LVAAS General Meeting

Saturday, May 1 at 8:30 p.m. (at Pulpit Rock and via Zoom)

An Evolutionary Way to View the Moon

You’ve seen the wispy beauty of a bright nebula, countless stars in a cluster, and the arms of a majestic galaxy.  You’re marveled at the features visible on the Martian surface during its last opposition, and you can never get enough time to view the spectacular beauty of Saturn’s rings.  Oh yeah, and you’ve seen the Moon.  A lot.  And you’ve shown the most famous features numerous times to numerous people at star parties. Perhaps so many times you ignore the lunar surface during your personal time viewing the heavens. I would like to propose that you view the Moon again in a totally new way, by examining the evolution of our closest neighbor.

A new theory for the formation of the Moon was developed due to results from the Apollo missions.  This has led to defining the evolution of the Moon into seven distinct eras.  With a little background and practice you can determine which craters, mare and other features belong to which era, and thus how they formed. The program will have examples for you to practice on, as well as resources that you can use including a look at the Astronomical League’s Lunar Evolution Observing Program.  Zoom in to learn some history of our closest neighbor.  It’s something new to share with your guests at star parties, and a wonderful way to understand and explore an old friend


Peter Detterline

Peter is an avid astronomer whose interests cover a wide range of the astronomical spectrum.  For thirty-five years he was the Director of the Boyertown Planetarium, where he gave programs to over half a million people. He is a recipient of the Thomas Brennan award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for exceptional achievement related to teaching high school astronomy. He teaches an astronomy course at Montgomery County Community College, Moravian College and Montana State University.  In research he has coauthored numerous papers on eclipsing binaries and contributes data to the AAVSO, ALPO, IMO, and IOTA.  He is the Observatory Director for the Mars Society where he heads up an Astronomy Team providing a solar and a robotic telescope for their members at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.  He also provides training for a robotic telescope in New Mexico as the Lead Astronomer for the Montana Learning Center. Both robotic telescopes are used remotely by students around the world.

Peter was selected to be part of the “Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program”, where he visited the largest American observatories in that country.  As an amateur astronomer he has traveled the globe to view solar eclipses, built his own observatory, and has completed over 35 observing programs including the Astronomical League’s “Master Observer”.  He is an honorary life member of the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society (LVAAS).

When he’s not staring at the heavens, Peter is preaching about them as a commissioned minister for the United Church of Christ, and fills in for various churches as needed.  Astronomy for him is a deeply enriching experience that connects the heavens to the Earth.



- Meeting will be held ON-LINE ONLY! -

Prospective new members who wish to attend the meeting should email



July 11 general meeting video - click here

Astroimaging and Star Parties canceled until further notice

The Board meeting November 29 will be held on-line. If you are a Full Member and you wish to attend the Board Meeting, please e-mail to request an invitation.

LVAAS facilities are now available for use by members, individually and in small groups. Please adhere to the guidelines at this link.

Watch this space for news about future events! There is a high likelihood of cancellation of upcoming events at LVAAS facilities. However, we are now having some online events.


—    LVAAS    —

THE LEHIGH VALLEY AMATEUR ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY -- 620B East Rock Road -- Allentown, PA 18103 -- 610-797-3476 --


Founded in 1957, the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society (LVAAS) is one of the oldest continuously-operating amateur astronomy organizations in the U.S. The mission of LVAAS is to promote the study of Astronomy and to maintain a meeting space, observatories, and a planetarium.

LVAAS operates two astronomy sites: The South Mountain site in Salisbury Township is the headquarters of the Society. It has a planetarium with a Spitz A3P projector, a 21 foot dome, meeting space, the Red Shift store, library, workshop space, and three observatories. The Pulpit Rock site near Hamburg is LVAAS's members-only dark sky site. At 1600 feet above sea level, the site features five observatories and a pad for member's scopes.

Members who receive training on the scopes may obtain keys to the observatories. LVAAS also maintains a rental "fleet" of telescopes that members may rent at low cost. Members also receive access to The Observer, our online newsletter, as well as reduced subscription prices to Sky and Telescope and Astronomy Magazine. If you want to learn more about astronomy and LVAAS, please join us at our next public star party.


South Mountain Clear Sky Chart  image

Pulpit Rock Clear Sky Chart         image