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. Don Dossa
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

Friday, August 15, 2014
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Lecture at 7:30 p.m.
Show and Tell follows

Unitarian Universalist Church
1893 N. Vasco Rd., Livermore

Next Board Meeting

Monday, August 18, 2014, 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

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an 8.4 meter telescope under construction in Chile. The talk will describe some features of the telescope and significant differences from other 8 meter telescopes. An interesting aspect of the telescope is the problem of managing the vast amount of data it will generate every night, far exceeding the sum of all other optical telescopes. The scientific goals of LSST and its mode of operation will give amateur astronomers immediate direct access to all of the images, better, faster and deeper than SDSS. Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) has made significant contributions to this project.

While working at LLNL, Dr. Dossa has been involved in the design of the LSST data management system. A few of his previous projects at the lab included project management for the acquisition of BlueGene/L, at the time the fastest computer in the world and as software manager for a large computer program for modeling stellar evolution. Prior to coming to the lab he worked at Digital Equipment Corp in hardware and software engineering. The Russian Academy of Science granted him observing time on the Russian 6 meter telescope to search for an optical pulsar. He has PhD in theoretical physics.

H2O Open House

Our next open house is scheduled for Saturday, August 16 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 6:30 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 a flashlight, 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.

Gert Gottschalk took some nice photos at a recent open house.

Barcroft High-Altitude Star Party

This year's White Mountain star party will be held from Sunday September 21st through Friday September 26th. This joint venture with the Eastbay Astronomical Society is held at the University of California's White Mountain Research Center. The fee for attending is $65 per person per night. The location of the site plus its altitude of 12,450 feet assures exceptional viewing conditions. But it also offers some interesting challenges for people who are not accustomed to the high altitude. Please visit EAS's web page for a detailed description of this year's party. To sign up, contact .

Magazine Giveaway

TVS has back issues of S&T and Astronomy magazines freely available. If you are interested in being a recipient of these valuable resources of astronomical history, please make your interest known at a forthcoming club meeting. First come, first serve!

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.