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Welcome to the Local Group

Welcome to the Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita, California.

Those of you visiting from the general public can access many of the features here.  All public events, articles and newsletters should be accessible to you.  When you decide to join us, the rest of the features will open up to you.  You can apply for membership right here by clicking the sign-up link in the upper right.

10/24/2015 - Astronomy Day

Astronomy Day Booth

Another successful Astronomy Day! 

Last Saturday (10/17), The Local Group and The Santa Clarita Library hosted our Fall Astronomy Day celebration at the Valencia Library.  We had around 50 people stop by for the festivities.  They enjoyed some informative lectures and activities like the scavenger hunt.  The winners were treated to some great handmade prizes.  A big round of applause to Christine Schmidt who did a great job with that activity.

There were also three lectures throughout the day.  The first was the ever-popular "How Big is Big, How Far is Far" presentation by Richard Wade.  This is always well attended and was nearly a full house.  It is a fun trip through the concepts of scale, size and distance in an effort to teach kids about the vast sizes and distances of things in the universe.

The second lecture was by Dave Flynn on the various types of telescopes astronomers use and then a workshop where the kids can make their own telescopes to keep.  They build small two-element refractors that taught them about how lenses work and challenged them to be able to focus and see things upside-down.  Yes, even through many of our professional-grade telescopes, things get flipped upside down and sideways,

Our final lecture was supposed to be on Pluto however our guest lecturer was foiled by all the mudslide activity that weekend and he couldn't safely get here.  Many thanks to Jim VanWinkle for whipping up a wonderful lecture regarding how life developed on earth and how that helps us determine what to look for when searching for extraterrestrial life.

That evening we came back and set up our telescopes in the library parking lot.  We had about 25 people show up to look at the few meager targets we could locate through the ever-increasing light pollution in town.  Even so, the enthusiastic crowd seemed to have a good time and we even had some folks bring their own telescope to join us.

The library commented that this is one of their most heavilly attended events and they really appreciate this every year.


08/17/2015 - White Mountains 2015

Over the weekend of August 14th, 2015 The Local Group traveled up to The White Mountains, California for our annual dark sky camping trip.  These are always a great time and this year was no exception!  The astronomy is always fantastic and the fellowship and comradrie is wonderful.  We had ... more

07/16/2015 - Wow! What a party!

We had a triple event last weekend with a star party, pizza party and Girl Scout outreach all happening at the same time and place.  Our quarterly Vasquez Rocks Star Party kicked off with folks arriving around 6pm.  We had astronomers from The Local Group and LAAS. I think I ... more

06/21/2015 - Sidewalk Astronomy at the Mall

We had a great time doing some Sidewalk Astronomy last night at the Valencia Mall with well over 200 people checking out the views of the sun, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and a beautiful crescent moon.  We were situated in the plaza just outside TGI Friday's and Sisley.  We started around ... more

04/11/2015 - Things to look at this month.

Here are some things to look forward to in the next month or so:

  • Lyrids Meteor Shower - Expected to peak during the evenings of April 22nd and 23rd as the earth passes through the trail of comet Thatcher.  Look between the constellations Lyra and Hercules ... more