Celestial Curiosity in Carson City

Unlock the secrets of the cosmos at the Jack C. Davis Observatory, a research-level facility open to students and the general public alike. Located at the northern side of the Western Nevada College’s (WNC) Carson City campus, this astronomical haven invites you to explore our solar system and space’s history.

The Jack C. Observatory is made possible thanks to the vision and commitment of the WNC faculty, community volunteers, and the generous support of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. Named in honor of WNC’s founding president, the Jack C. Davis Observatory made its debut 20 years ago on May 15, 2003. 

Situated on the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, the Jack C. Davis Observatory offers a distinct vantage point for those who want to immerse themselves in the wonders of the night sky. Whether to gaze upon the moon, stars or other planets, this facility provides both interior and exterior telescopes to satisfy your curiosity.

But the Davis Observatory is more than just a stargazing sanctuary. It’s a hub of knowledge and discovery, offering classes that keep students, scientists, and the entire community aware of the latest technological advancements in astronomy. 

Events on the horizon

Ready to meet other space and star-gazing enthusiasts? Embark on a cosmic journey at the Jack C. Davis Observatory, where you can indulge in captivating events and learn about the mysteries of the galaxy.

Lecture Series on Saturday Nights

If you thought this was the perfect gathering for you to hang out with your friends and family while talking about stars, space, and other celestial wonders, you’d be right! The Jack C. Davis Observatory takes gazing at the stars a step further by involving academia. These monthly Saturday events—called the Summer Lecture Series—have included topics ranging from Isaac Newton, killer asteroids, Hubble Telescope images, and even Star Trek. WNC Physics Professor and NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador, Dr. Thomas Herring will be your guide through these explorations. 

The lectures start at 6:30 p.m. October 1 through March 31 and 7:30 p.m. from April 1 through September 30. The days feel longer during the summer (and we love it!), so the Jack C. Davis Observatory makes sure you can wrap up your warm days with an educational lecture.

Be sure to keep a lookout on WNC’s calendar for special lecture lectures. (Remember to use the tag “Observatory” to see their specific events!) Contact WNC or Jack C. Davis Observatory directly for more information about upcoming events.

Take a piece of space home

We don’t mean pieces of asteroids or stardust (sorry). The next best thing to remember visiting the Observatory or to surprise the stargazer in your life with is this 12-pack of astrophotography cards. WNC is selling these bundles in celebration of the Jack C. Davis Observatory’s 20th anniversary. If you want to support a local school, you can purchase these cards on their website