Las Cruces Clear Sky Clock
Las Cruces Clear Sky Clock

M104 (The Sombrero Galaxy), image by Kirby Benson
The Next ASLC Meeting is:
May 29, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

Speaker: Fred Pilcher
Topic: Dwarf planets: How Pluto really is very different from the other eight planets Mercury through Neptune.

Location: Dona Ana Community College
(Main Branch)
Room 141 (map)

Contact the Club President for additional information

Join us on Facebook

Upcoming Observing Opportunities:

ASLC MoonGaze
(Int'l Delights Cafe)
Sat, June 27th (dusk)

Solar & Dark Sky Observing @ Leasburg Dam SP
(ASLC Observatory at LDSP)
Saturday, June 6th (6:00 pm - 9:30 pm)

   Quick Links


M31Greetings from the professional and amateur astronomers who comprise the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces (ASLC). The club was formed in 1951 by a group of dedicated astronomers including Clyde Tombaugh, who had discovered Pluto just 21 years earlier. For over 60 years, we've been sharing a little bit of the universe with our community under our beautiful Southern New Mexico skies.

The club has a variety of ongoing observing, education and public outreach programs. We host a public Moongaze each month, offer beginning astronomy courses and support countless star parties for schools, scouts and various organizations. We also hold a meeting each month which includes a featured presentation.

To learn more about our society, please click here or select from the tabs above or the 'Quick Links' on the left.

What's in the Sky Tonight - Tuesday, 26 May 2015Hazy


  • Sun - Sunset occurs at 8:05 pm (MDT). Civil twilight ends at 8:32 pm. Astronomical twilight ends at 9:42 pm.
  • Moon - Waxing gibbous Moon sets at 2:25 am (27 May).

Bright Planets

  • Mercury - Lost in the Sun's glare.
  • Venus - Very bright and high in the western sky (near the Moon) at dusk. Sets at 11:30 pm
  • Mars - Lost in the Sun's glare.
  • Jupiter - Bright and high overhead (in Cancer) at dusk. Sets at 12:51 am (25 May). Jupiter's Giant Red Spot transits at about 12:40 am (27 May).
  • Saturn - In Scorpius. Rises around 7:34 pm.

This Month's ASLC Meeting

The monthy ASLC meeting will be held on Friday, May 29th in room 141 (Main Branch, DACC) at 7:30 pm. This is a week later than usual, but must be done to accommodate the community college (our hosts). The group usually gets together around 7 pm to talk about 'stuff' and socialize a bit. Business and upcoming events are discussed at 7:30. The presentation usually begins around 8 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public.

The presentation this month will be on dwarf planets, and will be given by Dr. Fred Pilcher.

Summary: The International Astronomical Union in 2006 assigned three classes to Sun orbiting objects. Planets have sufficient gravity to force them into a nearly round shape AND have cleared their vicinity of [nearly all] small bodies. Dwarf planets have sufficient gravity to force them into a nearly round shape AND have NOT cleared their vicinity of small bodies. Small solar system objects do not have enough gravity to force them into a nearly round shape. By these schemes it is shown that there is a large distinction between all known planets and dwarf planets, and that Pluto very clearly has the dwarf planet rather than the planet properties.




Astronomical League  
The Astronomical Society of Las Cruces is a member of the Astronomical League

International DarkSky Association  
ASLC supports the eradication of light pollution by its participation in the International DarkSky Association

ALCON: July 6-11, 2015

Hosted by ASLC and ALPO
` `` © 2015 Rich Richins