The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club, Inc. (AVAC) was founded in 1982, and incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 1999, to bring the beauty of the night sky to the families of the Antelope Valley.
The AVAC provides programs for schools and other organizations on request. We have put on presentations at local schools, state parks, and anywhere the sky is dark, we also do daytime events.
The AVAC is located in the Antelope Valley, which is located in north-eastern Los Angeles County. Our members come from all over the valley, and as far away as Pasadena, they range in experience from beginner to advanced.
The AVAC offers a friendly, learning environment. It is a member of the Astronomical League and offers their quarterly newsletter, discounts, and observing programs at no additional cost to members.
Dues are prorated each month on the basis of a Single membership costing $25 per year, a Family Membership at $30 per year, and a Junior membership at $15 per year. To apply, fill out an online application and either print and mail in application, or pay via PayPal.
The AVAC holds monthly meetings the second Friday of every month, except in December, at the S.A.G.E. Planetarium, 38060 20th Street East (located on the Northeast corner of East Avenue R and 20th East), in Palmdale CA, at 7:00 PM. The meetings include a monthly program about the fascinating night sky, as well as giving members and guests a chance to get together to talk about the stars or other topics of interest.
We hold monthly star parties, as weather permits, at various locations around the valley like Saddle Back Butte State Park in Lake Los Angeles and The Poppy Reserve in Lancaster. We also make group trips other dark sky sites around Southern California like Mt. Pinos and Red Rock Canyon.
The Desert Sky Observer, the monthly club newsletter, features the latest news and information about club activities. It contains a diagram of the lunar phases for the upcoming month and articles covering the latest discoveries from the world of astronomy!
Shirts and caps with the AVAC logo are now available from B's Stitchery and Design. For available styles, colors, prices and ordering information, please visit our clothing page.
Resources Available to Members Telescopes: 10 inch, 8 inch, and 6 inch Dobsonians, and various Accessories. Short Classes: Starting Out in Amateur Astronomy, How To Use a Telescope.
The AVAC is a member of the Astronomical League and sponsors several observing groups including, but not limited to, The Messier Group (Telescope and Binocular), The Universe Sampler Group, The Planetary Observers Group, and The Lunar Observers Group. Several of our members have received their Regular Certificate, having observer at least 70 items, and a few have received their Honorary Certificate by completing the entire list of 110. Take a look at the list and watch it grow, maybe we'll see your name there soon.
Once a year we present the Keith Lawson Award, named after one of the founding members and first President of the club, to one of our members. The award is in recognition of outstanding contribution to the AVAC and the world of Amateur Astronomy. If you know a club member that you think deserves the award, please submit a nomination.
The Care and Feeding of Your New Telescope (Courtesy Tom Koonce)
Saturday March 21, Annual Messier Marathon
The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club’s annual Messier Marathon is being held this Saturday, March 21, at the group campsite at Saddleback Butte State Park. We have the group site reserved from 2:00pm on Saturday March 21 till 8:00am on Sunday March 22.
We are not holding a big potluck barbeque prior to the event though we will provide briquettes, light off the barbeques, and there will also be a gas grille available for those who want to bring their own burgers, dogs, steaks, or whatever to grill. In other words, bring your own picnic supplies and more if you want to share. It’s up to you. We will have a few Starbucks Coffee Travelers and a supply of water.
For members who may be unaware, a Messier Marathon is an event wherein astronomers attempt to view as many of the 110 Messier objects as possible in a single night. These include galaxies, nebulae, globular clusters, and open clusters. There are only a few nights in any given year where this is possible. Those without telescopes, or who simply don’t want to bring one, are still more than welcome to come and view the objects through the telescopes of other members.
Saddleback Butte State Park is 17 miles east of Lancaster on 170th Street East, between East Avenue J and East Avenue K (note, Ave K does not go all the way through to the park).
Directions from Lancaster: Take Ave J east to 170th St. East. Turn Right (South) toward Ave K and follow the signs to the campground entrance. http://www.avastronomyclub.org/links-5/sites.html
Though it will be warm in the daylight hours, the desert quickly cools off after dark so bring appropriate clothing. The current weather forecast calls for clear skies and minimal wind.
We hope to see you there.
Contact Frank at (661) 972-4775 or Rose at (661) 972-1953 for info.