Welcome to the Local Group
Welcome to the Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita, California.
This is our new website so please bear with us as we work the kinks out. 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.
Placerita Canyon Open House
Another Hot Day event!
I arrived at about 9:35 am and was surprised to see Dave Flynn sitting in a lounge chair under an EZ Shade structure. He had all the club stuff in place including , tables, banner, two telescopes , display models and all the hand out material needed for the day. I soon had my telescope set up and joined Dave sitting in the shade to await the start of the open house event.
At 10:00 am the announcement was made over the park PA system, the event has officially started and soon we began having people arriving at our booth. Young and old alike enjoyed looking at the sun.
After a couple of hours, Dave and I were pretty hot and tired and to our surprise, when we really could have used some help, Bert and Laureen arrived. They soon had their telescope set up and were helping out, What a welcome relief! Bert was even able to manage my telescope and theirs allowing me to take a break. After about an hour or so, Bert and Laureen had to leave do to other commitments leaving Dave and I to finish the event.
We started to get some clouds, beautiful white fluffy clouds against a beautiful blue sky. It was only enough to block out the hot sun and cool us off for a few minutes, but it felt great!
At 3:00 pm, an announcement was made, the event was officially over. Dave and I wasted no time in packing our equipment and before long we were in our air conditioned cars heading home.
A special thanks to Jim Van Winkle for the use of his solar scope, everyone one loved seeing those solar flares!
Monthly Club Gathering Moved
At the May 10th meeting we decided to move our monthly club gathering from the Templin Highway site to the Lockwood Valley site. There were concerns over safety at the Templin Highway site. The Lockwood Valley site usually has more astronomers around, a much darker sky and better viewing. And more importantly, toilets! Also, surprisingly, sometimes WiFi leaks over from the ranger station. ;-)
While not as accessible to the general public, it is worth it for the rest of us.
First Monthly Club Meeting
We kicked off our new monthly club meeting program at Barnes & Noble last Friday. The Barnes and Noble staff were great and very enthusiastic about having us use their facilities. The meeting room is open and easily visible from the book stacks and many shoppers joined us for at least part of the evening. The meeting was well attended by both club members and people and families that just happened to be in the store shopping. We signed up 2 new members and another person has indicated his desire to join as well.
A number of children were also in the audience (with their parents) and they were very interested in the telescopes that we had on display and the presentations that were made. They even had great comments and questions about the presentations. Dave Flynn gave a great presentation about the history and types of telescopes, and I presented a talk about the Orion Nebula and all of the items of interest there for amateur astronomers like us.
Night Sky Network awards for participation in our outreach and star party programs were presented to those members who were present, including Lincoln Bond, Van Webster and Craig Whitehead. We have more NSN awards to present to other members who have been participating in these events as well.
We decided that 6:00 was too early to start the meeting, so from now on we will start the meetings at 7:00. We will try to provide light non-technical discussions early in the meeting for the benefit of the general public, and then more technical and science oriented topics later in the evening. We will also hold informal telescope workshops in the hour before the meeting where members and the public can bring their telescopes for help in assembling, setting up and using them.
Please mark your calendars for the second Friday of every month at 7:00 for our Local Group monthly meetings.
See you there next month …
Jim Van Winkle