Doug Slauson

Contact Information:

Department of Mathematics
University of Iowa
Office: 21 Maclean Hall
Office phone: (319) 335-0786

About Me:

I am an Administrative Services Coordinator in the University of Iowa department of Mathematics and a life-long resident of Eastern Iowa. I have an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Programming from Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids, IA. I have also completed a 1-year program in Graphic Arts at Kirkwood College and received a certificate upon completing coursework for Web Page Design. My hobbies are astronomy, astronomical photometry, astrophotography, and amateur radio (ham radio). I also enjoy biking, hiking, camping, tinkering, lepidoptery, geneology, photography, archaeology, weather observations, and history.


o   American Astronomical Society

o   Astronomical League

o   Society for Astronomical Sciences

o   American Association of Variable Star Observers

o   International Occultation Timing Association

o   Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

o   Iowa Archeological Society

o   American Radio Relay League

o   Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

o   Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in affiliation with Johnson County Emergency Mgmt. Agency. 

o   A registered storm spotter with the Quad Cities office of the National Weather Service

o   The Collaborative Community Rain Hail Snow (CoCoRaHS) network

Scientific Work:

o   Maintain a personal observatory equipped to produce time-series images for CCD photometry and astrophotography. Have previously worked with the late Dr. Douglas S. Hall (Vanderbilt University) and others in the 1980s and 90s performing photoelectric photometry (PEP) measurements of variable stars; mostly RS Canum Venaticorum-type variable stars (i.e., rotating stars that exhibit huge masses of darkened "starspots" on their surfaces).

o   Presently involved in research of cataclysmic binary variable stars (CVs) by measuring rapidly-changing stellar brightness of CVs by using CCD photometry equipment and techniques in cooperation with Dr. Joe Patterson (Columbia University), Dr. Enrique de Miguel (Universidad de Huelva) and other colleagues in a world-wide observatory network called the Center for Backyard Astrophysics.

o   Presently involved in visual estimates of changing magnitudes of long-period variable stars (LPVs). These data are submitted to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). I am also observing cool, red “carbon stars” (cool stars with sooty atmospheres) and photographing at least 100 of the 330+ galaxies and galaxy groups listed in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton C. Arp.

o   As weather permits, I make nightly observations of the classical Cepheid variable star, TT Aquilae, after a 20-year hiatus. The present and historical observations will be analyzed and compared to look for period changes in the star’s variability over the 20-year span.

o   Make daily reports of weather and atmospheric events via the Collaborative Community Rain Hail Snow network (CoCoRaHS) and operate an official precipitation reporting station.

o   Contributed twenty-four systematic nitrate level measurements for the IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Dept. at the University of Iowa. These measurements were part of a nitrate study of the Middle Cedar Watershed in Eastern Iowa during the spring and summer of 2018. Dr. Christopher Jones was the principal investigator.

Community Service:

o   Present public presentations on the subject of astronomy, assist with using telescopes for public viewing, and advise others on selection and use of telescopes.

o   A registered observer with the Quad Cities office of the National Weather Service as part of the SKYWARN severe weather network, giving real-time severe weather and damage reports to the NWS via amateur radio or by electronic submissions.

o   Registered with the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) - a joint FEMA/FCC emergency communication program in cooperation with the Johnson Co. Emergency Management Agency. RACES members follow the protocols of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Emergency communication (EmComm) activities include annual drills involving simulated emergencies and the relevant communication responses.

o   Member of the Johnson Co. Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) who meet monthly and drill regularly in the practice of emergency communications. 

o   Public astronomy lectures given around East-Central Iowa.


o    Awarded the Astronomical League's Master Observer award upon submitting approximately 1,100 observations of all types of astronomical objects.

o    Recipient of a NASA Night Sky Network Award (2009)

o    Governor’s Volunteer Award (Iowa) presented to the Johnson Co. ARES members in 2013 and 2016.


1.      J. Echevarria, E. de Miguel, et al. Extensive Photometry of V1838 Aql During the 2013 Superoutburst. Revista Maxicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica, to appear.

2.      J. Patterson, S. Brincat, et al. 17-Hour Period in V light from MAXI J1820+70 = ASASSN-18ey, The Astronomer’s Telegram, ATEL No. 11756, (2018), URL:

3.      J. Patterson, G. Stone, J. Kemp, et al. Orbital Period Changes in WZ Sagittae, PASP, 130 (2018), Issue 988, pp. 064202.

4.      J. Patterson, E. de Miguel, D. Barret, et al. OV Boötis; Forty Nights of World-Wide Photometry, Society for Astronomical Sciences Annual Symposium, 36 (2017), 1.

5.      E. de Miguel, J. Patterson, et al. Accretion-disc precession in UX Ursae Majoris, MNRAS, 457 (2016), 1447-1455

6.      T. George, B. Timerson, S. Degenhardt, et al. A Possible New Star: Evidence of a Quaternary Star added to a Tertiary Star System May Have Been Found During the (336) Lacadiera Occultation of 3UC197115376. Journal of Double Star Observations, 8(4) (2012), 306-312.

7.      D.S. Hall, F.C. Fekel, et al., A Spectroscopic and Photometric Study of 12 BM Camelopardalis. Astron. J. 109(3) (1995) 1277-1288.

8.      D.S. Hall, G.W. Henry, et al. New 1982-1990 Photometry of Lambda Andromedae and its 11-Year Cycle, J. Astrophys. Astr. 12 (1991), 281-287.

9.      D.S. Hall, D.R. Curott, et al. Worldwide Photometry of the January 1989 Tau Persei Eclipse. Astron. J., 101(5) (1991), 1821-1827.

10.  J. T. Wooten, D. S. Hall, et al. The Forty Suspected Variable Star Project Plus Ten Others, IAPPP Communications, 89 (1989), 19-33.

11.  K.G. Strassmeier, D.S. Hall, J.A. Eaton, et al. Starspot modeling of ten years of photometry of the long-period RS CVn binary Sigma Geminorum. Astron. Astrophys. 192 (1988), 135-146 .

12.  F. Scaltriti, M. Busso, A. Cellino, et al. Photometric changes and spot motion in Lambda Andromedae. Astron. Astrophys., 139 (1984), 25-29.  

Recent Public Lectures:

1.      “Earth’s Moon, Looking at a World Close Up” – October 20, 2018, at the Palisades-Dows Observatory, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This event was part of NASA’s 2018 International Observe the Moon Night.

2.      Earth’s Moon” - October 28, 2017, at the Palisades-Dows Observatory, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This event was part of NASA’s 2017 International Observe the Moon Night.

3.      The Rural Night Sky” – June 24, 2017, at the Edinburgh Pioneer Village Museum, near Monticello, Iowa.

4.      The Moon and Beyond” – September 19, 2015, at the Delaware County Historical Museum, Hopkinton, Iowa

5.      Lunar Topography & Lunar Imaging” – June 27, 2015, at the Palisades-Dows Observatory, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Personal Website/Webpage:

Owl Ridge Observatory

Sample Images:

- Photos by D. M. Slauson



The Whirlpool Galaxy Messier 51 (bottom) with NGC 5195, a gravitationally-interacting pair of galaxies in Ursa Major.  Together, these galaxies are designated as Arp 85 in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies by Halton C. Arp.


Jupiter 22 Apr. 2016
Jupiter’s appearance is defined by clouds that are stretched into dark belts and white zones due to Jupiter’s fast diurnal rotation (<10 hrs).  Straddling the planet’s equator are the North Equatorial Belt (NEB) and the South Equatorial Belt (SEB). Note the tail-like festoons hanging from the NEB and white eddies in the SEB.