December 16th Meeting – Jim Lattis, Director of the UW Madison Space Place on “140 Years on the Frontiers: UW Madison’s Washburn Observatory”

Dr. Jim Lattis is director of the UW Madison Space Place, the outreach and public education center for the University’s Department of Astronomy, in which he is also a Faculty Associate.  Jim teaches astronomy by many methods to a wide variety of audiences from the general public to the university setting.  His research focuses on the history of astronomy and more specifically in the age of Galileo.  Jim has published a book in that area titled “Between Copernicus and Galileo” (University of Chicago Press) and is currently working on a book on the history of Wisconsin’s Washburn Observatory.

UW Madison’s Washburn Observatory was the country’s 2019 12 Dec - Washburn telescopewesternmost research observatory when it was established in 1879.  Although the United States’ physical frontier advanced westward rapidly, the Washburn Observatory remained at the frontiers of astronomical research as a result of its long and prestigious tradition of innovative instrument development which led not only to the growth of modern astrophysics in the early 20th Century but also to new frontiers of space astronomy.  Jim’s presentation will survey the origins and important achievements in the history of Wisconsin’s observatory and its astronomers.

This meeting is a joint Holiday Party with the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance (WSA) at the Maple Tree restaurant on Highway 51 in McFarland.  Again this year attendees will need to RSVP by Dec. 9th via email to either Mike Simon at, Jerry Pasdo at or the Badger Fly Fishers at with your number of dinner attendees so that an accurate count can be obtained.  The meeting begins at 5:30 with a social hour followed by a family style dinner served at 6:30.  The presentation will begin following dinner.  The dinner cost is $19 which includes the tip.  Payment needs to be made in the exact cash amount or via a check payable to Badger Fly Fishers.

Hope to see you on the 16th to learn about the Washburn Observatory’s significant contributions to astronomy!


Buzz McFly

2019 12 Dec - sky
Title: “A Spectacular Sky”

The following is a list of our future monthly meeting presentations for the next three months:

  1. January 27, 2020 – Rich Osthoff on fishing the Driftless Region.
  2. February 8, 2020 – Spring Opener Fundraiser with Bob Clouser as guest speaker.
  3. February 24, 2020 – Tim Landwehr on “Fly Fishing in Patagonia.”
  4. March 23, 2020 – Bradd Sims from WDNR on “Smallmouth Bass Fishing and Easement Program”