May 14, 2021 - 2:05 pm
In celebration of International Astronomy Day, Skye Canyon’s sixth annual Skye &Stars stargazing event with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society is set for Saturday at Skye Canyon Park.
With safety in mind, gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking, music, lawn games and food trucks with constellation viewing starting after dark from 8 to 10 p.m. This is a free, family-friendly event. Donations for the society, a nonprofit organization of amateur astronomers formed to promote astronomy in Southern Nevada, will be accepted during the event.
Using telescopes, strategically arranged throughout the park, and cleaned between each guest usage, with astrophotography and video cameras, volunteers will use a laser that can point directly to celestial events as they guide attendees on a tour of the desert sky.
As part of the Thrive@Skye event series, guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy a picnic. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks including the widely popular Maize St. and Alpha Dawg. Resident favorite Local 808 will provide beverages. There will be a giveaway of special commemorative Skye &Stars 2021 event pins and a raffle in which some lucky attendee will win a telescope.
“After pivoting to a virtual format last year, we are thrilled to once again present Skye &Stars at Skye Canyon,” said Angela Rock, president of Olympia Management Services/The Skye Canyon Community Association. “It’s consistently been among the most popular events for residents and their families, and we can’t wait to team up with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society again to celebrate the stars and galaxies this year.”
It’s a can’t-miss event for Skye Canyon residents for the past five years, and this year it will feature again an in-person, guided tour through the night sky led by Keith Caceres, president of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. Caceres and his team will position telescopes throughout the park aimed at specific and noteworthy stars and constellations and will use a laser pointer to showcase and point out interesting elements in the night sky.
“Easy access to dark desert skies makes Southern Nevada a unique place for stargazing,” Caceres said. “We can’t wait to return to Skye Canyon to share not only our insight and knowledge but also our enthusiasm and passion for astronomy.”
Some highlights of the sky tour will include: the moon, the planet Venus and prominent constellations and stars visible in the sky on that night, including Orion, Ursa Major (Big Bear, containing the Big Dipper), Ursa Minor (the Little Bear, containing the north star and Little Dipper.)
The Las Vegas Astronomical Society 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 and observation gatherings and offer educational opportunities and services to schools and youth science programs, service agencies and other organizations.