Riverside Astronomical Society—Outreach, star parties, dark sky site, and you!

Riverside Astronomical Society

Your Health and Safety Come First. Always.

The Riverside Astronomical Society has cancelled all in-person star parties, outreach events, and meetings in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We do not have any estimates on when we will resume "normal" activities. We are monitoring guidance provided by state and federal health agencies. We will not resume normal activities until the green light is given by the appropriate authorities and we, the RAS, feel it is safe to do so.

When activities do resume, we may handle certain events or situations differently than we have in the past. We will provide details for any such changes as they develop.


All in-person Outreach Events are cancelled until further notice. We will co-host virtual star parties with UC Riverside on a roughly monthly basis. Watch your email, the monthly PrimeFocus, and social media for details.

Monthly Club Meetings

While our traditional club meetings at La Sierra University are cancelled, we are holding virtual meetings via WebEx for the time being (the first such meeting was held on Saturday, May 9, 2020). Details on how to join the meeting are sent via email to club members during the week of the next meeting. Speaker/presenter information for the next meeting can be found here.

GMARS & Star Parties

As of May 2021, the RAS will open GMARS on new moon weekends. This is not the resumption of our normal star parties. Note that there will be no star-b-q, and congregating inside the house is not advised. Continue to observe social distancing and wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose when indoors or near others. Sanitize any surfaces and objects you touch or use inside the houses. The guidelines below still apply:

  • Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces you used or touched. This includes but is not limited to kitchen and bathroom countertops, faucet handles, appliance handles, tables, door handles, and toilet seats.

  • If entering either house, do what you need to do then exit. Do not hang out, watch TV, sit for extended periods at the kitchen table, etc.

  • All individuals who are part of a group of up to 5 people must all be from the same household. (i.e., Do not gather with people at GMARS who are not part of your immediate household).

  • Visitors are free to use the telescope field which is currently open and accessible, even when the houses are not open. If you are not a keyholder and you decide to visit GMARS for an extended period, it is assumed that (1) you have made arrangements with a keyholder for access to the house's bathrooms and/or kitchen or that (2) you are self-reliant and have those facilities available to you (either with an RV or proper camping equipment).

  • If you bring an RV to GMARS, remember that the telescope field power outlets are not to be used to power or charge your RV batteries and absolutely no dumping of any kind is permitted on the property or anywhere else in the general area.

  • If you plan on visiting GMARS and require access to the house, you can try asking around if a keyholder plans to be present during your visit but the club does not maintain a list, calendar, or schedule of which keyholders are visiting GMARS or when. It is up to you to make those arrangements or to be self-reliant as described above.

Stay tuned to this page, the home page, or our Facebook page for additional details as we navigate our way through the coming weeks and months.

Helpful Links
San Bernardino County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Resource Site
California COVID-19 Response
RAS Facebook Page