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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, but are no longer being given by Dan Glomski.  They're still good, although maybe not as good as if Dan were doing them :)  More info on the planetarium and other shows can be found here.

April 7, 2018 - Public observing at Sachtleben Observatory in Hastings at 9:00 PM.  (Open at 8:30 PM)

April 13, 2018 - Honey Creek Observatory viewing session at 9:00 PM.  Got to the observatory website (navigation menu above) for details.

April 16, 2108 - 6:30 to 9:30 PM - Photographic Principles and DSLRs.  Mark Urwiller will be teaching this class at Northeast Community College in O'Neill.  If interested go to this link -

April 20, 2018 - Honey Creek Observatory viewing session at 9:00 PM.  Got to the observatory website (navigation menu above) for details.

April 21, 2018 - Public observing at Sachtleben Observatory in Hastings at 9:00 PM.  (Open at 8:30 PM)

April 23, 2018 - 6:30 to 9:30 PM - Beginning Observational Astronomy/Atmospheric Optics. Mark Urwiller will be teaching this class at Northeast Community College in O'Neill.  If interested go to this link -

April 26, 2018 - Meeting of the PVAO in Grand Island - 7:30 PM  Meetings are free to the public - membership is free too :)  Join our listserv for the agenda. See below for meeting site directions.

General meetings of the PVAO are now being held at the Amundson Medical Hypnotherapy, 2604 St Patrick Ave #6,  Grand Island Nebraska at 7:30 PM on the 4th Thursday of the month.  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!

All members of the PVAO managed to see most or all of the eclipse.  One was in Aurora NE, 4 of us were in Grand Island NE, one in Shelton NE, and one in Douglas Wyoming.  We'll be excited to see the one in 2024!


Seven Hills Observatory - Now Honey Creek Observatory - Has Moved!

After over 20 years in Kearney, the observatory has moved to a location north of O'Neill Nebraska.  It has been wonderful serving the Kearney area and it will be greatly missed!  We look forward to resuming our practice of introducing the universe of astronomy to students and members of the public in the O'Neill area!  If you would be willing to help in the reconstruction, please call 308-293-5776 or e-mail me at   If you want to find out more about the new site, visit our web page at this Link .

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 will work.  Some of the perks we have previously offered on the membership page will have 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!

Light Pollution News!

The Kearney Community Learning Center became interested in the issue of light pollution.  They did some research and also contacted the IDA (International Dark Sky Association).  Together the kids and the observatory contacted the Kearney city administrators about lighting in the city. The kids conducted numerous programs for the public and city council.  The city found they had not conveyed the requirements of a light ordinance, created several year ago, to the NPPD, which supplies the city's public lighting.  The city took action to rectify this and NPPD even agreed to replace some incorrect lighting recently placed.  The PVAO applauds both the city and the kids!  The better lighting will create safer driving conditions at night, provide even better security, save money for the city and us taxpayers, and have the side effect of helping improve the night sky viewing conditions.  You can't do better than that! 

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

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 the club observing site in Grand Island:

Keep In Touch With The Club Listserv!

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

If you would like to subscribe to our listserv - whether or not you are a member, all you really need to do is provide your e-mail address and click a submit button.  You will be e-mailed a subscription confirmation request from "astronomy".  When you are ready - click here - click subscribe on the left - enter your e-mail address and wait for the confirmation request message.

Feel free to use this 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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