Astronomy conference coming to Las Cruces

Astronomy conference coming to Las Cruces


Astronomy conference coming to Las Cruces

Las Cruces Bulletin

ALCON – the annual conference for the Astronomical League – will come to Las Cruces in early July, a first for an area with good dark skies and a rich astronomical history.

That’s why Ron Kramer said he urged conference organizers to meet here after attending past conferences in large cities. ALCON has been held in more isolated locations in the past, but never in Las Cruces, he said.

Come July 6-11, Kramer will get his wish. ALCON can attract from 100 to 500 members and draw astronomical devotees of all kinds, from the scienceoriented enthusiast who has an expensive backyard telescopes to experts in their fields who get access to the some of the most advance technology peering into the universe.

Kramer has been working with Bert Stevens and more than 14 volunteers to prepare a slate of conference ALCON,


presentations, excursions, local sightseeing and a fair amount of star grazing, weather permitting.

The center for the conference will be Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces, with conference attendees taking trips to the Very Large Array in Socorro, White Sands Missile Range and Leasburg State Dam, which has its own observatory that opened in 2013. There also will be nightly star parties, held at EMI Technologies at 2200 N. Telshor Blvd., as well as time for conference attendees to visit local museums, farmers markets and other attractions such as the area’s national monuments.

The conference’s hosts are the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces and the Astronomical League. Cost for attending the conference is $50 a day, $80 for all three days and $20 for students. To see the latest agenda and register for the conference, visit https://

Some of the conference speakers are being finalized, but will cover such topics as technical as the “Nearinfrared Brightness Measurements of Venus” or as interesting to the lay person as “The 2017 Great American Eclipse.”

Stevens said he had hoped to be able to take conference attendees to the observatories in the Sacramento Mountains east of Alamogordo, but both the Sunspot and Apache Point will be down for maintenance at the time of the conference.

For more information about ALCON, or to offer door prizes and other suggestions, Kramer can be contacted at 521-1336 or and Stevens can be contacted by calling 649-0317.

Todd G. Dickson may be reached at 680-1983 or todd@

Ron Kramer of the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces shows visitors to Leasburg Dam State Park the park’s high-powered telescope. A “Star-B-Que” will be held there Friday, July 10 as part of the ALCON astronomical conference in Las Cruces July 6-11.

By Todd G. Dickson


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