LVAAS General Meeting

Saturday, July 11 at 5:00 p.m.

* * * NOTE: * * * FIVE O'CLOCK on SATURDAY * * *

- Meeting will be held on-line -


Tom Field, President

Field Tested Systems LLC

Contributing Editor, Sky & Telescope Magazine


“You can almost touch the stars”

Even if you wanted to touch a star, they’re all impossibly distant. Despite these great distances, astronomers have learned an enormous amount about stars. How? The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.

Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture ... or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!

This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. Even if you are an armchair astronomer, understanding this field will enhance your understanding of the things your read and the night sky. We’ll do a live Q&A after Tom’s 45-minute presentation.

Speaker Bio: Tom Field is has been a Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine for the past 7 years. He is the author of the RSpec software ( which received the S&T “Hot Product” award in 2011. Tom is a popular speaker who has spoken to hundreds of clubs via the web at many conferences, including NEAF, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference, SCAE, and others. His enthusiastic style is lively and engaging. He promises to open the door for you to this fascinating field! 

Members will receive an invitation to the on-line meeting by email. Prospective new members should contact our Membership Director ( to arrange to receive an invitation.




Paint the 40!

Help out the 40-inch telescope project by suggesting a new color scheme. using the LVAAS Paint the 40 web app! We are working on choosing a tasteful and appealing color scheme (not like the example shown here) for our 40-inch Cassegrain telescope project at Pulpit Rock. This web page lets you design your own paint scheme and see how it will look on the telescope. If you are an LVAAS member, you can sign in with your email and submit your design, or browse the gallery and enter your reactions to other members' designs.

June 14 general meeting video - click here

July General Meeting will be held ON-LINE. (Picnic canceled or postponed.) Details TBA.
Astroimaging July 18 CANCELED


The Board meeting June 28 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.