Jul 14

Newsletter – July 14, 2019

Hello Friends of Kanab’s Stellar Vista Observatory; we want to keep in touch with you!

This is the first official newsletter of the Stellar Vista Observatory (SVO). It’s meant to keep you informed on how Kanab’s observatory project is progressing as well as community engagement opportunities we offer. This is the historic, Volume 1, Number 1, in a forthcoming series of periodic updates SVO will provide to our donors, supporters, working group members and friends. We’ll keep them brief and to the point!

Here are some of the things that have taken place at SVO since the beginning of 2019.

  • Bi-monthly Working Group meetings to develop observatory planning are ongoing, thanks to Kelly Brown at the Kane County Water Conservancy District
  • A formal project proposal is being developed to officially launch a major fundraising campaign
  • State corporate status is achieved
  • Officers of the corporation have been elected
  • Our book keeper, Linda Stone, is on the job
  • An advisory panel is being developed
  • We’re maintaining a growing database of local and regional supporters
  • Our Facebook page is up and running – please like SVO on Facebook
  • SVO is a member of the International Dark Sky Association, Utah Chapter
  • An SVO document management system is set up on Dropbox
  • Two portable telescopes have been donated and are operational
  • In May, SVO conducted five star parties during the 13th annual Amazing Earthfest 2019 in Kanab
  • Our application for Federal 501c3 nonprofit status has been submitted to the Internal Revenue Service
  • With fiscal support from the Southern Utah Space Foundation, revenue to SVO from generous community members has reached $7,000
  • Design revisions to architectural plans for the observatory complex are ongoing
  • Our project has earned the support of Kane County Commissioners
  • Begun discussions to extend Kanab City lighting ordinance to Kane County to further preserve starry nights in southwest Utah
  • An observatory site review and selection process is underway
  • Site review and design discussions have taken place with three astronomy professionals who are providing guidance to our project*
  • SVO has received and catalogued a donated collection of gorgeous astro-photographs by Dave Lane for sale
  • Attended training seminar at Cedar Breaks, and telescope field at North Rim and Bryce
  • Members of our working group are learning about the sky and how to operate telescopes
  • SVO is attracting residents who own telescopes in the region to join our star parties

Astronomy professionals we have been talking with

Thanks for your interest and your contributions to this exciting project! If you see an item on the above list you’d like to help with or learn more about, please contact us.

Current Officers of the Corporation:

  • Rich Csenge – President
  • Helene Jorgensen – Secretary
  • Dean Baker – Treasurer
  • Von Del Chamberlain – Director
  • Kelly Brown – Director

Members of the SVO Working Group:

  • Rich Csenge
  • Kelly Brown
  • Von Del Chamberlain
  • Paul Barron
  • Helene Jorgensen
  • Dean Baker
  • Bob Kaczowka
  • Megan Smith
  • Mark Stone
  • Linda Stone
  • Josh Klina
  • Laura Klina
  • Elizabeth Walker

SVO invites your assistance in the following areas:

  • Producing star parties in Kanab and around Kane County
  • Fundraising R&D to help finance the construction of the observatory
  • Proposal development, writing and editing
  • Communications/Correspondence and follow-up with our donors and supporters


Our next public Star Party is Monday, July 29, from 8:00-10PM in collaboration with Kanab City Library Children’s Astronomy Night! Our telescopes will be set up for public viewing and remain in action well after 10 pm! The City has agreed to turn out the lights in the parking lot. Sunset is at 8:39 pm and astronomical twilight on 7/29 ends at 10:22pm. That’s when the sky becomes fully dark! Pipe Spring National Monument is also collaborating with Kanab Library to produce this event. Hope to see you there!

We’d like to hear from you! To get in touch and find out more about how you can help make Kanab’s Stellar Vista Observatory a great success, call Rich at 435-644-3735.

Stellar Vista Observatory Board and Working Group

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