It was a dazzling night to remember when more than 2,000 people gathered at Skye Canyon Park for the sixth annual Skye & Stars stargazing event with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society (LVAS). Held on Saturday, May 15 – International Astronomy Day, families safely gathered in person to enjoy picnicking, music, lawn games, and food trucks prior to enjoying a guided tour of the nighttime sky.
The free, family-friendly event was hosted in tandem with LVAS, a nonprofit organization of amateur astronomers formed to promote astronomy in Southern Nevada.
Using telescopes, strategically arranged throughout the park and aimed at specific and noteworthy stars and constellations, LVAS volunteers assisted visitors and answered questions about a wide variety of celestial events. The highlight of the stargazing event was the guided tour through the night sky led by Keith Caceres, president of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. Caceres and his team used a powerful, high-tech laser pointer to further showcase and explain interesting elements in the night sky.
As part of the ongoing Thrive at Skye event series, guests brought blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the outdoor event. Food trucks including the widely popular Maize St. and Alpha Dawg were on hand to satisfy hungry stargazers and resident favorite Local 808 provided beverages. For those Skye Canyon residents who are collecting event pins, a special Skye & Stars 2021 commemorative pin was given out. The festivities also included a raffle and one lucky attendee won their own telescope.
Some highlights of the sky tour included the moon, the planet Venus and prominent constellations and stars visible in the sky on that night, including Orion, Ursa Major (The Big Bear, containing The Big Dipper), and Ursa Minor (The Little Bear, containing The North Star and Little Dipper.)
"It was great to see so many people at the park all coming together to discover, learn and explore more about the night sky," said Brittany Bolduc, Skye Canyon Event Coordinator. "This was our most well attended Skye & Stars event to date. The energy and enthusiasm among the crowd was exciting."