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Join Us, We'll Keep You Out of Trouble at Night!

Upcoming Activities of the

Plus Honey Creek and Sachtleben Observatories, and the UNK Planetarium

(Directions to these observatories can be found below on this page)


Planetarium shows at UNK continue. More info on the planetarium and other shows can be found here.


November 2021 - There are no more PVAO meetings in 2021 due to the holiday season.  You can email us to join our club email and/or text list to keep up with what the club members are doing!

November 13th 2021 - Public viewing at Sachtleben Observatory 7:30 PM.  Directions and information are below.

November 27th, 2021 - Public viewing at Honey Creek Observatory near O'Neill at 7:00 PM.  Click the observatory link in the main menu for more information.

November 27th 2021 - Public viewing at Sachtleben Observatory 7:30 PM.  Directions and information are below.

You can join the listserv and talk to us and each other!  We now have 4 members that have their own observatories!  We hope to see you at a meeting in 2022!

General meetings of the PVAO are now held at Shadowmoon Observatory, 3629 W Guenther Road Grand Island Nebraska at 7:30 PM on the 4th Thursday of the month.  Google Maps link here.   An alternate location for meetings is the Audubon Rowe Sanctuary south of Gibbon Nebraska.  Click here for directions.  The public is welcome!  Heck, membership is free!

Videos For The Current Month Will Be Posted When They Become Available.


Turn Off The Sound At The Top

Of This Page To Listen To These Videos!


Shadowmoon Observatory!

Bob Wenzl, PVAO member and our Astronomical League Correspondant (ALCOR) has completed his new observatory south of Grand Island!  He has generously offered to allow the PVAO to hold our monthly meetings there.  This is great since it will allow us to either observe (1st priority) or hold programs there!  This is the only one of 4 member observatories and has a climate controlled portion where we can meet and stay warm/cool/dry.  Bob has 4 scopes there and is already taking images in his new baby :) Congratulations Bob!

Important News For Potential New Members!

At the August 2014 general meeting of the PVAO a discussion was held on the topic of what we could do to increase membership.  The idea was put forth to make membership to our club free of charge! We have sufficient funds to maintain club activities for the time being. The group decided this was a good thing to do and the idea was unanimously agreed upon.  Here's how it works.  Some of the perks we had previously offered on the membership page had to be dropped, but all a potential new member has to do is come to a meeting and say you want to join - and you're in!  We'll give you a card and you can start bragging about your membership! We may have to put a "hat" out on occasion to restore our "kitty", but we'll make it work.  How's that?  Now - Join us!

Check out Nasa's Space Place at this link:

Play and learn

Simple and fun learning activities to share with children.

Clues from Ancient Light--With the GALEX space telescope, astronomers know the age of a sources light by its degree of red shift. In this learning-by-analogy activity, kids arrange pictures of familiar objects by judging which is older.

Paint by Pixels--Make a picture using a technique similar to that used by many NASA spacecraft to record and send pictures back to Earth.

Make your own 2-D Flying Nanosat!

Make a Robo-Puzzle . . . Then Just Try to Solve It!


Telescope Primer On-Line!

Jay Rasmussen has created a telescope primer.  Its highly suggested reading for anyone interested in information on buying their first telescope.  Click on the link below!  If after reading this you have further questions, please contact us!  You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader available free from

Telescope Primer

Directions to the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center (Club Alternate Meeting Site)

Exit I-80 at Gibbon Nebraska and turn south.  Keep going until you cross both channels of the Platte River - this is a couple of miles.  Just after passing the main channel bridge, you will see a dirt road which goes east - Elm Island Road.  Go past it!  The next road to the south will again be Elm Island Road.  This time it only goes west - you will also see the Audubon sign.  Take this one west!  Take this road west until it turns south - a couple miles.  Right at the turn to the south you will see the Audubon Center on the north side.  You are there!  You can reach the center by phone at (308) 468-5282.  Here is a Goggle Maps link so you can see where you're going:    Web page link Here.

 The Sachtleben Observatory In Hastings Nebraska

The facility is located on Wabash Avenue three miles south of U.S. Highway 6. The Wabash Avenue turnoff is about one mile east of the Hwy 6/Hwy 281 intersection and is marked with signs to the observatory. If you're coming into Hastings from the north on 281, just go through town and take a left when you reach Hwy 6. The observatory is found on the left side of the street exactly three miles south of Hwy 6, just before the pavement ends. If you hit gravel road, you've gone too far!  Click the observatory photo to go the observatory's webpage complete with schedule, contact info, and maps.

Here is a link to an Adobe Acrobat file showing how to get to a club alternate observing site in Grand Island:

Keep In Touch With The Club Listservs!

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All current members are already subscribed. You can post messages to:

If you would like to subscribe to our listservs - whether or not you are a member, all you really need to do is e-mail address  You will be e-mailed a subscription confirmation request.  Follow the confirmation instructions and that's it.  You'll be ready to receive announcements and notifications.  You can "reply to all" and participate in discussions or initiate your own discussions with a question.  We also have a text announcement list!  This is read only.  If you wish to join it, again e-mail me, but I also need your phone number and cell phone provider.  This text list allows you to be notified of impromtu member viewing sessions or cancellations.

Feel free to use the discussion listserv for any conversation involving club activities, astronomical discussion etc.  It's there for you - use it!


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Stop Counting Sheep and Start Counting Stars!

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Mark Urwiller - Web Page Administrator

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