2012 Oct 26 (Friday evening)
Bay Area Science Festival Star Party
See listing on ASP website:
Organized by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College)
As part of the second annual Bay Area Science Festival, we are throwing a regional star party (telescope observing night) at over a dozen different sites. Colleges, schools, observatories and science centers around the Bay Area will be open, and both professional and amateur astronomers will be on hand to offer telescope viewing and observing tips. If the sky is cloudy, many sites will still offer indoor astronomy activities. Some institutions will also have astronomy talks, open houses, and family events that evening, regardless of the weather. Join us for a stellar evening.
Google Map showing all the sites
San Jose (4 sites)
The Lawrence Hall of Science
1 Centennial Drive #5200
Berkeley, CA 94720
Star Party, 7:00–9:00 p.m. in the “Forces that Shape the Bay” outdoor exhibit (in the Planetarium if weather is poor), $5 admission (free for Hall members).
Deer Valley High School ACE Academy/Planetarium and the Contra Costa Water District Education program will sponsor a night of observing, 7 - 9:30 PM, at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, 100 Walnut Blvd, Brentwood, CA. In case of inclement weather the program will be rescheduled. Admission is free and open to the public.
More info: <www.dvACEacademy.com or contact <email@example.com.
1) Chabot College Astronomy Department
25555 Hesperian Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94545
- Free Public Planetarium Show 7:00 - 7:45 PM (seating is limited, and reservations are required)
- Free public viewing from 8 PM - 9:30 PM at the College. See: <http://www.chabotcollege.edu/faculty/shildreth/basf2012.htm for more information.
For a campus map, please visit: http://www.chabotcollege.edu/about/CampusMap.cfm
2) California State University East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94542
Star Party, from 6-8 pm, on the Science East Lawn Picnic Area.
For a campus map, see:http://www20.csueastbay.edu/about/visitor-information/maps-campus-locations/hayward-campus-map/index.html
For more information, contact:
Dr. Gary Weston:firstname.lastname@example.org, (510) 885-3448
Foothill mCollege Observatory Star Party
12345 El Monte Rd.
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
Hosted by the Peninsula Astronomical Society. Observatory will be open free to the public, 7 to 11 pm, with additional telescopes near the entrance.
Please park in the west end of Parking Lot 3 and walk uphill to the observatory, which is located next to the Krause Center. Please note that parking costs $3.
For directions to the observatory and Parking Lot 3, see the map at:
For more on the astronomy program, see: <http://www.foothill.edu/ast
Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94619
Star Party with the East Bay Astronomical Society, 6pm-10pm (Center open 10am-10pm); all activities included with general admission! Visit the observatory deck to gaze through our large telescopes, free-standing ‘scopes, and tour our domes. On the inside, enjoy music, drinks, a café conversation on Maya astronomy with author Jeanine Kitchel, a live planetarium show, and a human constellation scramble where you are the stars!
For more information: www.chabotspace.org, (510) 336-7373
Sonoma State University Observatory
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, California 94928
Public Viewing Night, 8:00 – 10:00 pm, with a focus on "Our Nearest Neighbor, The Moon."
Schedule, map and contact info: <http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/publicviewingnight.shtml
The Observatory is located inside the stadium area at the SE corner of the campus (East Cotati Avenue and Petaluma Hill Road, 2 miles east of U.S. 101 at Cotati.)
Hartnell College Planetarium
411 Central Avenue
Salinas, CA 93901
Telescopes for will be set up for viewing on the top level of the nearby parking structure after the two regularly scheduled planetarium shows. See: <http://www.hartnell.edu/planetarium/schedule.html
For directions the Hartnell Main Campus: http://www.hartnell.edu/about/hartnell.html
For a campus map, see: http://www.hartnell.edu/about/hartnell_campus.html
San Francisco State University
Thornton Hall, 1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132
- Planetarium Shows at 8 pm and 9 pm (The planetarium is on the 4th floor of Thornton Hall -- Room TH422; Go in the main door of the building, take the elevator to the 4th floor, and look for the planetarium entrance there. Once a show has started, you can't get in.)
- Telescope viewing in the observatory from 8 pm until 10 pm (The observatory is on the 10th floor of Thornton Hall -- Room TH1002; Go in the main door of the building, take the elevator to the 9th floor and follow the signs up to the observatory. You may drop in any time between 8 pm and 10 pm.)
- In case of cloudy weather, telescope viewing will not happen, but demonstrations and Q&A session will occur in Room TH411, just down the hall from the planetarium. Planetarium shows will happen clear or cloudy.
For a campus map see: <http://www.sfsu.edu/~sfsumap/
For other directions to the observatory and planetarium see: <http://www.physics.sfsu.edu/astronomy/Directions/directions.html
1) San Jose State University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Members of the Physics & Astronomy Club will host a star party and a number of activities for children and adults. Tours of the night sky, telescope viewing (Moon, Jupiter, star clusters, etc.) and hands-on demonstrations and activities will be available. Telescopes will be set up on the Tower Lawn, between Tower Hall and the MLK library. No cost/rain or shine. 7PM start time. For more information, visit <www.physics.sjsu.edu
For a campus map, see: www.sjsu.edu/map
For campus parking information, see:www.sjsu.edu/parking/maps/
2) San Jose Astronomical Association
in Houge Park on Twilight Drive
San Jose, CA.
140 feet north of the intersection of Twilight and Rupert Drives, turn into the driveway immediately north of the tennis court fence.
7 to 10 pm, telescopes will be set up to show the nearly-full moon, faint planet Uranus, colorful double star Albireo, the Coathanger star cluster, and other objects as conditions permit.
WEBSITE with Google routing: <<www.sjaa.org/directions.shtml>.
For weather prospects, see <<http://www.sjaa.net/hotline.shtml> after 1:00 pm. If conditions change, this page will be updated.
PHONE: After 1 pm, a short weather message will be available at 408-559-1221.
3) Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Rd.
San Jose, CA 95135
The Montgomery Hill Observatory will be hosting the following activities:
- Lunar Geology for Children ages 9 - 12, from 4 to 6 pm. Space is limited and on a first-come first-served bases. For reservations, please contact the astronomer at: <email@example.com
- Observations of Moon, Jupiter, Uranus, the Pleiades and other interesting celestial sights. Astronomers will be using the roll-off roof building equipped with a 14” Celestron telescope, and the dome building with a 7" refractor. Portable telescopes will be available for public use. The star gazing will be held inside the dome and/or roll-off roof buildings after 7:00 PM. Attendance is free but limited to 50 visitors.
For a campus map, see: www.evc.edu/maps/campus_map.htm
4) Independence High School
1776 Educational Parkway
San Jose, CA 95133
Independence/Pegasus High School Star Party, 7 to 11 pm in the Planetarium Building.
For a school map, see: <http://ih.ca.campusgrid.net/home/School+Map
University of California Santa Cruz
Dept of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Star-party starting at 7:30 pm on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
More information and maps will be posted on:
Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society Stargazing 7 to 9 pm at:
Heather Farms Park, Dog Park Entrance,
505 North San Carlos Drive,
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Observe the Moon, Jupiter, star clusters, nebulae and more, weather permitting. Park in rear lots.
For more information, contact us at
Transit of Venus - 2012 June 5
Venus Transit videos from NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory - http://venustransit.gsfc.nasa.gov/
This is a rare astronomical event, when Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun. Past transits of Venus helped astronomers determine the size of our Solar System, and explorers literally risked their lives and fortunes to observe one (see Prof. Richard Pogge—Astronomy 161, Ohio State University: An Introduction to Solar System Astronomy, Lecture 26). In modern times, determining the size of the Solar Systems is still an essential stepping stone to determining distances to objects in the farthest reaches of cosmos. See the video from the Royal Observatory "Measuring the Universe: from the transit of Venus to the edge of the cosmos." See also Science at NASA 4 minute video about the transit at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nXv9YvkNyA
Although the last transit of Venus was in 2004, it happened in the middle of the night for the West Coast, so it was impossible to observe directly without traveling. This time, the transit is visible from the Bay area, starting a bit after 3 p.m. PDT and going until sunset. Even though the last one was only eight years ago, the next one will not be until 2117. It will be your last chance to see it for over 100 years! Find out more about the Transit of Venus by visiting TransitofVenus.org or http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/venus0412.html.
Transit begins: 3:06 pm. Mid-transit: 6:25 pm. . Sunset: 8:29 pm.
By the way, there will be a partial lunar eclipse early on the morning of Monday, June 4, from 3:00 AM until 5:07 AM, with the peak at 4:03 AM. The moon will be in the western sky. You may see this from your backyard.
The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley (1 Centennial Drive) will have solar telescopes for viewing the Transit of Venus safely on their main plaza Tuesday, June 5, 2:30-8:30 p.m. Plaza observation: Free. Indoor activities after 5:00 p.m.: $5 ($4 members. This event may be challenging to see without the use of technology. Please bring your eclipse viewing glasses if you got a pair at the solar eclipse event on May 20. We will have a limited number of glasses available for sale at the Discovery Corner Toy & Book Store. There will also be solar activities developed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and astronomers who will be available to answer many of your transit questions. There will be a few showings of the Planetarium show Transit of Venus where you can learn why transits are so rare, how they helped define the size of our Solar System, and how they’re helping astronomers find other “Earths” around other stars! The Hall normally closes at 5pm, but for the time of the transit, The Hall will be open until 8 pm. See: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/visit/events/transit_of_venus
Astronomers will be setting up telescopes to provide free, safe viewing to the public, 3-9pm, at the American River Canyon Overlook, also known as the Auburn Dam Overlook and the Auburn Skatepark. We will be providing safe instruments with which to view this event -- if you arrive between 3:30 PM and 8:00 PM you will see the black dot of Venus against the face of the sun. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the year 2117. To get to the Overlook, go to downtown Auburn, to the historic Courthouse. One of the roads branching from there is Auburn-Folsom Rd. Take that to the third stoplight (about 0.8 mile). This is Pacific Ave. Turn left at this stoplight and go about 0.6 miles to the American River Overlook, which is on your right. We are at the far end of the parking lot. You can find information about all of these astronomy activities, and the 2012 schedule of future astronomy events, at http://www.thecomethunter.com.
The staff at Orion Telescopes and Binoculars will have a couple of solar telescopes set up outside their store at 10555 S De Anza Blvd Cupertino, CA to watch the Transit of Venus.
Fremont Peak / San Juan Bautista
The Fremont Peak Observatory Association will conduct a program for the transit of Venus from about 2:30 PM to sunset at the observatory which is located in Fremont Peak State Park (6878 San Juan County Road, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045). You can obtain detailed directions to the Observatory from Google using this link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/7pov2fu Members of the public must be sure to pay the park entry fee before walking up to the observatory. You’ll be able to view the eclipse through special solar telescopes. They will also be handing out a limited number of approved solar viewers for direct observation of the Sun. The transit begins at 3:06 PM.
Half Moon Bay
Cameron’s Campground, Inn, and Restaurant (1410 Cabrillo Highway South Half Moon Bay, 1.3 miles South of Hwy. 92) is hosting an afternoon of astronomy viewing 3pm to 7pm, June 5. Host is Steve White (650-726-5705; firstname.lastname@example.org) of Scope City, San Francisco, who will have a special telescope that can show solar flares and prominences. Cost: Free. Technical information contact for reporters; Steve White, ph# 415-421-8800. Email email@example.com
Join the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society for the June 5th viewing of Venus transit of the Sun. You will be able to safely see Venus cross the face of the sun. The transit starts at 3:00 PM and ends at sunset about 8:30PM. Mt Diablo Astronomical will have safe solar telescopes available for viewing. We will be setting up at Lafayette Library, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, CA 94549. Check our web site www.mdas.net
Peninsula Astronomical Society is hosting a Venus transit event June 5, 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM at Foothill College Observatory, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos, CA. Information: http://www.pastro.org/dnn/Observatory/FoothillObservatory.aspx and http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/event-view.cfm?Event_ID=37166
Transit of Venus event on June 5th at the NASA Ames Exploration Center (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/exploration.html) is from 1:30pm – Sunset, around 8:00pm--the transit begins about 3:15pm, but Solar Observing and opportunities to learn more about the sun (sun spots, how a solar filter works, etc.) starts at 1:30. 2:00 pm there will be a speaker from the Kepler mission (http://kepler.nasa.gov or http://www.nasa.gov/kepler ). 2:30 – 4:30: Hands-On activities. Also 2:45 – Sunset: Live stream from Mauna Kea, hosted by Kepler with prerecorded and live interviews with scientists.
Join Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society for the June 5th viewing of Venus transit of the Sun. You will be able to safely see Venus cross the face of the sun. The transit starts at 3:00 PM and ends at sunset about 8:30PM. Mt Diablo Astronomical will have safe solar telescopes available for viewing. We will be setting up at Juniper Campground parking area of Mt Diablo State Park. Although there is no fee for this program there is a $10 park entrance fee. Check our web site http://www.mdas.net, or call the park.
From 2:00 - 10:00 pm on Tuesday, June 5, Chabot Space & Science Center at 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, will have hands-on activities, live broadcasts from NASA, floor demonstrations and of course viewing through our special solar scopes and sun spotters. Activities are free with General Admission. Call (510) 336-7373 to purchase tickets. http://www.chabotspace.org/calendar.htm?date=6-5-2012&p=1439355
Transit of Venus viewing Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 4:30 PM until about 7:00.Cost: Free! Location: Behind PRBO (Pointe Reyes Bird Observatory in Petaluma) at 3820 Cypress Drive, Petaluma, Ca. Parking: Please park on Cypress Drive and walk in 100 yds. or so. The building is leased to many small businesses and they would not be happy about Venus Transit seekers occupying their parking spots. Co-sponsored by: Sonoma County Astronomical Society (SCAS), Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO), and The Petaluma Museum
Join Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society for the June 5th viewing of Venus transit of the Sun. The transit starts at 3:00 PM and ends at sunset about 8:30PM. Mt Diablo Astronomical will have safe solar telescopes available for viewing. We will be setting up at East Bay Parks Shadow Cliffs, 500 Stanley Boulevard, Pleasanton, CA 94566. Although there is no fee for this program there is a $6 park entrance fee. Check our web site www.mdas.net
Weather permitting, San Francisco Amateur Astronomers plan to be at Ocean Beach on the boardwalk, across from the Beach Chalet. There will be a 6" reflector with a sun filter for safe viewing.
Exploratorium will be streaming the transit of Venus live online. Complete info and embed code for live player is available on our website, The Rarest Eclipse: The Transit of Venus http://www.exploratorium.edu/venus
College of San Mateo Observatory will be a Transit of Venus observing site on June 5th, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. The observatory is on the 4th floor of Building 36, where our planetarium is located. Just take the elevator to the 4th floor. Free parking will be in the adjacent Marie Curie lot. No charge for parking. We will have a full aperture, white light equipped scope, as well as several hydrogen-alpha (Ha) equipped solar scopes. In addition, you will be able to link to our live webcam during the transit. For further details, go to: http://collegeofsanmateo.edu/astronomy/observatory.asp
The San Jose Astronomical Association will have Transit of Venus viewing on Tuesday June 5 from 2:30 to at least 6:00 pm near the intersection of Twilight and Rupert Drives in San Jose, CA. After reaching the intersection, go about 150 feet north. Turn right into the driveway immediately north of the tennis court fence. See Google-supported routing at <http://www.sjaa.net/directions.shtml>. Please car-pool if practical, as parking is somewhat limited. After 1 pm, a short weather message will be available at 408-559-1221. There will be SJAA members with solar gear ready to observe and measure the transit of our second planet from the Sun, Venus. There will be filtered binoculars, project boxes affixed to telescopes, white light filters and H-alpha filtered scopes. Someone might even bring some eclipse glasses. GPS: 37.2575, -121.9423
Santa Rosa area
Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Robert Ferguson Observatory. 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, CA, The Robert Ferguson Observatory will be offering free opportunities to view the transit of Venus. Scopes will be prepared with special filters for safety and protection. Solar Viewing glasses will be available for sale at the gift counter. State Park Use Fee ($8.00) per vehicle entering the park. Handicapped parking is available at the observatory entrance, and wheel chair access is also available. Mostly viewable locally, this is the last chance of our lifetimes to view this phenomenon as Venus passes in front of the sun's disk. WARNING: Do not view the sun by naked eye or regular scopes/binoculars! Use only approved safe filters/methods for solar viewing. Event sequence: 3:06pm Venus contacts edge of solar disk; 3:24pm Venus disk fully enters solar disk; 6:26pm Maximum penetration of solar disk. See map: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=2605+Adobe+Canyon+Road,+Kenwood,+CA
For the general public, a number of SAS volunteers plan to set up in Oak Grove Regional Park...same location as for our monthly Astronomy in the Park public viewing sessions (http://www.stocktonastro.org/DirectionsOakGrove.html. The difference this time will be the time of day, from around 3 p.m. till sunset.
San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers will be at Glacier Point amphitheater with safe solar telescopes to view the Transit of Venus. https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/club/club-address-view.cfm?Address_ID=4279. Also Camp Mather.
Public Viewing of the Partial Eclipse of the Sun
May 20, 2012
In the San Francisco Bay Area
Compiled by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College & Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
For eclipse information, see: http://www.astrosociety.org/2012eclipse
Viewing of the partial solar eclipse with at least one solar-filtered scope between about 6 and 7 p.m. at the rear of the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany.
The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley (1 Centennial Drive) will have several solar telescopes for viewing the eclipse safely on their main plaza. There will also be special programming inside the Hall’s Planetarium throughout the evening. The program goes from 5 to 8 pm. See: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/visit/events/partial_solar_eclipse
Half Moon Bay
Cameron’s Campground, Inn, and Restaurant (1410 Cabrillo Highway South Half Moon Bay, 1.3 miles South of Hwy. 92) is hosting an afternoon of astronomy viewing. Host is Steve White of Scope City, San Francisco, who will have a special telescope that can show solar flares and prominences.
Foothill College Observatory (12345 El Monte Rd.) will be open, with telescopes in and outside the dome, from 5:30 pm to about 7:30 pm. Join the members of the Peninsula Astronomical Society for free eclipse observing and explanations. For a map and webcam, see: http://www.pastro.org/dnn/Observatory/FoothillObservatory.aspx
The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will have safe solar telescopes available for viewing on Mt. Diablo (Park in the Lower Summit Parking Lot, Summit Rd, Clayton, CA 94517). Starting at 5 pm until 7:30 pm, they will be setting up at Juniper Campground parking area. Although there is no fee for this program, there is a $10 park entrance fee. For more more information visit http://www.mdas.net or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Lick Observatory, 7281 Mount Hamilton Road, Mount Hamilton, CA 95140 (18 miles east of San Jose on State Route 130) will be providing access to a solar telescope (SolarMax II) for safe, up-close viewing, and the gift shop will also have eclipse viewing glasses available for purchase for a nominal charge.
Chabot Space and Science Center (10000 Skyline Blvd) will have an eclipse viewing party on the observatory deck. Engage in hands-on solar projects, make a pin-hole camera, enjoy solar viewing, and converse with experienced astronomers. The Center will close at 5 pm, but there will be special extended hours on the observatory deck until 8pm! Buy tickets online http://www.chabotspace.org/triple-play.htm or call (510)336-7373.
Diablo Valley College Observatory (321 Golf Club Road) will have one or more telescopes available from about 5 pm until the Sun goes behind the trees. The best access is from Viking Drive with free parking in lots 4 and 4a. A campus map can be obtained at: http://www.dvc.edu/org/campuses/ The observatory is the circular building in the middle of Science Center. The planetarium will not be open. The observatory has a WHITE dome and can be accessed following the path on the west side of the Life Sciences Building and then the spiral path to the left. NO stairs are required, but it is a fairly steep climb on a paved path.
The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center (3615 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento 95821) will have an eclipse party, 5:30 - 7:30 pm. The evening includes a program explaining eclipses and safe viewing techniques (each participant will receive a special eclipse viewer). During the actual eclipse, families are invited to enjoy their own picnic dinners in our nature area. Then there will be a planetarium show featuring the planets and constellations visible as darkness falls. You may register at the Museum or over the phone by calling 916-808-3942.
San Carlos Library (610 Elm St.) will have a solar eclipse event from 4 - 7 pm. Indoor and outdoor activities, telescopes, eclipse and lunar-phase models. Call 650 591-0341.
The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park (55 Music Concourse Dr.) will be setting up some telescopes and other viewing apparatus from 5 to 7:40 pm in front of the Academy on the Music Concourse side, where the angles should allow participants to see most, if not all, of the eclipse.
Two members of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers will set up telescopes for public eclipse viewing at Sunset Reservoir Park, on the path above 28th Avenue and Ortega Street, from 5:15 - 7:30pm, weather permitting.
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers will have special telescopes with safe solar filters at San Francisco’s Marina Green, between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Sunday, May 20th, along with the Exploratorium. The peak eclipse will be at 6:28 pm. There is no charge for this event. Bring friends and family and enjoy!
The San Jose Astronomical Association will have eclipse viewing from 5:00 to 7:40 pm near the intersection of Twilight and Rupert Drives in San Jose, CA. After reaching the intersection, go about 150 feet north. Turn right into the driveway immediately north of the tennis court fence. See Google-supported routing at: http://www.sjaa.net/directions.shtml. Please car-pool if practical, as parking is somewhat limited. After 1 pm, a short weather message will be available at 408-559-1221. GPS: 37.2575,-121.9423
San Juan Batista
The Fremont Peak Observatory Association will conduct a special solar program from 5 pm to sunset at the observatory which is located in Fremont Peak State Park (6878 San Juan County Road, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045). You can obtain detailed directions to the Observatory from Google using this link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/7pov2fu Members of the public must be sure to pay the park entry fee before walking up to the observatory. You’ll be able to view the eclipse through special solar telescopes. They will also be handing out a limited number of approved solar viewers for direct observation of the Sun.
Stockton Astronomical Society members are planning to set up telescopes for solar viewing for the annular eclipse on Sunday May 20 starting around 5 PM. Volunteers welcome...the more the merrier. Location is the waterfront promenade on the south side of the channel on West Weber, between Center Street and the Warehouse. There is ample curbside parking along W. Weber and at the Warehouse. Maximum eclipse will be about 6:33 P.M.