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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 Saturday swap meet, and

·         socialize and observe with friends

May 21-25, 2015
Camp Oakes
Big Bear City, California

Program Schedule
Full brochure (including presenter bios and activites for families and children)
Presentation schedule only (vertical orientation)

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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 47th annual RTMC Astronomy Expo will take place from Thursday, May 21 through Monday, May 25, 2015.

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)
Thursday, May 21: moonrise 9:02 AM, moonset 11:06 PM
Friday, May 22: moonrise 9:57 AM, moonset 11:49 PM
Saturday, May 23: moonrise 10:53 AM
Sunday, May 24: moonset 12:26 AM, moonrise 11:47 AM
Monday, May 25: moonset 1:02 AM, moonrise 12:41 AM

Keynote Speaker
Our keynote speaker this year is Chuck Claver, LSST System Scientist, who has been working on a new optical design for a 8.4m 3-degeee field of view Paul-Baker telescope that would eventually become the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. This design will be able to survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colors. Plans for sharing the date from LSST with the public are as ambitious as the telescope itself. Come listen to Chuck Claver and hear the exciting news.

Astroimaging Workshop

Craig Stark will be leading the RTMC AE Premium Astrophoto workshop this year. Taking some time off from his day job as a neuroscientist at UC Irvine, Craig has developed a new & up to date presentation on the intricacies of astro-cameras & equipment, and how to use them and the related software. Craig developed PHD Guiding, Nebulosity, and other free and low cost software, and anyone who has spent time with him knows him for his easy going and practical explanations of what needs to be done to take and process a great image. Where do you sweat? Where do you relax? Craig will show you in this new presentation featuring the latest de-velopments in equipment and software. Craig has present-ed at various workshops throughout the country, has creat-ed how-to tutorials, and reviewed new equipment and tech-niques in various magazines and on the web. He has a low-key get it done style, backed by an extensive knowledge of how imaging works. Whether you are just beginning, or want to probe some deep stuff with somebody who really knows it, this workshop is your opportunity. Held Sunday, May 24th from 10am—4pm.

Although pre registration is closed, you may register at the event if space is available. Contact alexmcconahay@gmail.com for further information.

We also have Robert Reeves who will be conducting a lunar imaging workshop where he will review the sequence of meticulous but easy to perform steps to achieve quality lunar images that you never believed your telescope was capable of. Robert Reeves will also be giving a talk titled, "The Best of 365 Days of the Moon: Exploring and Understanding the Moon." Robert Reeves will use highlights from his popular image series "365 Days of the Moon" to explore telescopic lunar delights and explain the origin and geology of lunar features to promote an understanding of the Moon's face.

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WWW www.rtmcastronomyexpo.org