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Coming this Winter:
Our new 40" Telescope!
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Coming Events

(Observatory is open to the public
ONLY for scheduled events).

Star Parties

Tuesday, November 17

Leonid Meteor Shower
Star Party begins 8pm followed by
meteor observing after 11:30pm


Friday, November 27

Day after Thanksgiving
Solar Observing Only: 11-3


Night Sky Classes

Sep. 15, Oct. 6, Oct. 13,
Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Dec. 8

Learn about the seasonal sky, with telescope
observing after class. Details


40" Telescope Coming Soon!

A new 40"-diameter telescope will replace our
existing 24" telescope. The 40" will be the largest publicly-accessible optical telescope in California after Lick and Palomar. Our "Project 40" blog details the design, mirror grinding and construction, done entirely
by RFO volunteers!

Installation takes place in December and if all goes well, it (and you) will be seeing stars in January 2016!

A new home is being sought for the 24" scope. $10,000 or best offer. Contact mhillestad at rfo.org for details.


"Before Telescopes"
From Stonehenge to Galileo

A new series of
public presentations on the History of Astronomy, each lecture focusing on a different point in history.

Exploring what early astronomers learned without telescopes—just sharp eyes and sharp minds— is a good way to understand the basics of observational astronomy.

Presentations are given free during public
Star Parties

RFO at nightAbove: The Observatory at night. Photo by Mark Hillestad
Top right photo of Refractor Telescope by Jerry Telfer


Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

"Team Sugarloaf" operates Sugarloaf Ridge,
including the campground.
Team Sugarloaf is a unique partnership of five nonprofit organizations that have worked tirelessly to
keep our park open.  

Partners are: Sonoma Ecology Center; United Camps, Conferences and Retreats; Valley of the Moon Natural History Association; Sonoma County Trails Council; and Valley of the Moon Observatory Association.  

With expertise in campground operations, ecological restoration, astronomy, trails management, and volunteer recruiting and training, Team Sugarloaf is creating new opportunities for Sugarloaf Ridge and its visitors.  Visit sugarloafpark.org for more information.

Come to stargaze and camp at Sugarloaf Ridge!

Rent an

Yes, you can!
Treat your family, friends,
or group of up to 50 people
to a night with the stars!


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