MembershipMembership is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. Amateurs and professionals are equally welcome; skilled amateurs comprise a majority of the membership.
You do not have to own a telescope in order to be a member or to participate in public programs. All types of observational devices are welcome at club star parties, as long as they do not interfere with operation of the club's telescope or block the observations of other astronomers.
The club leases a comparatively dark-sky observing site in the foothills south of Livermore and east of San Jose. This is private property, secured and restricted unless the club is holding a public party. The site is well located for long-exposure astrophotography and deep-sky observing.
Access to the club's dark site is available year-round to all members who have put up a $20 key deposit and a $10 yearly access fee. The club's 17.5-inch equatorially-mounted Newtonian telescope, housed in a permanent observatory at the site, is available to patron members. Patron membership is available to those who have been TVS members for at least one year at an additional cost of $40 per year. We do have a limit on the number of Patron memberships available (we are sharing one telescope), but we haven't had to turn down any Patron membership applications yet.
Additionally, TVS provides public programs in astronomy and telescope use at area schools and parks. Club members help beginners understand the fundamentals of observational astronomy and astrophotography. Through Project Astro, a number of members participate in long-term school science programs designed to introduce astronomy and space science at the grade-school level.
From time to time, the club sponsors amateur telescope making (ATM) workshops for those who wish to build personalized observing instruments. ATM sessions are publicized in the newsletter.
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BenefitsGet a discount on your subscriptions to Sky and Telescope Magazine ($32.95) and Astronomy Magazine ($34). You can also get a discount of 10% on orders from Orion Telescope and Scope City.
With a $20 key deposit and a yearly $10 access fee, you can observe at our dark site every night. Located east of Mount Hamilton on a hill overlooking a low dark valley to the south, it is darker than most places within an hour's drive from the bay area.
After a year's membership, for an additional $40 per year you can upgrade your membership to "Patron" status which gives you access to the club's observatory and the 17.5" equatorially mounted and driven telescope.
Members can rent telescopes, binoculars, and eyepieces for a month through our rental telescope program for only $15 (plus a $50 deposit).
Members can participate in our observing expeditions. Each year we usually spend a weekend at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, where we receive free camping in exchange for two star parties for the public. We also do a longer trip to the Barcroft Laboratory High Altitude Research Center at 12,400 feet in California's White Mountains (east of the Sierras and the Owens Valley, near the Ancient Bristlecone Pines National Monument).
Members can borrow books, tapes, videos, magazines, and other items from our library.
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MeetingsTVS holds monthly meetings, open to the public. In 2012 all meetings will be held on the third Friday of the month. The formal meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. We start setting up for the meeting and chat with other members at 7:00 p.m.
We meet at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 1893 North Vasco Road, Livermore, CA. Take the Vasco Road exit off I-580 and go about 3/4 mile north (towards Brentwood) on Vasco Road. The church is on the right. Click here to see a Google map of our meeting location.
Meetings update members on club activities, and are a forum for new or expanded ideas in astronomy. The public is always welcome to attend.
Regular meetings include club business and news from members, a socializing break with free refreshments, and a featured speaker, who is frequently a professional astronomer, scientist, author, or distinguished amateur astronomer. Speakers have represented organizations such as NASA, Lockheed, UC Berkeley, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (If you are, or know someone who would be, a good speaker for one of our meetings, let us know.)
The December meeting is traditionally a potluck dinner. We also hold a barbecue meeting sometime in the summer. The potluck and barbecues usually start a half hour earlier than our usual meetings.
If you would like advice on setting up or using your telescope, finding things in the sky, or identifying an object you found, feel free to bring your telescope to the meeting.
The meeting of the board of directors (open to all members) is usually held at 7:30 p.m. on the Monday following the lecture meeting. These meetings are currently held at the Round Table Pizza on 1024 E. Stanley Blvd. in Livermore. Click here for a Google map of the board meeting location.
On the Sunday prior to the board meeting (and just after the lecture meeting), we occasionally hold a discussion meeting at the Round Table Pizza, at 2:00 p.m. This meeting is also open to anyone. The purpose of this meeting is to allow a free flow of information without the time constraints of the planning and general meetings.
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The NewsletterTVS publishes Prime Focus, a monthly newsletter giving notice of meetings, speakers, activities, and club items. It is sent to members and area public libraries, and can be downloaded in PDF format from our web site.
Members are invited to submit articles for publication. Prime Focus is published under U.S. copyright guidelines, and respects the prior rights of all other publications, U.S. or foreign.
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Membership ApplicationTo join TVS, fill out a membership application here and pay your dues here.
Contact UsOur mailing address: PO Box 2476, Livermore, CA, 94551-2476.
You may also contact us by sending email .
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