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Welcome to PVAA! We are an organization of amateur astronomers who have come together because of a mutual love of star-gazing, and a mutual desire to learn about the planets, the stars, the universe, and cosmology. PVAA is a non-profit organization whose objectives are educational and social. Joining PVAA permits you to subscribe to "Sky and Telescope" or "Astronomy" magazines at a discount, and also provides discounts on the books sold by those publishing companies. You also receive our monthly newsletter, “Nightwatch.”
PVAA has a regular meeting once a month, on the Friday closest to the full moon, at Harvey Mudd College's Galileo Hall. The speaker may be a professional astronomer, a professor, or a member of our own or another amateur astronomy club. Recent talks have been on subjects like: "Astronomy in Australia", "Visiting Historical Observatories", and "Chasing a Solar Eclipse". The topics are varied, and the meetings are designed to be fun!
We schedule a monthly star party on the Saturday closest to the new moon. For our star parties, we normally travel to an area where the skies are dark enough to facilitate viewing dim "Deep Sky" objects. At star parties, the new or inexperienced amateur astronomer has a chance to learn from more experienced members. You will also have an opportunity to look through a variety of telescopes, from small (but crystal clear!) refractors (spyglass-type) to large (18 to 22-inch) reflectors. We also go on field trips and lead observing events at public schools. The experience will be educational in more ways than one!
It is not necessary to own a telescope to join PVAA. In fact, aspiring amateur astronomers are advised to attend one or several star parties with nothing more than a pair of binoculars, which almost everyone has kicking around in the hall closet. Even if you don't have binoculars, come anyway. You'll have a chance to look through all the scopes on the field, and learn what type of equipment would work best for the type of viewing you plan to do.
Once again, welcome! Should you decide, after observing PVAA in action, to join the group, please see our Treasurer, Gary Thompson. Dues are $30 per year for adults, $40 per year for families, or $12 for youth under 18.
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