LVAS is a proud member of the NASA/JPL Night Sky Network.

Astronomy in the Park!
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Get out of the heat of the valley and
Join us for an evening under the Stars 
at Red Rock National Conservation Area Visitors Center.
Presentation begins at 8:00 in the Visitors Center.
Observing begins at 8:30pm on Visitor Center Sidewalk.
Follow Charleston Blvd West
to the entrance of the Red Rock CanyonScenic Drive.
See Map - Click here.
International Space Station captured by Greg McKaay
Check out the images of the ISS passing in front of the Sun captured recently by Greg.
Read Greg's article on how he captured this great image.
Did you miss the Mercury Transit?
Here's an abbreviated sequence of the the transit from the Midpoint to 3rd Contact.
Captured at the CSN Observatories on 9 May 2016.
The larger spot just above center is a sunspot that is larger that the Earth.  Mercury is the smaller dot below center in the first photo that moves to the right in each successive photo.  Click on the image below for a larger view.
2016 Mercury Transit Sequence


You can view the recording of the Slooh broadcast of the Transit and see the images that our LVAS team provided the Slooh broadcast from the Observatory at the College of Southern Nevada.  It's a long broadcast, but you can fast forward to get to portions you might be interested in.  Paul Cox, the Director of Slooh narrates much of the broadcast with spotlights from Bob Berman and other astronomers.  
Click here to view the recorded SLOOH broadcast.

Next LVAS Monthly Meeting
4 August at 7:30pm
Topic:  TBD

Click here for map to CSN Planetarium



President's Note - July

Join us at our next monthly meeting at the CSN Cheyenne campus at 7:30pm on August 4th.

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 for more info on upcoming events.

Speaking of events, I'd like to thank everyone that participated in our Astronomy on the Mountain event at the Spring Mountain Gateway Visitor's Center on Saturday, July 9th. It was a great event with decent weather except for the wind and lots of interested eyes observing the night sky. We viewed the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and a few faint fuzzies. Our next public event is at Red Rock on August 6th from 8:00-10:30pm

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!”

Greg McKay
2016-17 LVAS President

Society Meetings

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

6:00 PM Fri and Sat Evenings
and 3:30 Sat afternoons
   The Little Star That Could
7:00 PM Fri and Sat Evenings Flight Adventures
8:00 PM Fri and Sat Evenings Secrets of the Sun

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 below or the image of the Planetarium 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.

Need Some Help with Your Scope?

Do you have a new telescope or one that hasn't been dusted off in quite a while and need some help using it?  If you can't make it to our next "Astronomy in the Park", give me a call and let's arrange a time to get you a little help. I'm typically available before and after our monthly meetings on the 1st Thursday of each month and before each of our "Astronomy in the Park" outings, but I'm willing to come to you to get you up and operating. I just need some prior notice to arrange a time to meet you.  Give me a call at 702-461-1390 or send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tonight's Moon

LVAS Email Subscription

Subscribe to LVAS notices and newsletters by completing the fields below and click "Subscribe".

Editor Login

This Login is only for LVAS Admin and Editors!