RTMC Astronomy Expo
Astronomers! Whether you are a
beginner or an
astronomer, we welcome you to attend the
RTMC Astronomy Expo, Memorial Day weekend, to:
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
Listen to excellent presentations covering observing, telescopes,
started in astronomy
Enjoy all the swap meet’s astro-goodies on both Saturday and Sunday,
Socialize and observe with friends.
May 26-30, 2016
(Thursday through Monday morning)
Big Bear City, California
Main Telescope Field at the
RTMC Astronomy Expo
The Riverside Telescope Makers Conference (RTMC) was founded in 1969
by Clifford W. Holmes for amateur telescope makers to share their
craft. In 1975, the RTMC moved to its current home at Camp Oakes, a
YMCA camp near Big Bear City. In 2000, the official name of the
conference was changed to the "RTMC Astronomy Expo." Located 50
miles northeast of Riverside in the San Bernardino mountains, the
site offers space for camping, several dormitories and 18
three-sided shelters, a meeting/dining hall, and the Charles Walker
Observatory. The camp is located at an elevation of 7,200 feet.
Click on the following link to view a
labeled aerial photograph of Camp Oakes.
RTMC now serves all aspects of amateur astronomy, from our
Beginners’ Corner to advanced topics, and from telescope making to
"armchair" astronomy. RTMC also includes events for the whole family
with swimming, canoeing, rock wall climbing, hiking, a zipline, and
activities for spouses and young kids.
Amateur astronomers attend RTMC because they can rub shoulders with
many people who really know telescopes and love talking about them.
Here, you can see and look through a great variety of telescopes,
from small to very large, under some pretty dark skies
at high altitude.
You can also attend talks by professional and amateur astronomers on
many different aspects of telescope use and construction, and on
astronomy in general.
Vendors representing major telescope manufacturers, and private
vendors selling many other items have booths at the telescope field
and along the paths leading to it.
They will show a variety of wares, including the latest astronomical
equipment and software in use, often at reduced prices. The vendors
contribute door prizes for Saturday and Sunday evenings. We don't
know exactly what prizes we'll have in advance, but items range from
clothing to eyepieces, accessories, and telescope systems.
The 48th annual RTMC Astronomy Expo will take place from
Thursday, May 26 through
Monday, May 30, 2016.
YMCA Camp Oakes, five miles southeast of Big Bear City on State
Route 38 at Lake Williams Road between mileposts 44 and 45. This location is about 50
miles northeast of Riverside in the San Bernardino mountains.
Longitude 116° 45' 15" West
Latitude 34° 13' 50" North
Altitude 7250 feet (2210 meters)
Click here for maps and directions..
Moonrise and Moonset (PDT)
May 26: Moonset 9:53 AM, Moonrise 11:50 PM
Fri, May 27: Moonset 10:51 AM
Sat, May 28: Moonrise 12:32 AM, Moonset
Sun, May 29: Moonrise 1:12 AM, Moonset 12:54 PM
Mon, May 30: Moonrise 1:51 AM, Moonset
2016 - Fun
With Our Sun!
At this year’s Expo, we continue our tradition
of celebrating amateur astronomy in its many facets, from beginner
to advanced researchers and imagers. If you like to camp under the
stars, hear great science lectures, see our vendors with the latest
in astro-goodies and look through amazing telescopes, then come and
this year is “Fun With Our Sun”, celebrating the observation and
science of our nearest star. We will have speakers on solar science
and solar telescopes to view the sun in various wavelengths. Our
Beginners’ Corner activities will involve the family in safe solar
observation and, of course, we have our Beginners’ Star Party at
this year are putting on a real planetary show, with Mars close to a
very favorable opposition. Jupiter will be in the western sky and
Saturn will show off its wide-open rings, rising just after 8:00 pm.
The Moon rises later, so we’ll also enjoy deep-sky viewing.
At night, we’ve
expanded the star party activities to include both the upper and
lower telescope fields. If you have a telescope of any size, bring
it! If you are having problems with your telescope, bring it anyway;
our “Telescope Urgent Care” booth will have knowledgeable amateurs
who may be able to help.
The RTMC Astronomy Expo offers talks and
activities at the Beginners’ Corner, Merit Awards for telescope
making, an Astro-Imaging Exhibition, an Imaging Workshop and
activities for families with kids. Also this year, we are letting
all kids, ages 0 to 17, enter the Expo for free. Fun things include
the swimming pool, the zip line (extra fee), canoeing on the lake,
the rock climbing wall, archery, and other activities. Don’t forget
the Swap Meet on Saturday and Sunday and see what everyone’s
This year our keynote speaker is Tamitha Mulligan Skov, a solar
astronomer and “space weather forecaster.” She hosts the online TV
show, “Spaceweather.tv," telling us what is happening on our star
and how it will affect us on Earth. Dr. Skov is an engaging speaker
and active solar scientist, so her presentation is a must-see.
David Ault is coming in from Texas to
share his expertise in astro imaging with the RTMC attendees.
A senior electrical engineer at IBM, Dave is more known among
the viewers of The Astro Imaging Channel as somebody at home with
imaging equipment and software and, more importantly, Dave is
somebody who can help other people understand it all. He has been an
amateur astronomer for more than twenty-five years, with the last
five particularly in imaging. He plans to talk about how to maximize
your data, showing the fundamentals of image processing concepts. He
will work through the steps of turning acquired data into a linear
image, and then turning that linear date into a masterpiece. He is
especially knowledgeable about PixInsight, and will show off a
number of processes and scripts in the Pixinsight Tool Box. Even if
you do not use PixInsight as your main tool, you will pick up a lot
of useful ideas. And if you are a Pixinsight fan, you need to be
Dave has developed a number of advanced techniques,
and has shared his expertise in small workshops and on his website
. Whether you are fairly advanced, or just dabbling, you will find
value in this workshop. Also, you will get to spend the day with
other amateur imagers, swapping stories, and sharing hints.
This is a premium workshop, available to no more than the first 50
to register. The workshop will be from 10:00 to 4:00 Sunday, with
breaks for lunch. Through the years, these RTMC AE Premium
Astrophoto Workshops have been over-booked by early April, so be
sure to sign up early!
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