Jan 16

SVO Newsletter – Vol. 4, Number 1 – January, 2023

A Look at Stellar Vista Observatory achievements for 2022

After an extended withdrawal from public engagement due to the Covid 19 pandemic, SVO resumed its outreach activities, delivering 12 free public star parties from February through November. To steer clear of Covid from 2020 through 2021, SVO developed two outstanding ongoing projects; 1) our Weekly Sky Reports, authoritatively written by our advisory committee member John Mosley, published on our website, in Facebook, and in a half-dozen regional weekly newspapers in Utah and Arizona, and 2) our Discover the Night Sky telescope and binocular lending program, making high quality observational equipment available to the public free of charge in Kane County.

An important new dimension in public outreach for 2022 was the dramatic expansion of our private night sky experience program where SVO provides opportunities for observing the stars, moon and planets by appointment to groups and individuals as well as for special occasions, in exchange for donations to the nonprofit. This emerging program expanded dramatically when in March, 2022, the Amangiri Resort in Big Water, Utah, asked SVO to provide night sky experiences for its guests on a regular basis. Our night sky programs for Amangiri provide substantial ongoing revenue to SVO which is helping strengthen our financial position as we work toward our nonprofit’s ultimate goal to build and operate an educational public observatory in Kane County. We express a hearty ‘Thank You’ to the Amangiri resort. Taken together, our night sky programs have inspired more than 1,200 people this year!

SVO is pursuing a multi-directional approach to developing its vision for a permanent observatory site. This strategy envisions a simplified low cost public facility including a building, open air plaza, bathrooms and parking designed for observing the night sky just two miles from downtown Kanab on the Jackson Flat Reservoir property owned by the Kane County Water Conservancy District (KCWCD). This multi-use concept would afford residents of Kanab a convenient, dedicated location close to home with excellent visibility of the night sky and very low levels of ambient light. SVO presented the concept to the KCWCD board at their November meeting and will continue talks in 2023.

Complimenting a possible astronomy facility in the City of Kanab at Jackson Flat, SVO enthusiastically anticipates collaborating with stakeholders engaged in developing the East Zion Initiative. In 2023, a ‘dark sky village’ on private land including a range of amenities serving the needs of travelers visiting the park is expected to emerge from its planning stage. SVO has been invited to contribute to the creation and operation of a full featured astronomical observatory near the proposed new visitor center to be constructed just outside the east gate to Zion National Park. Another SVO initiative this year is an Outdoor Classroom proposal for the Kane School District. More on it later.

What’s Ahead in 2023…..In addition to resuming regular free public star parties in and around Kanab for 2023, SVO will expand its local fundraising efforts by initiating a membership program. Stellar Vista Observatory plans to offer a range of incentives to SVO members, not least of which is the opportunity to join with other visionaries dedicated to building a legacy of educational astronomical enjoyment for area students, residents and visitors. With your support, SVO is working to establish Kane County and the City of Kanab as premier destinations for appreciation of southern Utah’s gorgeous night skies. We welcome your participation in this truly unique and worthwhile endeavor!

Please frequent our website at https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/

Contact us to get involved in this inspiring effort. https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/contact-us/

Thank you for your interest!

Here’s What We Accomplished in 2022…..

SVO Community Engagement – Public and Private

Produced or Participated in 12 Free Public Star Parties, Providing Telescopes and Expertise

Feb 14 – SVO at Zion View Star Field, north of Kanab 5 attended

Apr 24 – SVO at Jackson Flat Reservoir parking area, Kanab – 15 attended

Apr 30 – Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ with the Page sidewalk astronomers – 300 attended

May 13 – Children’s Astronomy Night in Hurricane – 150 attended

June 21 – Annual Kaibab Lodge Star Party – delivered a talk on variable stars – 25 attended

Aug 26 – South West Astro Fest – SVO at Jackson Flat Reservoir, Kanab – rained out – 0 attended due to storm

Aug 27 – South West Astro Fest – SVO at Pipe Spring National Monument Star Party – several dozen attended

Sept 20 – SVO at Jackson Flat Reservoir parking area – Early Morning Planet Observations and Bike Ride – 4 attended

Oct 4 – SVO Star Party at Kodachrome Basin State Park – 10 attended

Oct 5 – SVO in Escalante, Utah, with friends – 10 attended

Oct 10 – Kanab Annual 2nd Grade Moon Party at Jackson Flat Reservoir parking area – 100 attended

Nov 29 – SVO at Jackson Flat Reservoir with area friends – 4 attended

Night Sky Experience – Fee Program for Private Observing

Mar 21 through Dec 31 – Amangiri Resort – Delivered 30 telescope and binocular observing sessions to approximately 500 individual guests and families

Mar 23 – American Planners Association Utah Chapter Kanab Conference – Zion View Star Field north of Kanab (Vermillion 45 French Table provided free coffee, hot chocolate & pastries) – 80 attended

Apr 5 – Best Friends Data Analytics Department Meeting – Hancock Rd, north of Kanab – 15 attended

May 4 – Private family – Hancock Rd, north of Kanab – 2 attendeyrag@kanab.netd

Sept 21 – Private group – Hancock Rd, north of Kanab – 4 attended

Oct 1 – Vacation Races Trailfest – Jacob Hamblin Park, Kanab – 100 attended

Other Activities and Achievements

February 22 – Met with Kane School District Superintendent to introduce SVO’s Outdoor Classroom concept

June 8 – Met with Principals on SVO’s grant funded Outdoor Classroom concept for the Kane School District

June 8 – SVO supports East Zion Initiative at County Commission meeting

July 14 & Aug 9 & 15 – Met with SVO’s resident Architect Bob Kaczowka, Mesa Design, to create new observatory design concept for Kane County Water Conservancy District site

Aug 28, 29 & 30 – SVO introduces its observatory project for Kanab, Utah at The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ.

Sept 4 – Dinner discussion of SVO’s engagement with the East Zion Initiative & private star party with SVO Working Group members and friends at Zion Ponderosa Ranch

Sept 13 – Advocating at Kanab City Council for Dark Sky language to remain in the Kanab City General Plan

Nov 8 – SVO presentation to the St. George Astronomy Group – 20 attended

Nov 10 – SVO presentation to Kane County Water Conservancy District for a small scale, phased approach to establishing an observational astronomy site at Jackson Flat Reservoir

MAKING SVO PROGRAMS HAPPEN IN 2022…..Vondel Chamberlain, Rich Csenge, Mark Palmer, Kyle Slayton, Debra Csenge, Colin Littlefield, Ron Sharpless, Dave Lane, John Mosley, Bob Kaczowka, Nancy Maseng, John Maseng, Art Cloutier, Marie Cloutier, Megan Smith, Matthias Schmidt & J C Stimson.

Stellar Vista Observatory is a member of the NASA Night Sky Network,astronomy clubs bringing the wonders of the universe to the public in partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/


Stellar Vista Observatory provides observational experiences for people to enjoy, appreciate and comprehend what we can see in southern Utah’s starry night skies.

We Greatly Value your Continuing Support!

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