"There are no passengers on Spaceship ICAstro.  We are all crew."


ICAstro was formed in September 2006. We are a group of astronomy enthusiasts who meet monthly to discuss current topics in space science and spend time observing together. All are welcome at our meetings and to join the crew. We have no dues/officers/bylaws and our only requirement is the ability to look up and say "Wow!" This website will keep you up to date on the latest astronomy happenings in Southwest Wisconsin and meeting times/places/agenda.  

We have an email list that we use for announcements and discussion. If you would like to join, visit our Google Group page and click on the join button.

Club Calendar

For more information, contact John Heasley.

Next Meeting Friday, April 5 at 7 pm QLF Agronomy Research Center

QLFARC is at 3625 State Hwy 23 North (formerly Thym’s just north and across the hwy from our old location at the main
QLF bldg and just south and across the hwy from the Don Q airplane).


Meet and Greet (10 minutes)

We like to set aside time for people to socialize and to catch up with one another before we get down to astronomy.

News/equipment/events (15-20 minutes)

This is a time to share general astronomy items before we focus on our theme for the month.

Theme: Luminous Compact Dwarf Galaxies w/ Dr. Katie Rabidoux (45 minutes)

Luminous compact blue galaxies were very common when the universe was half of its current age, but are rare at the present time. This discrepancy means that these galaxies must evolve quickly. Even though we know that they must make a lot of new stars in a short period of time before their star formation rapidly declines, it is not known why these galaxies stop forming stars, nor is it know what their descendants look like today. Dr. Rabidoux will describe what is known about LCBGs and explain evidence for the possible evolutionary paths of this intriguing class of galaxies.

Dr. Rabidoux earned her PhD and Master of Science in Physics from West Virginia University, and Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics from Michigan State University. She is an Assistant Professor at UW-Platteville.


After the meeting (around 8:45pm) at Bethel Horizons if skies are clear and conditions allow.  Sunset 7:31. AstroTwilight 9:10.

Gentle Reminder: We are sharing a telescope with BH and are guests in their space.  

Please speak softly so that others may enjoy their time there as well. Park in the lot rather than along the road.  

Or we might just stargaze a bit from the QLF parking lot depending on conditions.

Club Customs

2019 Meetings (typically the Friday before New Moon)




Jan 4

7:00 PM

Talking about Dark Skies (Lynda S.)/2018 Planning (John H.)

Conn:  Lynda

Dinner: Red Room

Feb 1

7:00 PM

The Burnham Telescope (Dr. Jim Lattis)

Conn:  John

Dinner: Aztlan

Mar 1

7:00 PM

Giant Steps (John H.)

Conn: John

Dinner: China One

Apr 5

7:00 PM

Luminous Compact Blue Galaxies (Dr. Katie Rabidoux)

Conn: John


May 10

7:30 PM

Women Who Stargaze (John H.)

Conn: John


Jun 14

6:00 PM

Twin Valley Picnic Area

Gov. Dodge Solstice Picnic Potluck


Dinner:  Yummy stuff from members

Jul 26

7:30 PM

AstroQuilts (Deb Cavanaugh)

Conn: Lynda


Aug 30

7:30 PM

The Nearest Stars (Dave O.)



Sep 27

7:00 PM

(Dr. Bob Mathieu)

Conn: John


Oct 25

7:00 PM

Memories of the Space Age (Linda S.)

Conn: Lynda


Nov 22

7:00 PM

Traditional Star Stories (Ron S.)





Solstice Party

Maps for observing locations:

Check the current agenda for our observing location. Links to maps for each site are below.  Park sticker required for the three sites at Governor Dodge.

Bethel Horizons - Twin Valley - Meadow Valley TrailheadCox Amphitheater -

Need Help with your Telescope?

We often hear from people who own a telescope and don't know how to use it. If you'd like to learn how to use a telescope, bring your telescope to any of our meetings--we've got lots of experienced people who would be glad to help! 

Quick links

Clear Outside - Forecast of sky conditions

Heavens-Above - Predictions for the ISS and other satellites

SpaceWeatherLive- Forecast for northern lights.  We need a KP above 5 to see aurora.

AstroGadgets - John Wunderlin's very useful desktop program

The Sky This Week - Weekly astronomy column by David Oesper

Driftless Stargazing - John Heasley's FB page for awesome sky events in our area

The International Dark-Sky Association works to protect the night skies for present and future generations

Light Pollution Map - See how dark your skies are

UW-Space Place - Space Museum in Madison. Regular presentations and guests.

Universe in the Park - UW Astronomy programs and stargazing in WI State Parks

Astronomy Picture of the Day- Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Ed Ting's Guide to buying a telescope

Website hosted and sponsored by Spike-a Bahtinov Focusing Masks