Big Bear Lake, CA, July 19, 2014 - Visitors to Big Bear often comment on how bright the stars are at night, and there’s a couple of reasons for that. Our altitude of over 6700 feet gives us excellent transparency, and the lack of many street lights keep the skies appropriately dark. Given those conditions, our mountain is the perfect place to explore astronomy.
The Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society (BBVAS) was established in 1991 to explore and increase our appreciation of the Universe. It caters to amateur astronomers of all levels and promotes science literacy through outreach activities like sharing telescopes on the Village sidewalk.
A new event for the organization is remote live lectures, where a professional Astronomer presents a live, interactive lecture over Skype. Past speakers have hailed from the National Solar Observatory in Arizona, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and the Executive Director of the International Dark Sky Association from Arizona.
Society members also get together once a month for a “star party”, setting up telescopes in a dark location to gaze at all the beautiful objects in the sky. Observers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, whether they have a telescope or not. If you do have a scope, they’ll help you set it up and navigate the cosmos. The next star party is on July 26 in Baldwin Lake during the new moon.
And finally, the club has monthly meetings the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6pm, and visitors are always welcome to attend and learn more. The organization has seen astronomical growth lately, and if you do decide to be a member, the $15 annual fee includes membership in The Astronomical League and its quarterly magazine. For event times and locations, find BBVAS on Facebook or at www.bearvalleyastronomers.org.