Upcoming Events

Events are open to all members and the general public. Sign up for email event updates by registering with Night Sky Network.

Most of our events happen at the Chabot Space and Science Center. Get directions here.

Next General Meeting – WE’RE BACK AT CHABOT!!

(Note that this meeting will be hybrid, in-person and on zoom/facebook. Our speaker will join us IN PERSON, in Classroom 3 & 4 / Kepler-Copernicus.)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2024
Our meeting begins promptly at 7:30 P.M.

Meeting will be held at the Chabot Space and Science Center Classroom 4 (the Room formerly known as Copernicus). Please enter through the side gate along the back road of the facility.

Our guest speaker for the evening is Dr. Edward Balaban, NASA Ames, FLUTE Principal Investigator
TITLE: Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE): Enabling the Next Generation of Large Space Observatories

The future of space-based UV/optical/IR astronomy requires ever larger telescopes. The highest priority astrophysics targets, including Earth-like exoplanets, first generation stars, and early galaxies, are all extremely faint, which presents an ongoing challenge for current missions and is the opportunity space for next generation telescopes: larger telescopes are the primary (if not only) way to address this issue. With mission costs depending strongly on aperture diameter, scaling current space telescope technologies to aperture sizes exceeding 10 meters does not appear economically viable. Without a breakthrough in scalable technologies for larger telescopes, future advances in astrophysics will slow down or even stall.

The Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE) project is a joint effort between NASA and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology to overcome the current scaling limitations for space optics via a novel approach based on fluidic shaping in microgravity. This technique has already been successfully demonstrated in a laboratory neutral buoyancy environment, in parabolic microgravity flights, and aboard the International Space Station (ISS). It is theoretically scale-invariant and has produced optical components with superb, sub-nanometer (RMS) surface quality. This talk will present the results to date and outline the work in progress, including FLUTE mission concepts currently under development.

About the Speaker

Edward Balaban is a scientist at NASA Ames Research Center and the NASA Principal Investigator for the Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE) project. His professional interests include robotics, autonomy, artificial intelligence, and development of innovative space missions. During his years at Ames, he has been involved in a variety of R&D and mission projects, including the X-34 experimental reusable space plane, autonomous robotic planetary drill (Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration project), and the K-11 planetary rover prototype. He was one of the creators of the Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA), a robot designed for operating on the International Space Station and a predecessor to the current Astrobee robot. In addition to FLUTE, he is leading strategic mission planning for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) and is a member of VIPER’s Science, Mission Planning, and Mission Operations teams (VIPER is a mission to land a mobile robot in a South Pole region of the Moon in late 2024 to characterize deposits of water ice and other hydrogen-containing volatiles). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from The George Washington University, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.

This talk will be available live and publicly at:

EAS Members will get a private Zoom invitation by Email

Telescope Makers’ Workshop

The Telescope Maker’s Workshop is one of few regularly scheduled such workshops in the world! Every Friday from 7 to 10 PM, amateur telescope makers from the bay area meet at the Chabot Space & Science Center and learn how to grind, shape, polish, and figure mirrors for reflecting telescopes, under the guidance of EAS volunteers. The workshop is free; participants pay only for the mirror blanks and grinding tools, which generally cost between $100-$300, depending on the size of the mirror. All the instruction, grinding grit, testing equipment, and camaraderie is free of charge! For more information, email Richard Ozer at pres@eastbayastro.org, or come by the workshop any Friday to see what it’s all about.


In person events are more limited because of COVID, but are being scheduled for schools and other community institutions. Contact us also for possible virtual events, or visit http://www.chabotspace.org for scheduled public virtual telescope viewing events]

EAS sends volunteers to schools, libraries, and anywhere curious aspiring astronomers gather. EAS volunteers bring their own equipment or borrow telescopes. Students, parents, and teachers are always thrilled to look through the telescopes and ask questions. You’ll meet all sorts of interesting people and provide a unique and inspiring experience to kids and parents who may have never looked through a telescope before. Find our next event on the calendar above.

Inquire about and request visits by e-mailing EAS Outreach Coordinator Raymond Howard at outreach@eastbayastro.org. Visit our outreach page to find out about upcoming events.

Members Only Viewing Nights (MOVN)

[In person events are more limited than in the past because of COVID, visit http://www.chabotspace.org for virtual telescope viewing events]

Once a quarter, we schedule a Members Only Viewing Night at the Chabot Telescope Deck for both EAS and Chabot members. This is our opportunity to look through Chabot’s historic instruments and research telescope, as well as bring our own equipment to share in a more quiet venue. The schedule for MOVN will appear in the event calendar below.

Barcroft High Altitude Star Party

Reservations for the Eastbay Astronomical Society’s Barcroft High-Altitude Star Party are now open to members of the EAS, the Tri-Valley Stargazer’s, and the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society clubs. This year’s event will be held from Saturday August 31st through noon on Friday September 6th. That’s six nights. Registration is required and now open. Please read these instructions carefully.

Before sending payments for reservations ($90 per night, per person), even if you’ve been there before, please contact Don Saito FIRST (barcroft@eastbayastro.org) to ensure the dates you wish to attend are available. You will also be asked to read the Barcroft Writeup, as it provides the information you’ll need to have a safe, comfortable stay, and what is expected of guests to this University of California research facility.

You must also review and sign the White Mountains Research Center COVID Terms and Conditions and Liability Waiver.  You can scan and email the signed copy to barcroft@eastbayastro.org. You may also mail the signed document to EAS, PO Box 18635, Oakland, CA, 94619-0635

So, four steps to apply:

1.  Email photo evidence of Covid-19 vaccination/booster to barcroft@eastbayastro.org

2.  Attest in writing/email that you read the current Barcroft Writeup and COVID Terms.

3.  Email Don Saito at the above address to check reservation availability and make reservation.

4.  Pay the number of days reserved via PayPal or check/snailmail.

Space at Barcroft is limited to a maximum of 12 people per day, so to ensure you get the days you want, make your reservations early.

Barcroft is one the premier amateur astronomy view sites in the world, and it’s slightly less than a day’s drive from the Bay Area to its location in the White Mountains.

Nights reserved
Dates reserved (list by range)

Golden State Star Party

This year’s GSSP is scheduled for July 3rd – July 7th near Adin, California. For more information and online registration, visit https://goldenstatestarparty.org

Fall Calstar

Spring Calstar 2024 is scheduled for May 1 – May 5 at Lake San Antonio. For more information visit https://calstar.observers.org/

Event Calendar

Header photo by EAS member Alan Roche.