The Bay Area has a wealth of resources for those interested in exploring the topic of Astronomy. Below is a list of various observatories, groups, and museums that are regularly open to the public or host events that are open to the public.
- The Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley has an excellent planetarium and occasionally will host star-gazing sessions in their plaza.
- SETI@home is another way to get involved by assisting the search for extraterrestrial intelligence right from your own computer.
- The Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, originally built in 1883, sponsors planetarium shows, and astronomy programs for K-12 teachers and students.
- The California Academy of Sciences’ Morrison Planetarium hosts a variety of astronomical events including the Dean lecture series and amateur observing nights, in addition to a wide variety of planetarium shows.
- The East Bay Astronomical Society, founded in 1924, hosts various talks and meetings. They also a good resource to find out what resources are available to the public.
- The Sonoma State University Dept of Physics and Astronomy holds monthly public viewing nights at the SSU Observatory and presents a weekly public lecture series, “What Physicists Do,” on Monday afternoons.
- The Mount Diabolo Astronomy Society publishes a newsletter, holds star parties, and hosts lectures on a regular basis.
- The California Department of Parks and Recreation sometimes offer events related to Astronomy and observing. They also provide a general guide to observing in state parks.
- The Astronomy Association of Northern California is an umbrella organization encompassing nearly all of the amateur astronomy societies in the region. Their site includes an excellent calendar of events, a resource guide, and information on the conferences, swap meets, and other events they sponsor.
- The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is a great resource for events, internships, newsletters, and educational programs (plus their main office is located in San Francisco).
- The Robert Ferguson Observatory of the Valley of the Moon Obervatory Association provides outreach opportunities north of the bay.
- The James Lick Observatory, with its historic refractor optical telescope, is located on Mt. Hamilton (east of San Jose).
- The Hat Creek Radio Observatory, with its 10-element millimeter wavelength interferometer, is located north of Mt. Lassen in northern California.
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