SCAS Monthly Meetings

Meetings are held at 7:30 PM on the second Wednesday of each month at Proctor Terrace Elementary School (located at the corner of Bryden and Grosse Streets—just off Fourth Street) in Santa Rosa (map).

Meetings are open to everyone—guests are welcome!

The meetings include lectures, demonstrations and visual presentations on the space sciences and related subjects. See Monthly Speaker for the upcoming topic.

Club Field Trips

"Field Trips" are a fun opportunity for fellowship among SCAS members where we can share telescopes, views and have a good time. Meeting times and locations are announced in the membership newsletter, Sonoma Skies.

Click HERE to learn about the May 15/16 SCAS Star Gazing Field Trip to the Liberty Glen Campground at Lake Sonoma.

Camping Trip to Howard Meadow - Memorial Day Weekend 2014

We had wonderfully dark nights and the entire campground to ourselves

SCAS Presidenet Mike Dranginis - ready to view

Jim Goodenough and Mike - setting up for astrophotography

Keith Payea and his Orion 12 inch Dob

Linda Sinkay fishing on nearby Howard Lake

M13 - taken by Linda Sinkay

M101 - taken by Jim Goodenough

Astrophotography Setup

Community Activities, Public Outreach, and Schools

Star Parties

One of the stated purposes of the Sonoma County Astronomical Society is to: “foster interest in astronomy and science.”  Throughout each year volunteers from our organization bring their personal telescopes and binoculars and provide a “Star Party” for schools or private groups who request this service. 

No fee is charged for these services, however, it is not uncommon for private groups to offer our volunteers dinner or some token of appreciation.

Star Academy

We are going to have our second 'SCAS Star Academy' Wednesday February 25 thanks to the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. All SCAS members, SCAS Young Astronomers, and RFO Docents and their guests are welcome to attend. Our emphasis with the 'Star Academy' is on using our personal telescopes, learning the night sky and special celestial events that evening, along with sharing our experiences with those who are new to our society or Robert Ferguson Observatory, have questions, or are looking into a future telescope purchase. Membership applications to the Sonoma County Astronomical Society are always available. Please visit the Robert Ferguson Observatory webpage for more information about the observatory and how you can be a part of the RFO team!

Parking: (FREE) - Approved parking permits will be issued at the observatory, please place on your dash board. Please park in the BIG LOT by the White Barn, if you don't have a scope, and walk the short distance to the observatory parking lot.

6:30pm - Those with scopes should arrive to set up at the observatory parking area through the green gate. PARKING PERMITS will be provided by me at the observatory parking lot, (please place on your dash board).

7:00pm - Program begins with a handout of the nights constellations.

10:00pm - Pack up and head home.

Should the weather prevent stargazing, we will use the classroom or *project room for instruction on collimating a reflector telescope. Wear appropriate clothing and bring your favorite snack and or beverage (No Alcohol or Smoking).

RED LIGHTS ONLY around the telescopes!

Green astronomical lasers can be used responsibly.

Our 'Star Academy' nights are very relaxed and friendly. There are no 'written tests'! This is a great opportunity to get away from the city lights of Santa Rosa and really see the night sky in a private and quiet environment.

Presentations

In addition to evening telescope viewing, volunteers can provide a classroom or group slide show presentation or hands-on activity, either in conjunction with a star party or as an informational discussion without telescope viewing. 

To inquire about available dates for a star party and/or an informational presentation, contact Activities@sonomaskies.org

Sidewalk Astronomy

In the spirit of the original San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers, we do “sidewalk astronomy." Volunteers set up their telescopes in public areas at various places around the county and invite passers-by to view the moon, planets, and other objects. We also do this when an unusual phenomenon is occurring, such as a bright comet or lunar eclipse. 

Club volunteers participate at Santa Rosa Junior College’s "Day Under the Oaks"; the annual "Astronomy Day" celebration; and other public gatherings such as the downtown market.

Young Astronomers

We have a group of younger members which meets during the school year at Robert Ferguson Observatory in Kenwood (map).

Every year the Sonoma County Astronomical Society awards telescopes to the area students who write the best essays explaining why they want a telescope. Click here for more information about our Striking Sparks or Young Astronomers programs.

Yosemite Star Party

Sponsored by the National Park and held on a summer weekend at Glacier Point. The 2015 date for the SCAS Yosemite trip was June 19/20. This event is for Members only.

Sunrise next to Half Dome

2015 SCAS Yosemite Trip Campers - photo by Len Nelson

Annual Star-B-Que

Each August we meet at Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sugarloaf State Park for a day of socializing, hiking and observing.

The Observatory telescopes are available for solar and evening viewing.

Many members and young astronomers bring their own telescopes. Members only. This year's Star-B-Que is August 15 2015.