Mankind has been gazing at the night sky for centuries and cultures around the world have created myths to explain various star formations in the sky. The Kern River Valley Astronomy Club promotes the science of astronomy to both the local community and visitors to the southern Sierra Nevada, where stargazing is a favorite pastime. Regular activities include monthly meetings, field trips and star parties. The club also hosts special events for community groups.
Monthly meetings are held at the Kern Valley Museum and are designed to educate members and the community about specific topics related to astronomy. They are held the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Meetings include updates and video presentations on the latest news related to astronomy and astronomical topics of local, national, and world wide interest.
Monthly field trips are held on the Saturday closest to the new moon at the Fairview Heliport about 12 miles north of Kernville on Mountain 99. Fairview heliport is just the other side of the road from the scenic Kern River. It offers a unique dark sky experience that enables viewers to see galaxies and star clusters that cannot be seen in most areas of the state. In addition, the area is free from pollutants that may distort images and obscure views. The field trips begin at dusk. Members set up their telescopes and study the skies. The general public is always invited and is treated to views of the planets and the stars that few people get to see.
The club also sponsors star parties each month in the summer. They are held at the amphitheater in the Tillie Creek Campground in Wofford Heights. Visitors are treated to a presentation about astronomy and can view the night sky through telescopes provided by members. Star parties enable campers and locals alike to learn about our solar system and then see planets, stars, clusters, galaxies, and sometimes the moon.
Information about star parties can be found in The Courier and The Kern Valley Sun newspapers and on our website.