For more than 45 years, National Astronomy Day, celebrated in the spring and fall, is when amateur and professional astronomers around the world share their passion for stars and planets with others. This National Astronomy Day, May 11, 2019, Skye Canyon and Las Vegas Astronomical Society have teamed up again to present Skye & Stars, a stargazing event at Skye Canyon Park. This free, family-friendly event has become a local’s must-do event, and this year is going to be extra special.
For the first time ever, Skye Canyon and LVAS are offering daytime viewing hours of planets and constellations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s the perfect opportunity to share the wonder of astronomy with little ones who have early bedtimes or for busy families who can’t make the evening event.
As in past years, the evening event includes picnicking, music and lawn games, and kicks-off at 7 p.m. Nighttime viewing begins at 8 p.m., and Greg McKay of LVAS says, “Stargazers will see Mars, the Beehive galactic cluster in the constellation Cancer, along with other constellations.” McKay adds that because of Skye Canyon Park’s unobstructed views, it’s a perfect location for stargazing.
LVAS volunteers like McKay will guide attendees on a tour of the desert sky using telescopes, an astrophotography and video cameras that transmit real-time images on a monitor, and a high-powered laser that can point directly to celestial events. The stargazing ends at 10 p.m.
Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs and a picnic to enjoy during sunset hours. If you forget to pack a picnic, not to worry! Food and beverages will be available for purchase from local food trucks and Skye Bistro inside Skye Center.
Kids will be treated to a special kind of star-show. “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” will be screened on the Skye Center patio. There are also great prizes up for grabs in the Skye & Stars raffle. One lucky stargazer will take home the grand prize of an AWB OneSkye telescope. Other prizes include Skye Canyon branded North Face jacket, a Kleen Kanteen, and more!
LVAS is a nonprofit organization of amateur astronomers that was formed to promote astronomy in Southern Nevada for the sole purpose of educating and sharing their passion with those who have an interest in astronomy. They hold regular meetings, observation gatherings; offer educational opportunities and services to schools and youth science programs, service agencies,
Donations for LVAS will be accepted during the event.