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. Brian Michael Bucher
Searching for the First Stars Through Nuclear Reactions

Friday, February 19, 2016, 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, February 22, 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

February's meeting

Over the years, the interplay between nuclear physics, computational astrophysics, and observational astronomy has been critical to our understanding of the cosmos. Nuclear data and astrophysical models continue to provide key input to help explain and guide astronomical observations. Once recent example involves the search for the first generation of stars in the galaxy, which is predicted to have a rather unique chemical abundance signature compared to later generations of stars whose composition has been enriched with heavy metals. The predicted chemical abundance patterns depend sensitively on available nuclear data among other factors. One important nuclear reaction is the fusion of two carbon nuclei into a magnesium nucleus and a free neutron. In the past, many astrophysical models simply ignored this reaction because the available rate estimates were so uncertain. Now, however, a precise measurment of this reaction at astrophysical conditions has finally been provided using a laboratory accelerator. With the new measurement, it is found that this reaction is critical to the production of elements with odd atomic numbers (e.g. sodium, Z=11) in the first stars while also important to heavy-element synthesis in later stellar generations.

Brian Bucher grew up in northwest Indiana and received his bachelor's degree in physics from Valparaiso University. He went on to study nuclear astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame where he received his PhD in 2014 before coming to Lawrence Livermore National Lab as a postdoctoral research associate. In his free time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and playing video games with his four young boys.

Dues are due!

It is coming to that time of year when dues are due. While you are at it you might want to update your memberhsip information too, which you can do by visiting our membership web page. After you fill out that form you will be directed to our payment page to complete the process. This would be a good time for you to add a little contribution to the club!

Jack Marling Awards

The Jack Marling Award is the award given by the Tri-Valley Stargazers to a member for their outstanding contributions to the club over long periods of time. The award includes honorary free life-time membership in the club. The award is not given on a regular basis, but can be given at any time when the board of directors becomes aware of a sufficiently meritorious candidate.

New awards have now been given to Alane Alchorn and Alan Gorski, who have given many years of service, tirelessly leading and participating in nearly every function of the club. Previous recipients of the award are Don Machholtz, Rich and Barbara Green, Rich Combs, and Debbie Dyke.

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.