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

Riverside Astronomical Society

Your Health and Safety Come First. Always.

Last Updated: November 2021

The Riverside Astronomical Society is continuing to monitor health conditions in San Bernardino, Riverside, and surrounding counties to help us inform how we handle our normal in-person activities. We are currently having "modified" star parties and resuming Outreach activities with precautions in place. Monthly club meetings are still virtual as we await guidance and availability information from our meeting venue (La Sierra University).

When activities do fully 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.

Visiting GMARS & New Moon Weekends

Since May 2021, the RAS has been opening the GMARS houses on new moon weekends (weekends that are marked as "star parties" on our calendar). This is not the resumption of our normal star parties. Note that there will be no starbecue or other organized activities, and social distancing and sanitation guidelines must be followed by all visitors. Congregating inside the house is not advised. Please come prepared by providing your own food, beverages, and sleeping arrangements. The guidelines below apply to all GMARS visitors, especially on new moon weekends:

  • Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces you use or touch. 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. We do not advise hanging out and congregating inside the houses, watching TV, or sitting for extended periods at the kitchen table, etc.

  • Please do not gather with people at GMARS who are not part of your immediate household. Large groups (groups of more than 5 people) are not permitted at this time.

  • 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.

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 meetings are emailed to club members during the week of the next meeting. You can also find meeting details and attendance information, approximately 3-7 days prior to the meeting, here.


We have started to resume some Outreach activities. See the RAS Outreach Calendar for more details. We may also co-host virtual star parties with UC Riverside periodically. Watch your email, the monthly PrimeFocus, and social media for details.

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