Aug 1

Event Calendar for 2015

2015 – 2016 Astronomy Schedule

The following is a list of events for the remainder of the 2015 year.  We will be posting the 2016 dates shortly.  Please note:  The Events may be weather dependent.  Cancellations will be posted as soon as possible.  Please check our site for additions, deletions and cancellations.  This is our official calendar.   

Nov Friday 20        8 p.m.    Public Night at the Urban Astronomy Center (UAC) Located at  E.P. Tom Sawyer St. Park

Nov. 21: 6:30 to 8:30 pm  Telescopic Survey of NASA Apollo Landing Sites at the Parklands
of Floyds Fork PNC Center  (CANCELLED by the Parklands due to the expected bad weather conditions)

Dec Tuesday 8    6:30 PM      LAS Board of Directors Meeting at the Urban Astronomy Center (UAC)

Dec Friday 11 6:30 pm to Midnight     Bernheim Sky Watch & Star Stories and Geminids

Dec Saturday 12    8:00 p.m.                 Curby Member Night

Dec Friday 18  8:00 p.m. Urban Astronomy Center Public Night

Dec  Thursday 17  7pm to 10pm   LAS Members Only Christmas/Holiday Dinner at Kingfish. 


Jan. 08, 2016 Friday  6:30 pm to 7:50 pm  USING YOUR NEW TELESCOPE WORKSHOP at the University of Louisville Planetarium Classroom.

Jan 20, 2016 Tuesday 6:30 PM  LAS Board of Directors Meeting at the Urban Astronomy Center (UAC)


Directions to the Urban Astronomy Center at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park  (UAC)

In Louisville, take the Gene Snyder Expressway north from I-64 or south from I-71 to Westport Road exit. Take Westport Road west to Freys Hill Road, across from Home Depot. Take Freys Hill south to the second park entrance on your right. The UAC is in the Root Cellar Building at the end of this road past the BMX track and soccer fields. We are the third door on the right. Park behind the building or if the weather has been nice, on the side in the grass.

Directions to the James G Baker Center for Astronomy (Curby)

From Louisville take I-64 west to the Leavenworth/Marengo Exit (92). Go North (Right) on State Road 66. Go 3 miles and take a left on Curby Road at the “Curby 1 Mile” sign. Go 1.7 miles on Curby Rd and take the first left past the town of Curby. The LAS property is 2.7 miles on the right. Look for a gravel road to the right coming off of or going into a of a 90 degree turn in the county road.



December 11, 2015
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
January 8, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
February 12, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
March 11, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
April 8, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
May 13, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
June 10, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
July 8, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
August 12, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
September 9, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
October 14, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
November 11, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
December 9, 2016
8:00 pmto11:00 pm

On the Second Friday of every Month the University of Louisville Rauch Planetarium does a live “What’s Up in the Sky over Louisville” for their 8:00 p.m. show.  After the show, they invite those inside the show to go out into the courtyard where if the weather is permitting, LAS Volunteers have set up some scopes for their viewing pleasure.  LAS Member Volunteers are asked to set-up by 8:15 pm in the Courtyard.  We may set-up earlier in the Courtyard or outside the perimeter depending on the objects in the sky at that time.  As always, the outside portion of the viewing is very much weather dependent as most scopes cannot see through the clouds and rain is very hard on the electronics inside modern scopes.

Skies Over Louisville: Seasonal Editions At The University of Louisville Rauch Planetarium.

What does the sky look like tonight? Where can I find the planets? When is the best time to see the International Space Station? “Skies over Louisville” is designed to help answer these questions and many more. The program features an in-depth tour of the night sky including stars, constellations, and planets. Each month we will explore one area of observational astronomy in detail and every session will give the audience a chance to ask questions about the current night sky. This program changes with the seasons and throughout the year, so be sure to comeback again and again. This program is suitable for all ages.


Planetarium Programs and Laser Programs

Single Show Option

$8.00: Adults (ages 13 to 64)
$6.00: Children (12 and under), Senior Citizens (65+) and Metroversity students with student ID

Two-show ticket option

$15.00: Adults (ages 13 to 64)
$11.00: Children (12 and under), Senior Citizens (65+) and Metroversity students with student ID

Three-show ticket option

$22.00: Adults (ages 13 to 64)
$16.00: Children (12 and under), Senior Citizens (65+) and Metroversity students with student ID



November 7, 2015
8:00 pmto11:00 pm
Bring the family and join the Louisville Astronomical Society for our FREE Monthly Star Party  at the James G. Baker Center for Astronomy in nearby Curby, Indiana.  Please join us in our Multipurpose Building with its classroom, projector, kitchen and restrooms for a our presentation of the Night Sky Over Curby  using Stellarium, a digital representation of the heavens.
Targets in the dark sky over Curby may include the Moon, several planets, constellations, double stars and galaxies and the possible meteor.  Watch as the roof rolls off of our six hundred square foot observatory to reveal our scopes to the heavens. Enjoy the comforts of our Multipurpose Building with its restrooms, kitchen and classroom. 
For those who just received a telescope and need assistance in setting it up, you may bring it to the star party.  Viewing is weather dependent.  If it is cloudy or rainy, the scopes will not be set up.  , or if you would like to share your scope with everyone, please bring it.  or look through the three powerful scopes in the observatory including the largest scope in Southern Indiana, our mighty 16″ Meade reflector.
Directions: Take I-64 west to the Leavenworth/Marengo Exit (92). Go North (Right) on State Road 66. Go 3 miles and take a left on Curby Road at the “Curby 1 Mile” sign. Go 1.7 miles on Curby Rd and take the first left past the town of Curby. The LAS property is 2.7 miles on the right. Look for a gravel road to the right coming off of a 90 degree turn in the county road.

Fall Star Stories and Sky Watch: See the Geminid Meteor Shower

December 12, 2015 6:00 pmtoDecember 13, 2015 12:03 am

Fall Star Stories and Sky Watch: See the Geminid Meteor Shower

Where:  Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

When:  Saturday: December 12 starting at 6:00 pm and ending at Midnight or thereabouts.   

Come experience the Geminid Meteor Shower in the darkness of nature. As an extra bonus the program will run till midnight. This program provides ample opportunities to marvel at the moon, ponder distant planets and be awed by the vastness of space while discovering tales and lore of the night.

No pets allowed. Register early to ensure your space in this popular program. Registration and payment due by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the start of program. Call (502) 955- 8512 for last minute updates and changes due to weather. Star Stories and Sky Watch Nights occur rain or shine, but weather may necessitate an alternative indoor astronomy program.

Bernheim Members $10; Non-Members $12

LAS Members may attend free if they will help out with a scope, binoculars, laser pointers and/or their knowledge.  A great time can be had by all in a dark sky close to Louisville.  Questions my be sent to Don Spain.  LAS Members should arrive early to set up.  Thanks in advance.

From the NASA website:

Comet of Origin: 3200 Phaethon
Radiant: constellation Gemini
Active: Dec. 4-16, 2015
Peak Activity: Dec. 13-14, 2015
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 120 meteors per hour
Meteor Velocity: 22 miles (35 kilometers) per second

Notes: The Geminids are typically one of the best and most reliable of the annual meteor showers. It’s one of the best opportunities for younger viewers who don’t stay up late, because it gets going around 9 or 10 p.m. local time. Expect delightfully dark skies this year; the thin crescent moon sets early.

Whether viewing from your front porch or a mountaintop, be sure to dress for success. This means clothing appropriate for cold overnight temperatures, which might include mittens or gloves, and blankets. This will enable you to settle in without having to abandon the meteor-watching because your fingers are starting to turn blue.

Next, bring something comfortable on which to sit or lie down. While Mother Nature can put on a magnificent celestial display, meteor showers rarely approach anything on the scale of a July 4th fireworks show. Plan to be patient and watch for at least half an hour. A reclining chair or ground pad will make it far more comfortable to keep your gaze on the night sky.

Lastly, put away the telescope or binoculars. Using either reduces the amount of sky you can see at one time, lowering the odds that you’ll see anything but darkness. Instead, let your eyes hang loose and don’t look in any one specific spot. Relaxed eyes will quickly zone in on any movement up above, and you’ll be able to spot more meteors. Avoid looking at your cell phone or any other light. Both destroy night vision. If you have to look at something on Earth, use a red light. Some flashlights have handy interchangeable filters. If you don’t have one of those, you can always paint the clear filter with red fingernail polish.

These meteor showers provide casual meteor observers with the most bang for their buck. They are the easiest to observe and most active.


Lily’s Bistro Fundraiser to Get the Portable Planetarium to Bloom Elementary

November 19, 2015
6:00 pmto11:00 pm


On Thursday, November 19, 2015 Lily’s Bistro and La Peche  will be donating a percentage of their proceeds from the lunch and dinner that day to help fund
the cost of bringing the University of Louisville’s Gheens Science Center and Rauch Planetarium’s Owsley Brown II Portable Planetarium
to Bloom Elementary School.   Lily’s Bistro and La Peche are located at 1147 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY  40204.  Reservations recommended
and may be made by calling them at 502-451-0447.  Please tell them you are part of this fundraiser.  Lily’s Bistro’s hours are Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  La Peche hours are: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Both are closed Sunday and Monday.


The LAS has been asked to provide scopes for sidewalk astronmy starting at 6:30 p.m.  Setup is at 6:00 p.m. and as the moon will be straight south and around a 34 degree angle, the back parking lot is the best place to set up.  Ken Alderson, LAS Member, past President of the Club, current Scout Coordinator and a member of the Rauch Planetarium Advisory Board, will be a table captain starting at 7:00 p.m.  If you would like to help out or attend, please join him at his table inside at 7:00 PM to help raise money and get an excellent meal and specialty drinks with space names.  OR be a member of the LAS Sidewalk Astronomy Corps and show guests the moon as they arrive and leave. Scope setup will be at 6:00 PM.

From their website


Star Fruit Salad– Earth Greens, Pomegranate, Cosmic Raisins & Sunset Vinaigrette

Red Planet Trout– Root Vegetable Crater, Millennium Balsamico, Vegetable Cosmic Debris

Rings of Saturn Donut


Heavenly Lobster Bisque– Blackstar Dust

Braised Meteorite Short Ribs– Moonlight Polenta, Roasted Root Vegetables

Milky Way Galaxy Panacotta


Milky Way– vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, bourbon cream

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster– gin, dry vermouth, honey, lemon, bergamot bitters

Bill Nye, The Science Rye– rye, apple-sage syrup, angostura bitters

Interweller– w.l. weller, sweet vermouth, toasted pecan bitters

Edwin- prosecco, creme de violette, lemon

Two Thousand & Rum, A Drunk Odyssey– myers dark rum, sour, malbec

Laika– copper & kings brandy, benedictine, black walnut bitters



Touchdown! The Apollo Lunar Landing Sites Revisited (CANCELLED Due to Upcoming Weather)

November 21, 2015
6:00 pmto11:00 pm

The Parklands informed us that due to the weather forecast for Saturday, November 21, 2015 they have cancelled the program listed below.  Thank you for your interest.

Welcome all.  Come join the Louisville Astronomical Society at the PNC Achievement Center for Education & Interpretation, located at the Parklands of Floyds Fork on Saturday, November 21 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. as they host a telescopic survey of the NASA Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 Mission landing sites. Bring your own scopes or look through the telescopes of the Louisville Astronomical Society. The LAS will have on display high resolution pictures of the sites from the NASA LRO Lunar Orbiter.

Six Apollo missions successfully landed on and departed from the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972.

Top, clockwise: James Irwin salutes the flag at Hadley Rill; Harrison Schmitt collects rock samples in the Taurus-Littrow Valley; Buzz Aldrin’s footprint in the lunar regolith; Charlie Duke placed a photo of his family on the Moon and took a picture of it; Edgar Mitchell photographs the desolate landscape of the Fra Mauro highlands; and Pete Conrad jiggles the Surveyor 3 probe to see how firmly it’s situated. NASA, collage by Bob King – See More


For more information on the Louisville Astronomical Society, go to

This event is free and open to the public; no registration required. Visitors should dress according to the weather, bring lawn chairs and flashlights and are welcome to bring their own binoculars or small telescope.  Scope setup starts at 6:00 p.m. 



November 14, 2015
6:00 pmto11:00 pm
December 12, 2015
6:00 pmto11:00 pm

Each month the LAS sets aside one Saturday Night that is scheduled to be a Members’ Only Night.  This event is scheduled for our Dark Site located in Curby, Indiana at the James G Baker Center for Astronomy. One must be a member of the LAS to attend or an invited guest of a member.  If you are not a member of the LAS, and you wish to join, you may sign up using the link on our website.   For those interested in Astronomy and are unsure, please visit us at our next Public Star Party held each month between April and December.

Please see our schedule for the next Public Start Party held each month between April and December each year.  Thank you for your cooperation.  Questions may be sent to:




December 17, 2015
6:00 pmto10:00 pm

On behalf of the Board of Directors, members in good standing and their guests, are invited to the annual LAS Christmas/Holiday Party on Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 7:00-10:00 pm as we make a triumphal return to the at Kingfish Restaurant on Zorn Avenue and River Road Louisville, KY.  Price is $20.00 per person for a Fish and Chicken Buffet as only Kingfish can prepare it!  Reservations are required by December 03, 2015 and should be sent to Ken Alderson.  Dress is Christmas Casual.

Members, this is a great chance to renew old acquaintances and to make new friends.  Come meet the 2015/2016 Board of Directors and receive an update on the Club.   Please note, our membership year runs from January 1 to December 31.  The Board is elected in May and serves from May to May.  The Christmas/Holiday Party is a great time to renew for the 2016 year.  Or, if you wish to attend the Party and have not yet joined or renewed for the year, you may join on-line by visiting our website and clicking the join/renew link.  Please complete the membership form that is item 4.  Family membership is only $35.00 per year.  Individual memberships are $20.00 for Students and those 65 and over and for all other individuals membership is $30.00.  Donations are welcome and may be deductible as the LAS is an IRS recognized §501(c)(3) charitable organization

Questions and/or comments may be emailed to

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Mark Rockstroh, Editor Starword and current Chairman of the Board.




October 16, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

On Friday October 16, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. the Louisville Astronomical Society welcomes Dr. Gerald Ruth as our guest speaker.  He is the author of the book “EARTH VERSES SPACE”.  Yes, that is the spelling.   In fact, he is planning on bringing copies and all in attendance will have a chance to take one home.  Chances are based on the number he brings and the number in attendance.  The book retails on Amazon for $14.95.  On Amazon it is listed as a book of science verses.  Please join us at 8:00 p.m. at the Urban Astronomy Center (UAC) located in E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.   From the Gene Snyder, take Westport Road West exit.  Turn left onto Freys Hill Road toward the Canes and Thornton’s.  Follow Freys Hill Road past the first entrance, two sharp turns and take the second entrance into the Park.  Go past the BMX area, the baseball and soccer fields and we are the third door (usually with a red light on) on the long building at the end of the road.  If the weather is nice, you may park in the grass under the trees to the side of the road.  Otherwise, parking is behind the building.

From the website

Dr. Ruth is currently a Professor of Geosciences at Indiana University Southeast where he has taught since 1965. He also taught at the University of Buffalo where he received his B.A. degree in geography and geology. He did graduate work at Syracuse University and the State University of New York at Buffalo where he received his M.A. degree. He acquired his Ph.D. degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.

Aside from publishing in journals, contributing to books and producing research/teaching films, he served as Assistant-in-charge-of Excavations for the Niagara Frontier Archaeological Project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He is a past-President of the American Society of Cartographers and a past-Senior Director of the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences.

In 1992 he was chosen to participate in the first summer institute for astronomy research techniques held at the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University. Its purpose was to encourage undergraduate research in astronomy. He established such a research course at his home campus the following year. Dr. Ruth is the recipient of the Distinguished Research and Creativity Award at IUS.

If there are any questions regarding the program or the Louisville Astronomical Society, please e-mail  This program is free and open to the public.  Donations are welcome as the LAS is an IRS recognized section 501(c)(3) charity.  Donations are deductible.  The UAC seats around 40.



January 8, 2016
6:30 pmto7:50 pm

From the University of Louisville Gheens Science Center and Rauch Planetarium website:

Telescope Workshops

January 8, 6:30 PM: Using Your Telescope

Members of the Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS) come to the planetarium each year around the holidays to share tips on buying and using a telescope at these FREE workshops. If you’re looking to purchase a telescope for a loved one, then be sure to join us Friday, November 13, 6:30 PM. Once the presents have been opened and you’re ready to learn how to use that wonderful new telescope, come to the planetarium on Friday, January 8, 6:30 PM with scope in hand.

Stick around after the workshops for our 8 PM LIVE Skies Over Louisville presentation to learn about the constellations you can see in the current night sky. You’ll get a free sky map and members of LAS will be in the courtyard afterward (weather permitting) so you can practice what you’ve learned.

Free parking is available first-come, first-served in the visitor lot next to the planetarium and the red lot by the School of Music. Click here for more information on parking as well as directions.



November 20, 2015
7:00 pmto9:00 pm
December 18, 2015
6:30 pmto9:30 pm

The Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS) welcomes anyone interested in astronomy to visit us at the award winning Urban Astronomy Center (UAC) located in E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park for our monthly Star Party.  The UAC is located in the old root cellar.  From Westport Road, take Freys Hill Road (turn toward the Thortons and the Canes) and follow it around to the second entrance to the Park.  Turn right into the Park and go to the end of the road.  The LAS is located in the long white building and we normally turn on a red light outside our door.  We are the third door.  If the weather cooperates you may park in the grass under the trees.  If not, please park behind the building or over by the Archery Range and walk over.

Scope set-up is normally around dusk in the field across from the building.  If the ground is wet or snowy, we will set-up behind the building on the asphalt.  Scope set-up is weather dependent.  Our scopes are unable to penetrate the clouds and heavy moisture such as rain drops are bad for the electronics.

The following map of the Park shows the approximate site of the LAS building.   

  EPTomFacility.pdf (605.9 KiB, 407 hits)
EP Tom Sawyer State Park Map

The LAS welcomes one and all at our Star Parties.  If you have a scope and are having trouble figuring out how to use it, our would like to share your knowledge with others, please feel free to come out to our Star Party.  If you have questions, you may e-mail any of the Officers.

The LAS is an IRC §501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.  Donations are welcome.

May your scope and skies  be clear at the same time.  Hope to see you there.


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