"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.

Cancelled: Next Meeting Friday, March 20 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: Growing Food on Mars (45 minutes)

Eva Birtell of UW-Platteville will be sharing her exciting research with NASA designing a controlled ecosystem to provide future Martians with healthy and tasty meals.

ICA members were wowed by her presentation at last summer's WI Space Conference.


After the meeting (around 8:30 pm) at Bethel Horizons if skies are clear.  Sunset 7:13. AstroTwilight 8:48.

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.

Apply insect spray away from people and optics.  

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

Club Customs

2020 Meetings (typically the Friday before New Moon)




Jan 24


Cancelled due to weather



Feb 21

7:00 PM

2020 Planning and Constellation Crafts (John)

Conn: John 

Dinner: Dino's

Mar 20

7:00 PM

Growing on Mars (Eva Birtell)

Conn: Lynda


Apr 17

7:00 PM

Space Tourism (Ann S.)



May 22

7:30 PM

(Clif C.)



Jun 19

6:00 PM

Twin Valley Picnic Area

Gov. Dodge Solstice Picnic Potluck

Conn: John

Dinner:  Yummy stuff from members

Jul 17

7:30 PM

Mars 2020 Rover

Conn: John


Aug 14

7:30 PM



Sep 11

7:00 PM



Oct 16

7:00 PM



Nov 13

7:00 PM





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