Star Party April 4 CANCELED
* * * General Meeting April 5 WILL BE HELD ON-LINE!!! * * *

Sunday, April 5, 7:00 p.m., Peter Detterline will speak on "Observing from the Southern Hemisphere."

Information on how to attend the on-line meeting has been sent to all current members. If you are a current member and you did not receive it, please email A video of the meeting will be made available to all, afterwards.

Astro Imaging April 18 CANCELED

The Board Meeting scheduled for March 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 fully supports our government's efforts to "flatten the curve" or slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus, to avoid overwhelming our health-care system.

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

At present, LVAAS facilities are still available to be used by key holders, individually or in small groups. subject to adherence to the policies set forth at



 Website Upgrade Complete!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and welcome to your newly-remodeled LVAAS Website! Santa's elves -- actually, just one elf -- has been busy reconfiguring our website programming to work with the manadatory upgrade to PHP version 7.2. (See the latest issue of The Observer for more details.)

As you unwrap this shiny present, please be thoughtful of the presenter. You are pretty much guaranteed to not like everything about it, at least not right away, but please consider putting your protests back under the tree for a little bit, and see if you can accept the whole in the spirit it is given. We did not ask for this gift, but we are forced to take it, and I have done my best to make it acceptable. Unfortunately there was no easy way to keep everything the same (and it's not really obvious that we should.)

Tips on getting the most out of the new

One of the features of the updated software is that it tries to be more friendly for users of smart phones and other small screens. The way that it does this was not friendly to our old menu organization, so now we have a new one. The main navigation menu is moved to the bottom, so that on large screens, the Upcoming Events feature remains prominent.

You will notice a "Menu" link on the top left, and I have gone to some extra trouble to make sure that it is always there, although the rest of the horizontal menu goes away on devices. I've decided to keep a few items on the top menu to entice casual visitors to learn more about LVAAS. In any case, a quick click on the Menu link will take you to the complete menu, where you will find a "Back to Top" link to reverse the effect.

Also, notice that clicking on the Menu link and then scrolling up a bit is an easy way to get to the Clear Sky Clock. We could also move the Clear Sky Clock down into the footer area, if we want.

On mobile devices, the Login button on the upper-right corner disappears, but there is a Login link available in the second footer menu, which contains other member-specific choices.

I've removed links to a bunch of stuff that seemed mostly obsolete and neglected, but anything that we really need can be brought back.

Open Issues

The site will continue to evolve and improve, and we will continue to find things that need to be fixed. Hopefully, we'll also find things that we prefer over the old site. Those of us who edit content on the site should enjoy the updated, less buggy editing software.

If you notice a critical issue, please don't hesitate to let me know right away. But as I mentioned, if you have a minor complaint, I would prefer you hold back a bit to see if it's really something that you can't live with.

Here is a list of some known issues that I think we must fix soon, although I elected not to let them cause a delay in bringing the  site back on-line:

  1. If you get the size of your browser window and the text magnification just right, the full-month Calendar is rendered as if there are six days in a week, with no Saturdays, creating extra weeks and assigning the dates to different days. It is hard to trigger this but it is atrocious, and could mislead someone if they didn't notice it happening.
  2. Pages that have images distort the aspect ratio when displayed on small screens.
  3. On small screens, the Menu button briefly highlights in a really ugly, misaligned fashion when pressed.
  4. The main navigation menu does not appear on some pages, which makes the Menu link superfluous on those pages.
  5. We need a better way to render our monthly events calendar for publication in the newsletter.
  6. There are some security issues which will cause notices which you may see when you are logged in. These issues have been the same since before I took over the site, but the updated software is being more aggressive about complaining about them.

I have a complete list including many picayune defects that I have noticed, and there will be more.

-- Rich Hogg, December 19, 2019; email



 LVAAS General Meeting

Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg College


Steve Miller

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Night Sky Photography


Steve is a lover of all things outdoors. His outdoor passions include mountain biking, hiking, camping, trail building and photography.He especially loves to experience and photograph dark night skies! Steve is an equipment specialist, staff trainer and photography instructor at Dan’s camera City. He has been with Dan’s since 2004. Steve has led several photography workshops including waterfall, birds in flight and of course night sky photography.