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.
01/08/2016 - Astronomical Events for 2016
Here is a list of interesting astronomical events for 2016:
March 8 – Jupiter at Opposition. Jupiter will be at its closest point to the Earth and of course will be fully illuminated. Brighter than any other time of the year it will also be visible all night long. Visible with even low power binoculars it will be a spectacular sight along with the four Galilean moons.
March 9 – Total Solar Eclipse. Always exciting but unless you live in the South Pacific you’re going to miss this one. The next one for the US will be Aug. 21, 2017.
March 23 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. Not a total eclipse as the edge of the earth’s shadow will cover the moon. It’ll get dark but not turn red like it does during a total eclipse. Visible mostly in the southern hemisphere but we’ll catch a bit of a show here in Santa Clarita between 2:30am and sunrise. Max at 4:50am.
April 18 – Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. Absolutely the best time to see the planet Mercury as it will be farthest from the sun in the evening hours.
May 6,7 – Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. A nice new moon will provide dark skies for a great show. Courtesy of Halley’s comet, you can expect up to 60 meteors per hour. Best viewed after midnight.
May 9 – Transit of Mercury. Probably the highlight of the year, we will be able to see the tiny planet mercury wander across the face of the sun. There will be another one in 2019 and then not again until 2039! Remember to use appropriate equipment and filters when looking at the sun!
May 22 – Mars at Opposition. Mars will be at its closest approach to the Earth. With a respectable telescope you can see ice caps.
July 4 – Juno Arrives at Jupiter. The latest of our deep space probes to reach the largest planet. NASA will likely be having a media blitz to celebrate this event.
August 12,13 – Perseids Meteor Shower. Brought to us by comet Swift-Tuttle this usually provides a spectacular show. We have a first-quarter moon which will set after midnight so best viewing will be in the early morning hours.
August 27 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. Happening just after sunset in the western sky it should be truly impressive as the two will be only 0,06 degrees apart.
September 1 – Annular Solar Eclipse. Once again, this one is for the nice folks in Africa while the rest of us here in the Santa Clarita Valley will have to enjoy it by proxy.
October 15 – Uranus at opposition. Neptune will be at it’s closest to the Earth. It’s a tricky target for most of us without really large telescopes however this night will be our best shot!
October 16 – Full Moon, Supermoon. Another ... more
10/24/2015 - Astronomy Day
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 ... more
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