The Riverside Astronomical Society was formed in 1957 to urge amateur astronomers to advance astronomy as a hobby. Initially a group dedicated to helping educational groups like local area schools and youth organizations, regularly scheduled star parties were held for the general public to raise astronomy awareness. In 1969, RAS hosted the first Riverside Telescope Maker’s Convention which has since grown to be one of the largest observing- based events in the nation. Open to the general public and with a yearly attendance in the thousands, RTMC now meets each May at Camp Oakes in the Big Bear Mountains.
In addition to RTMC, the Riverside Astronomical Society continues to host a wide variety of workshops and free public stargazing nights, calling the public’s attention to major astronomical events and the joys of observing.
RAS enjoys the use of 10 acres of dark sky in Landers, CA complete with a clubhouse, camping and observing field, telescope pads and a 22″ Dobsonian for member use. A recent partnership with La Sierra University now provides the club with a comfortable and modern meeting forum.