Welcome to the Tri-Valley Stargazers Astronomy Club's web site. There is a lot of information here on the many activities of the Tri-Valley Stargazers (TVS). Learn why you should join the club to get the most out of your amateur astronomy hobby in the east San Francisco Bay Area.


Next Public Meeting

Speaker: Dr. Richard G. Kraus
Vaporizing Planets and Raining Iron

Friday, August 21, 2015
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Show & Tell starts at 7:30 pm
Talk follows

Unitarian Universalist Church
1893 N. Vasco Rd., Livermore

Next Board Meeting

Monday, August 24, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Round Table Pizza
1024 E. Stanley Blvd, Livermore

Members are always welcome at board meetings. Pizza is optional.

The Latest News & Upcoming Events

August's meeting

In this presentation Dr. Krauss will discuss his team's recent discoveries about processes occurring during Earth's formation, which was presented in their Nature Geoscience article Impact Vaporization of Planetesimal Cores in the Late Stages of Planet Formation. He will begin by presenting a bit of background for how planets form. Then he will discuss the importance of understanding high velocity impact events, as they played a tremendous role in shaping the solar system that we see today. However, the understanding of these impact events is based upon the intuition gained from running computer simulations of these high velocity collisions (as they are far too energetic to simulate in the lab). To better understand these impact events, we need better models for how materials behave at these extreme conditions, in particular for materials like iron. At the Sandia Z machine, his team developed an experimetnal technique to understand the process of impact induced vaporization, and they used it to determine the critical impact speed to vaporize iron cores (it's lower than one would have thought). Finally, he will discuss how this improved understanding of the physics of impacts, has important implications for understanding the timing of Earth's formation and the evolution of our solar system.

Rick Kraus received his undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2008 he received an MPhil in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK and in 2013 he received his M.S. in Applied Physics and Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University. His thesis research was on the thermodynamics of planetary impact events with a focus on impact induced vaporization. In September of 2013 he joined the HED Shock Physics group at LLNL as a Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow. He is currently a research scientist in the physics division focusing on the high pressure melting properties of materials.

The Jack Marling scope is back in operation at H2O!

The Jack Marling 17.5-inch telescope is back up and running at H2O. Chuck and Roland reinstalled it on May 6, and it went back into service for the first time at the H2O Open House on May 9. The mount is non-motorized for now, but it moves smoothly by hand and any vibrations now seem to dampen quickly. Those of us attending the Open House were treated to outstanding views of spiral galaxy M51 and globular cluster M3.

Upcoming star parties

We have planned the following star parties: Please contact for further information.

TVS Logo Wear

You may have seen some TVS members wearing shirts and jackets embroidered with the TVS logo. If you are interested in obtaining an embroidered logo item, you can do so by ordering whatever you would like through Land's End's Corporate Sales section and specifying TVS logo #0118948. You will need to set up an account, which will ask for the logo number and the TVS customer number (3452021).

TVS has also set up shop at Cafepress for members to buy non-embroidered TVS logo wear. You can have the TVS logo put on t-shirts, mugs, buttons, hats, coasters, etc. You buy through Cafepress, and Cafepress sends TVS a portion of the proceeds. Visit the web site to see all the TVS logo possibilities.