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"where can I observe in a place that is away from the bright lights of the city, is comfortable, and also secure?"

Members can be trained to use the club’s 22” computer controlled telescope in our observatory
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We hold our "in-town" star parties in what is probably the darkest place in all of Orange County
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Our "out-of-town" observing happens at our own private 20 acre facility which is situated near the town of Anza
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Club Observing Sites

Astronomical observing in comfort!

As a newcomer to astronomy, and a new telescope owner, one of the most difficult questions to answer is "where can I observe the skies in a place that is away from the bright lights of the city, is reasonably comfortable, and also secure?". .

Invariably wherever you go on your own you will find yourself at the end of some lonely road and at best merely being bothered by the lights of some unknown other vehicles occasionally driving by - and at worst also feeling somewhat uneasy thinking about why on earth would other people be driving down the lonely road you are observing from this late at night!

Even if you have been camping in Joshua Tree Park (which does have some exceptional viewing conditions) or some other dark sky area you will invariably find yourself surrounded by other campers who just don't have the same appreciation, or understanding, of the need for darkness in order to fully enjoy the brilliant night skies.

I know how that feels. I went searching for a local astronomy club myself in 1997 specifically because I was fed up with observing on my own in some lonely desolate place where I didn't feel all that comfortable.

The Orange County Astronomers has the answer!

One of the greatest benefits of joining the Orange County Astronomers is the convenient access to some of the best observing sites anywhere in southern California.

The club usually has at least two star parties every single month from January through to December. We hold our "in-town" star parties in what is probably the darkest place in all of Orange County. Our "out-of-town" observing happens at our own private 20 acre facility which is situated near the town of Anza which is just 13 miles (as the crow flies) from that most famous of astronomical landmarks - Palomar Mountain.

Our dark-sky observing site is so special we even have members who have joined our club from as far away as Las Vegas and who regularly make the four-hour trip to experience star parties in the safety and comfort available.

As a member of the club you will gain year-round access to our Anza site.

Here is a brief summary of the facilities that benefit our members at the Anza Site.

  • Some of the darkest skies available within 2 hours drive of Orange County (the Milky Way is bright with clearly visible structure).
  • Large public observing areas with electricity (you can setup your own telescope and share the night with club members who appreciate the skies just as much as you do)
  • Private Members Pads with electricity (we have over 60 concrete pads - licensed for member use)
  • Private Members Observatories (we have set aside some areas of the site for members to build their own observatories)
  • We have our very own computer controlled 22" telescope in our observatory. YOU can be trained to use it!
  • Comfortable facilities (bathrooms and even a large trailer/house with three bedrooms / kitchen / bathrooms)
  • Wireless Internet Access right from your own laptop or other computer you bring with you (wireless network card required - and some small usage fee may be required)

 

 

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