Activities

School Outreach Star Parties

Public Outreach Star Parties
(Sycamore Grove, Yosemite)

Club Star Parties
(H2O Open House, White Mountains)

Other Non-TVS Star Parties
(RTMC, Stellafane, etc.)


School Outreach Star Parties

During the school year, TVS will conduct outreach star parties for teachers and the students at their school. We also do outreach star parties for other groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts. If you are interested in the club coming to your school, send an e-mail to the star party .

Check our home page for any upcoming star parties.

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Public Outreach Star Parties

TVS conducts public outreach star parties every year at such places as the Sycamore Grove Park in Livermore. We also conduct a yearly outreach star party at Yosemite for a couple of nights.

Sycamore Grove is on Wetmore Road, just off Holmes Road. From I-580 take Livermore Ave, south to First Street. Turn right (west) on First Street (Highway 84). Continue along First Street as it turns left and becomes Holmes Street (still Highway 84). Take Holmes north then turn left right before where Highway 84 turns sharply to the right onto Valecitos Road and heads toward Sunol. (After turning left, you will still be on Holmes Road.) Continue north to the end of the road and turn left at Wetmore Road. The park entrance is on the right, just after turning onto Wetmore Road.

The Yosemite Star Party is held during the summer months. Tri-Valley Stargazers hosts star parties on top of Glacier Point in exchange for free camping at the Bridalveil campgrounds. Check our home page for star party details (as they become available).

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Club Star Parties

TVS has star parties for members only. Most of the club star parties take place at our dark-sky site, Hidden Hill Observatory (H2O). In addition, we have several Open Houses at the site each year for the public. We also have a yearly star party at the Barcroft High-Altitude Research Station (elevation 12,400 feet) in California's White Mountains.

For our H2O Open Houses, our 17.5-inch telescope will be open for public viewing, as well as various members' telescopes. We meet at the corner of Mines and Tesla Roads in Livermore, and caravan to the site (a one hour drive). Do not attempt to drive directly to the site unless you are an experienced key holding TVS member. If you are not a key holding member, and you drive directly to the site, you will not be admitted. To find out about becoming a keyholding member, visit our H2O web page.

To get to the meeting location, from I-580 take the Vasco Road exit and go south on Vasco Road about four miles to the end of the road. Turn right on Tesla Road. Mines Road will be the first left, about 0.4 miles. There is a $3 per car fee at H2O, which is part of our rental agreement for the hilltop.

The White Mountain star party trip is held sometime during the summer months. We are given special permission to stay at the research center and have to pay for our room and board. The skies are incredibly dark and there have been reports that the Milky Way casts shadows. The price is about $60/night, which includes a bunk bed, great food and dark skies.

Due to the altitude, you have to be over the age of 16 to participate. The first night is spent at the Grandview campsite, or at a motel in Mammoth Mountain if you prefer not to "rough it", in order to get acclimated to higher altitudes. The rest of the time is spent at the Barcroft High Altitude Research Station, elevation 12,400 feet. You do not need to stay for the whole duration of the star party.

To sign up for this trip, contact . For more information, visit the Eastbay Astronomical Society's web site.

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Other Non-TVS Star Parties

There are quite a few non-TVS annual star party gatherings around the United States that amateur astronomer would be interested in.

RTMC (Riverside Telescope Makers' Conference)
This conference takes place every Memorial Day weekend at Camp Oakes in the San Bernardino Mountains just north of Riverside (in Southern California). Lots of lectures during the day, and vendor booths set up, with star gazing in the evening.

Golden State Star Party
The Golden State Star Party is held near Adin, CA. At an elevation of 4,400', atop a large bluff, the skies should be plenty dark. Tent camping and RVs welcome (no hook ups though). There will be some ammenities provided. Curtis Macchioni has provided us with a nice summary of this event.

Texas Star Party
This is one of the most popular star parties in the nation, with over 500 amateur astronomers attending. It is situated on the 3,500 acre Prude Ranch, six miles northwest of Ft. Davis, Texas.

Stellafane
This is one of the first major amateur stargazer gatherings. It takes place in Springfield, Vermont. A variety of activities during the day, with speakers and vendor booths set up, and of course, stargazing at night.

Here are a few more annual star party events:
Table Mountan Star Party, around August, at Table Mountain in central Washington.
Oregon Star Party, around September, at Indian Trail Spring in the Ochoco Nat'l Forest in Oregon.
Nebraska Star Party, around July-August, at Merritt Reservoir south of Valentine, Nebraska.
Okie-Tex Star Party, at Camp Billy Joe, Kenton, Oklahoma (in the panhandle).
Enchanted Skies Star Party, at Socorro County's Pound Ranch in New Mexico.
Black Forest Star Party, around September, at Cherry Springs State Park, Potter County, Pennsylvania.

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