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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.



04/19/2016 - From the Begining by: Simon Tang

Since I was a kid, I remember looking out my window and seeing a star that was always there before I went to bed. I use to imagine what it would be like to be at that star. What would I see? Are their even planets there? What about aliens?

As the years passed, I always want to see another world with my own eyes and after watching countless SciFi programmes and TV series, I began to start exploring what was really up in the skies.

So here I am today with piles of equipment that I own for work. Over 15 years of experience with various technologies I decided to point my camera to the skies.

I remember giving a brief lesson to a friend about shutter speed and the cool things you can do with it on a DSLR camera. We were driving back from San Francisco and decided to stop at a very dark road so I could demonstrate how this all works.

The Milky Way

The result of this lesson yielded this photo of the Milky Way. For the rest of the journey home back to Canyon Country, I explained what light polution was and how light was collected on the camera's sensor to help better his understanding. Once I got home, I opened the picture on my laptop and was stunned by what I saw. From that moment on, I was hooked on taking pictures of the night sky.

My first attempts taking pictures of planets resulted in appalling results! I couldn't make out what it was and to be honest, they where so small that there was no detail.

Planets

Determined to get better results with little to no money, I stumbled on a gem of a lens that was being sold for 75% of it's original price. Better yet, it was NEW in a box! I grabbed the lens and ran to the checkout and exited the store very quickly in case someone said "Oops, wrong price".

Months went by before I got the chance to take some pictures of the planets as work and bad weather seemed to be my enemy. Then one night, my luck changed. The first thing I saw was the Moon. I screwed the lens into my camera and went outside and started taking pictures.

Moon

I was extremely please with the results of the moon. Unfortunately I had to wait to the early hours of the morning to catch any planets, so I set my alarm for 4am. It was freezing cold, totally pitch black outside and the air was totally still. I targeted the camera at a bright dot, which I knew to be Jupiter, and took a picture. When the preview of what ... more



02/22/2016 - Outreach at COC by: Dave Flynn

Solar Scopes at COC

Students checking out the Sun through solar telescopes.

Last Friday (2/19/2016) The Local group participated in an outreach program at College of the Canyons.  COC in association with STAR Education Inc. ... more


02/09/2016 - Observing at Mt. Frazier by: Dave Flynn

Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina)Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Despite somewhat terrifying weather forecasts earlier in the week (60 mph winds) a bunch of us decided to take the chance and headed up to our usual observing location ... more


01/08/2016 - Astronomical Events for 2016 by: Dave Flynn

Mercury Transit

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 ... more


10/24/2015 - Astronomy Day by: Dave Flynn

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 ... more