Rob Lambert, president of Las Vegas Astronomical Society, greets people to his station with a “Step right up!” shtick as he points out the Great Orion Nebula. A young girl looks on as Lambert explains that the nebula, seen on a small screen showing a live view from his telescope, is part of the Orion constellation. The nebula, he continues, holds a cluster of stars that were born out of hydrogen gas, and is 1,500 light years away from us. He knows he’s lost her, and pulls out his green laser pointer to show her where they are looking in the sky. She’s back.
The light-drenched Neon Museum might not seem to an ideal place for stargazing, but the 1,300-plus people who came out to the Jan. 24 “Stars & Stardust” event didn’t mind a little terrestrial flicker and glow. The plentiful powerful telescopes helped them enjoy a glimpse of celestial bodies that are otherwise drowned out in a town where dark skies are a rarity.