California Festivals


Big Bear Astronomy Expo

September 19-22, 2019 FINAL YEAR - Event it permanently over after more than 50 years of tradition. Farewell....

RTMC Astronomy Expo
Camp Oakes
Big Bear Lake, CA
$30-60 approx.,

2018 Keynote Speaker: David H. Levy presenting Talk, Text & Tunes: A Nightwatchman's Journey. Levy is an astronomer, science writer and known for co-discovering Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1993. It collided with the planet Jupiter in 1994. 

Astronomers from all over the country come to this Expo.
Riverside Telescope Makers Conference features vendor booths, Door Prizes, a swap meet" for astronomers, and so much more. Overnight camping is also available and this is where the real fun begins! Every night is a Star Party with dozens of telescopes available to be looked through as well as more presentations especially the beginners Tour of the Night Sky using telescopes provided for you.

See the stars from the clear air of YMCA Camp Oakes
Learn of new developments in amateur telescope making
Check out commercial telescopes and equipment brought by vendors for observers
Listen to excellent presentations covering observing, telescopes, and getting started in astronomy
Enjoy all the swap meet's astro-goodies on both Saturday and Sunday

The skies above Big Bear Lake take center stage in a land not far from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Because of its high altitude and relatively dark skies unspoiled by city lights the San Bernardino mountain resort makes for a great viewing area. In fact, Comet Machholz 1985e was discovered in Big Bear during an astronomy event in 1985. Big Bear's environment also plays an important role for studying the sun, hence the Big Bear Solar Observatory.

RTMC Astronomy Expo at YMCA Camp Oakes in Lake Williams (11 miles east of Big Bear Village) is an annual festival geared toward all aspects of amateur astronomy. It gives attendees an opportunity to look through a large variety of telescopes, attend talks by professional and amateur astronomers on different aspects of telescope construction and use, and purchase astronomical equipment and software at the Expo's swap meet.

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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Near Big Bear Lake