President's Note - May
Join us at our monthly meeting at the CSN Cheyenne campus at 7:30pm on June 2nd. June's topic is "Meteorite Men!" My neighbor, Terry Scott and his friend Sonny Clary will speak about their hobby of hunting for meteorites. They will show examples of some of their finds and discuss the methods they use to track down these outer space gems.
If you have a topic of astronomical interest and would like to present at our monthly meeting which is held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30pm please drop me a message and let's talk.
Keep an eye out on the Event Calendar page here and our Facebook group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/81273219287/ for more info on upcoming events.
Speaking of events, I'd like to thank Rob Lambert for assisting with the public viewing of the Mercury transit on May 9th. Rob provided a live feed to Slooh and you can find the link above here on the home page if you were not able to watch the event live. Fransisco Silva and Keith Caceres were also on site to show live views of the transit for local visitors. On May 14th we celebrated International Astronomy Day at the CSN Cheyenne campus and Rob once again was there to dazzle the public with both white light and Ha views of the sun during the day. Fransisco Silva was also there with his white light solar scope during the afternoon. During the evening I was there along with Keith Caceres, Bob Sherman and Gary Bruno. Before the clouds rolled in we were able to amaze the public with views of the moon and Jupiter and for the folks that stuck around long enough they were treated with fantastic views of Mars and Saturn.
As president I look forward to meeting and working closely with everyone. I’m excited about the new year and upcoming astronomical events that I hope we are able to share with even greater numbers of the general public.
My personal belief is that educating the public, children and adults, on the subject of the night sky should be our #1 priority. I’m very proud of the work the club has done with the public park events and especially the private school events.
While I’m not a professional I do consider myself an avid amateur. A little bit about myself, my adventure into this field began at about the age of 11 or 12 when helping my dad clean out our attic I found a very old department store 2” refractor telescope. It had belonged to my older brother years earlier and had been relegated to the attic I’m sure after many attempts to get any kind of useful image from it. Several nights of looking at the moon and I was about to call it quits when I “discovered” Jupiter and Saturn. That first sighting of Saturn in this little discarded telescope and I was hooked for life. After that I upgraded to a 3” refractor and then an 8” SCT and now the 12” SCT that I currently use. Throughout the years I witnessed Halley’s comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashing into Jupiter, comets Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake among others, a multitude of partial solar eclipses, one annular solar eclipse and numerous lunar eclipses as well as my favorite astronomical events, meteor showers.
Here’s wishing clear skies to everyone and as Jack Horkheimer used to say, “Keep Looking Up!”
2016-17 LVAS President
Monthly LVAS meetings are normally held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Planetarium at the College of Southern Nevada, Cheyenne Campus - 3200 East Cheyenne (See Map). Following a short welcome and business session, a presentation on an Astronomy topic of interest is normally presented by an LVAS member or special guest. Occasionally, the program is the Planetarium presentation of the month.
CSN Planetarium Provides Family Activity
Needing an alternative weekend family activity? The CSN Planetarium provides three shows suitable for families:
Through June 25th
Seasaonal Stargazing follows each feature show and viewing the night sky through the Planetarium's telescopes follows the 8:00 PM show.
Check out the new DigiStar 5 Projectors with 4 times the brightness and resolution of the previous projector system. Come see the interesting shows and the life-like presentation of the night sky. Immediately following the 8:00PM shows, guests are invited to view the planets and other celestial objects through the Planetarium's telescopes in the Observatory compound. See the rings of Saturn through the CSN 16-inch compound and 6-inch refractor telescopes. All tickets are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for Seniors, Students, and children. Discounts are also available for multiple shows and groups. For more information about the CSN Planetarium, click on the Planetarium banner above.
Green Laser Safety Reminder!
This is a reminder to LVAS members that own and use green lasers to be extremely safety conscious when the lasers are being used. In the light of recent incidents of pranksters painting aircraft and other moving vehicles with green lasers, it is imperative for members of the Astronomical Community to exercise extreme caution and good judgement when using green lasers to point out celestial objects. Users should always be conscious of aircraft activity and when possible, use a spotter (another watching person) so that an aircraft is not accidently painted by a green laser. Anytime an aircraft, regardless of the distance from the observing location, is spotted moving toward an area of the sky where a laser is being used, the laser must be turned off or moved away from the aircraft until the aircraft departs that area of the sky. Astronomers using green lasers to guide their scopes to celestial objects should be especially careful to not leave the laser turned on while obsserving. At no time should an Astronomer surrender control of a green laser to anyone other than another Astronomer, especially not to children who may not understand the consequences of improperly using a laser. Remember - it is now a Federal Offense to paint an aircraft, any moving vehicle, or a person with a laser of any type - punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
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