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.

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H20 Open House, and GSSP Slides!

We will have an H2O Open House on 08/27/16. Details below.

Curtis Macchioni has provided us with the slides from his recent Show and Tell talk about the Golden State Star Party. You can see them here, along with contributions from other TVS members.

Next Public Meeting

Speaker: Dr. Kenneth Lum
The Evolution of the Reflecting Telescope, Part 2

Friday, September 16, 2016
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, September 19, 2016, 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

September's meeting

Dr. Lum will give part two of his talk The Evolution of the Reflecting Telescope. Watch this space for details; and read below for information on part one of his talk, which was given at the August meeting.

August's meeting

Leviathan at Parsonstown The reflecting astronomical telescope, making use of mirrors, was invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1668 as a solution to the problem of chromatic aberration in refracting telescopes, which use lenses. Initial versions of reflectors suffered from unreliable mirror making technologies based on metal mirrors and lagged behind the technology of refractors after the invention of the achromatic lens in the mid 18th Century. This changed dramatically in the late 19th Century with the coming of the ability to apply high efficiency reflective coatings to glass mirrors, better ways to test the accuracy of their surfaces, and improved mechanical telescope mountings. Dr. Lum will discuss at length about the early history of the people who were most responsible for this change to the dominant telescope technologies used today.

Dr. Kenneth Lum is retired from the practice of Emergency Medicine. Since high school, he has also been an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, having built two telescopes at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and a large Newtonian reflector when he reentered amateur astronomy in 1986. He pursued an interest in astronomical photography during the 1990s and continues to study the history of astronomy and astronomical instrumentation. Dr. Lum is currently interested in ways to enhance the performance of small telescopes with the use of a photomultiplier eyepiece and astronomical video cameras. Since 1994, he has been traveling with the Antique Telescope Society almost annually visiting different historical astronomical observatories.

H2O Open House

Our next open house is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th at the club's dark sky site, Hidden Hill Observatory, aka H2O.

Anyone can come to our open houses, not just club members; but you cannot go there without an escort. We will meet at the corner of Mines and Tesla Roads at 6:00 PM, then caravan to the site on a drive that takes about 50 minutes. The admission is $3/car; please bring the exact amount. There is no gas on the way, so be sure to gas up before leaving. The site is essentially in the wilderness, so there is no electricity and water, and there are only a couple of pit toilets. Cell-phone reception is iffy at best. While there is a picnic table there, you really should bring your own chair. If you need to see what you are doing, bring a red LED flashlight, not a white-light flashlight. And use masking tape over your car door and interior lights, or pull the fuse. If you don't have a scope, you can always find someone who is willing to let you look through theirs. And don't forget to bring your binoculars. Expect to stay until about midnight and get back to Livermore at around 1:00 AM.

Upcoming star parties

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

The H2O Open Houses will be open to all club members and the public. The Tesla Winery club Parties will be open to club members and their guests. Start and end times for the parties will be announced later, but we usually plan to arrive at the observing site about 30 minutes before sunset and wrap up around midnight. Mark your calendars now!

Each of our Tesla club star parties will have a theme, which will be announced in advance. Possible topics include a mini-Messier marathon, lunar features, a planetary night, star cluster obseving, beginner's night, and constellation identification. The theme for our September meeting will be "star clusters and binocular highlights". This will be our last Tesla club star party for the year.

TVS Crystal Wine Glasses For Sale

wine glass TVS is offering elegant crystal wine glasses for sale to club members. You don't have to drink wine to enjoy the beautiful TVS logo-etched stemware. Use them for your favorite beverage, or they can be used as a beautiful container for small plants. They are the perfect gifts for loved ones or friends. Look for them at club meetings, where they will be sold for $10/each. Don't drink alone, buy two! Support TVS. Thanks to who got these wonderful glasses.

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.