Sharing the Wonders of the Universe
The purpose of the society is to foster interest in astronomy, to encourage and assist members in the study of astronomy and in the making and use of astronomical instruments.
The Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society (SVAS) is a nonprofit educational society. One of the oldest astronomical societies in the United States, it was founded in 1945 by 50 local astronomy enthusiasts. SVAS members range from young students and amateurs curious about the night sky to many college professors and even a world-famous comet hunter.
The SVAS serves the community of Northern California through its successful and long-standing Outreach programs and its membership through programs such as telescope workshops, loaner telescopes program and member star parties. The SVAS maintains an Observatory on Forest Service lands high in the Sierra Mountains for use by its members.Donate
When the science class gets to the subject of Astronomy, we can help.
If you just like to learn all you can about Astronomy, we get that.
If you have your own equipment, we've got a place for you.
Outreach/School Star Parties
Amateur Telescope Making
Monthly Star Parties
In addition to Public Events, we make our scopes available by appointment. . .
School star parties are events where SVAS volunteers go out to a host organization’s planned event with telescopes and educational astronomy presentations and activities. Please note that this is an educational, not entertainment, program. For those who qualify we will travel to an appropriate location of your choice within a 30 mile radius of Sacramento.
For more information or to book an event, review the Star Party Guidelines
Highlights: Swimming, BBQ Hotdog Dinner, Campfire Entertainment, Breakfast
For the attendees of the campout, we provide telescopic views of the evening's celestial objects.
In June, July, and August, amateur astronomers often set up telescopes at Glacier Point on Saturdays, and astronomy walks or talks are also be offered in Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, and Wawona.
Black Butte Lake is the perfect place for a star party. The skies are dark and comparable to Shingletown or Adin. Access is easy and the roads are excellent. Camping and RV sites are clean and spacious. Water, restrooms, hot showers, an on-site dump station, wildlife and cooperative rangers all will contribute to a comfortable and pleasant stay. All lights will be controlled by the park rangers in the campground, so light pollution will be at a minimum.
Few places in California combine such pastoral character with dark skies and comfortable camping. And in spring, the rolling oak foothills will be carpeted with green grass.
Because of limits on the number of people and vehicles, this star party is private. Attendance is by invitation only!Black Butte Lake Star Party
The Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society has established a Scholarship Program to assist academically talented students who are majoring in the physical sciences or mathematics with a career focus on astronomy or space sciences.
The Scholarship Program consists of two scholarships open only to community college students who have completed at least 3 fulltime semesters and have been accepted to a 4-year college or university for the 2020 academic year.
Open only to students majoring in Astronomy.
Open to students majoring in any physical science or mathematics.
We should receive the Application and all supporting Documents no later than June 30th 2019. Please send copies of required information as appropriate; we cannot return documents.
Download the Scholarship Application and Instructions
Lonnie Robinson brings you the very best in Amateur Telescope Making (“ATM”). He can help with all aspects of Dobsonian telescope building from design and construction to mirror making. He is happy to help with “telescope tune ups” involving mirror cleaning, collimation, and adding equipment upgrades.
Engineering Lightweight Dobsonian Telescopes
by Lonnie Robinson
John Dobson really started something with his Dobsonian “Dob” telescope design. He enabled the average Amateur Telescope Maker “ATM” to create a large and very stable telescope with common workshop tools. In this article, Lonnie shares his personal thought process and his lightweight Dob building adventure with you, hopefully adding some additional fresh ideas to help inspire your new Dob telescope project.
Each month, on the Saturday closest to the New Moon, members and their guests gather under the stars for some great dark sky viewing.Rules Governing the USFS Special Use Permit
This is our major event of the year. Just like a Monthly Star Party only with: Potluck, Raffle, Bar-B-Q.SVAS Star-BQ 2018, a film by Jason Raley
On the third Friday of each month, at 8:00pm, join us for interesting speakers and conversation.
The SVAS Observer is the official newsletter of the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society.
You can find information on upcoming club activities, special events, and articles related to astronomy in general. The SVAS Observer newsletter is published every other month beginning January.
Here's our May 2020 issue, the first by our new editor, Niklas HenricsonObserver May-June 2020
Articles: Except for individually copyrighted stories, permission is granted to other amateur astronomy organizations to reproduce in whole or in part for internal non-profit use, provided credit is given to the SVAS Observer and to authors of the reproduced materials.
Submit articles: Manuscripts and letters from members are welcome via email in Word (preferred) or text format. Items may be emailed to the editor at email@example.com. Please write “SVAS Observer” in the title of your email.
Deadline for the following month’s newsletter is always the 22nd of the month.
Advertising— Commercial, non-personal advertising, business card through full page, is available. Contact editor for more information. Classified advertising is free to members of the SVAS. Submit ads to editor.
Copyrighted material appears in this publication solely for non-profit educational and research purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.
Take a look at the great collection of Lonnie's Newsletters since 2012. . .
Celebrate the Summer Solstice with us both days of the weekend with solar viewing.International Sunday 2017, Ch31 Good Day Sacramento with Walt and Lonnie
When the Moon and Planets are in a favorable configuration, we set up scopes at the Barnes & Noble in Roseville. Solar scopes too.
Join us for the annual Sunday Funday a free family event! Your family will have a great time with inflatables and rides, pony rides, business and craft booths, music with live DJ, police K-9 demos, tot and kid fun zones, Food Trucks and more!
SVAS will have telescopes for safe solar viewing.
Events like comets, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers and planetary oppositions, are great opportunities to get the public exposed to the thrills of astronomy. Check our Upcoming Events to see if something is on the horizon.The Eclipse, with Dave and Walt, on ABC10tv
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The Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society maintains observatories in the Northern California Sierra mountains for use by its members and for research purposes.
The SVAS offers general members of 6 months or more, the option of upgrading their general membership to an observatory membership, subject to certification by the Observatory Director and Board approval. Observatory membership costs an additional $48 per year beyond the $36 General Membership dues and entitles personal access to HGO, subject to published rules. Access includes use of the 16″ Ritchey-Chretien, warm-up room, observing chamber and any other equipment available. Candidates for observatory membership go through proper certification procedures with the Observatory Director and, upon board approval and submission of payment, will receive their key for HGO. Observatory members are also asked to help maintain the observatory.
The best images you can get without a space telescope!
NGC 2244, The Rosette Nebula
Comet c/2014 Lovejoy
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy
*Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams
See how to setup a personal shopping account.
View a catalog for additional information about the products.
“We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.”
- Carl Sagan
ORION Telescopes & Binoculars offers SVAS members 10% off of any in-store purchases. Contact Walt for more information.
Woodland Hills Telescopes offers SVAS members a Gift Certificate equivalent to the value of the yearly membership dues. Plus, once a member has purchased from WHT, members will enjoy even more savings in the form of an on-line credit of 2.5% to use toward future accessory purchases. Contact Walt for more information.
To become a member of the SVAS, please use our Online Membership Form to fill out, print, and mail the application to the address indicated on the form along with a check for your yearly dues. The online form is designed to work with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. If you have problems with this, use the PDF Membership Form to print and fill out offline..
Approval of all SVAS membership applications must be voted on by the Officers and Directors of the Board. This occurs at the monthly Board Meeting.
|GENERAL:||Individual or all family members (in same household) enjoy monthly star parties, the Annual STAR-B-Q, loaner scopes, telescope making, and more.|
|OBSERVATORY:||The benefits of a General membership plus private use of the Henry Grieb Observatory. You must be a regular member for six months or longer, be trained and certified by the Observatory Director and approved by the Board of Directors.|
|ATM – Amateur Telescope Making:||Lonnie Robinson|
|Newsletter:||Niklas Henricson (Editor)|
|Outreach/School Star Parties:||Thomas Braun / Wayne Lord|
|Speaker Seeker:||Mike Bailey|
|Telescope Loaner Program:||Thomas Braun|
|Web Site:||Kevin Normington (webmaster) / Gary Shuluk|
Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society
PO BOX 15274
SACRAMENTO CA 95851-0274
501(c)(3) Registered Nonprofit Organization - Donate