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The RTMC Astronomy Expo

Beginning to advanced amateur astronomers attend the RTMC Astronomy Expo from Thursday to Monday to

         observe from the dark sky of YMCA Camp Oakes,

         see new developments in amateur telescope making,

         check out commercial telescopes and equipment brought by vendors for observers,

         listen to presentations covering observing, telescopes, and getting started in astronomy,

         check out the swap meet on both Saturday & Sunday, and

         socialize and observe with friends

May 26-30, 2016
Camp Oakes
Big Bear City, California


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Main Telescope Field at the RTMC Astronomy Expo

Originally called the Telescope Makers Conference, the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference (RTMC) was founded in 1969 by Clifford W. Holmes as a way 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. 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 7,600 feet. Click on the following link to view a labeled aerial photograph of Camp Oakes.

Since its inception, the RTMC has expanded to encompass all aspects of amateur astronomy from beginning to advanced topics and from telescope making to "armchair" astronomy. Recently, the RTMC has included events for the whole family with swimming, rock wall climbing, hikes, activities for spouses and activities for the young kids. In 2000, the official name of the conference was changed to the "RTMC Astronomy Expo."

During the RTMC the camp has more people than a typical recreational campground of its size, but the primary reason for attending is precisely because it offers a chance to rub shoulders with a large number of people who know telescopes and like to talk about them. What we offer is a chance to see and look through a large variety of telescopes (with relatively dark skies and high altitude), attend talks by professional and amateur astronomers on different aspects of telescope construction and use, see some astronomical equipment and software in use, and buy astronomical equipment and software (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 in the past there have been telescopes of 8 to 12 inches in aperture.

Vendors ranging from major telescope manufacturers to people selling T-shirts have booths at the telescope field and along the paths leading to it.

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)
Thurs, 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 11:52 AM
Sun, May 29: Moonrise 1:12 AM, Moonset 12:54 PM
Mon, May 30: Moonrise 11:51 AM, Moonset 1:59 PM

Keynote Speaker

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WWW www.rtmcastronomyexpo.org