262) 472-5114
Location: Upham Hall 156
Patricia Filipiak
Department Associate
Phone: 262-472-1067
Location: Upham Hall 151


UWW Astronomy Program

UW-Whitewater observatory

The UW-Whitewater Observatory Lecture Series has three events this spring, addressing questions about Yerkes Observatory, galaxies and their neighborhoods and dark matter.

Date: Friday, Mar 3 @7:30pm 

Location:  Upham Hall 141 (771 W Starin Rd, Whitewater, WI 53190)

Speaker: Dr. Amanda Bauer  (Yerkes Observatory) 

Title: Yerkes Observatory: 125 Years of History and a Bright Future

Abstract: Dedicated in October of 1897, the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin continues to be the home of the world’s largest refracting (lens) telescope.  Over the decades, generations of now-famous astronomers worked at the observatory, learning about the nature of stars, finding dark clouds in space, and creating the first map of spiral structure in the Milky Way. Dr. Bauer, Deputy Director of Yerkes Observatory and Head of Science and Education, will talk about the history of this remarkable facility and describe its future trajectory. Open telescopes at Whitewater Observatory after the talk (weather permitting). 



Date: Friday, Apr 14 @ 7:30pm 

Location:  Upham Hall 141 (771 W Starin Rd, Whitewater, WI 53190)

Speaker: Melissa Morris (University of Wisconsin-Madison) 

Title: Under Pressure: Pushing Down on Galaxies

Abstract: Our Universe is filled with billions of galaxies that are all interacting with their surroundings in some way, but how do these interactions actually affect how galaxies change and evolve over time? Can we use supermassive black holes that are emitting incredibly high energy jets as tools to study the surroundings of these galaxies? Join us to learn more about the matter that exisits outside of galaxies, the effect it has on galaxy evolution, and how supermassive black holes can help. Open telescopes at Whitewater Observatory after the talk (weather permitting) 



Date: Fri, May 5 @ 7:30pm 

Location:  Upham Hall 141 (771 W Starin Rd, Whitewater, WI 53190) 

Speaker: Prof. Christy Tremonti (University of Wisconsin-Madison)  

Title:  The Dark Side of the Universe:  The quest to uncover the fundamental nature of dark matter


Abstract: Approximately 85% of the matter in the Universe is thought to be a mysterious substance called dark matter that neither emits nor absorbs light and only interacts with normal matter via gravity.  Ninety years have elapsed since the first evidence for dark matter emerged from astronomical observations,  but its fundamental nature remains one of the greatest cosmic mysteries.   In this talk we will explore the abundant evidence for dark matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies.  Then, we will consider some of the possibilities for what dark matter might be.  Finally, we'll talk about some of the exciting physics experiments that are trying to directly detect dark matter particles on Earth and some of the new astronomical observations that will shed light on its fundamental nature. Open telescopes at Whitewater Observatory after the talk (weather permitting) 


       If severe weather is forecast for the night of the lecture, please make sure to check this page after 6 PM

the night of the lecture to determine if the lecture has been cancelled. Unless you find a cancellation

notice here at that time, the lecture will be held as scheduled.

An interactive solar system and a collection of images and links can be found at our

Virtual Observatory

UW-Whitewater Courses in Astronomy

Astronomy course information may be obtained from the Physics Department course page.