The Lackawanna Astronomical Society holds many free events throughout the region. We work closely with local State Parks and other organizations to generate interest in Amateur Astronomy in Northeast, PA. We also offer many public events from Keystone College’s Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory located in Fleetville, Pa.
Many club members act as volunteers and assistants at the Public Nights, Open House evenings, and Lecture Series given by Keystone College which owns and operates the observatory.
Along with our public nights at the observatory, one of your best opportunities for observing during the summer months are our free star parties at Promised Land, Lackawanna and Frances Slocum State Parks. The programs include a slide show and observing of the moon, stars, and planets through club members’ telescopes whenever possible. Feel free to bring your own telescope if you have one. Don’t worry if you don’t.
Another event the Society takes part in each year is known as ASTRONOMY DAY. Displays, programs, and information on astronomy and current astronomical events are conveyed at the public event. Viewing of the night sky with binoculars and telescopes of different types is also done if weather conditions permit. All public events are free and all ages.
During these meeting members of the Society can make use of the telescopes owned by the Society and the instruments owned by Keystone College.
Club Night at Keystone Observatory is held the Saturday night after the regular meeting. This is an activity where members may use the telescopes at the observatory or their own instruments at the observatory’s dark sky location. Nights of special activities occurring in the night sky are also sponsored by the Society. These can include public viewing of meteor showers, comets, lunar eclipses, or other events.
In the case of a public sponsored event, information is made available to the local newspapers and broadcast media. Please check our calendar for future events. We hope to see you soon.
LAS Member Privileges
You really get a lot for your dues money when you join the LAS, and the more you participate,the more you get out of the LAS. There must be something good about a club that has members who have continuously paid dues for 20, 30, even 40+ years.
Let's examine some of these in more detail.
Use of the really fine TGCO facility and site for observing.
It is so much nicer to observe with others. You get to compare views and equipment, as well as face the coyote noises and other things that go bump in the night, with a cheerier point of view. You have a place to warm up in winter, air conditioning in summer, a bug free haven to socialize in while you take a break … and let’s not minimize having restrooms.
You even get to use the TGCO 9 1/2″ modernized Alvan Clark refractor on the moon and planets, to gaze at objects through the 20 inch Dob, the 20 inch RC or learn to use the 10 inch Go To scope..
LAS lending library
We have a club subscription to S&T as well as books you can borrow for a month at a time … general astronomy, observing techniques, telescope making, astronomy history etc. This also includes the LAS Loaner telescope … a fine 6 inch f/8 Newtonian ( a Criterion RV6) now mounted as a Dobsonian, which, along with basic atlases, an eyepiece set and a Telrad, can be also borrowed for a month free of charge.
LAS Club Observing Nights
These nights are meant for sharing so feel free to pick the brains of veteran observers or show them new approaches. Bring your scope up to the place and learn how to use it, or how to tweak the daylights out of it and get the best images you can.
Learn how to use atlases, to Telrad your way around the sky or star hop, even if you don’t own a scope! You can use the LAS’s 17.5 ” f/4.5 Dob (Coulter Optics) and 12.5 ” f/5.6 LAS Dob (with optics ground by club members back in 1968) that are now beautifully mounted as truss tube scopes. It takes almost no training to use these scopes and they will give you some spectacular views that are almost guaranteed to infect you with aperture fever … and at a price you can afford!
Want to get more high tech? Then get trained to use the club’s equatorially mounted C11, use the club’s OM1 to try film astrophotography or our Nikon 995 digital camera for astro imaging of the moon, planets and deep sky.
Monthly Club Meetings
EVERY month is member’s night in the LAS. Club members give informative talks and share observations and project results. There is always coffee and often snacks.
You help us to spread the fun and excitement of astronomy around .
While we do try to have the LAS be both BY and FOR members, we also aim to bring astronomy to the public. It is often the most fun you can have with your scope. LAS members help out at TGCO public nights and we also run Astronomy Day as well as monthly summer star parties for the public in each of these state parks, Lackawanna, Frances Slocum and Promised Land. These star parties include a slide presentation and, if the sky cooperates, observing through scopes.
Improving your knowledge and observing skills, meeting people and making new friends, that’s what you get when you join the LAS (along with coffee of course).
Membership fees are very reasonable. Contact President Chris Hall for more information.