Livestream Lecture - October 19, 2022

“We are Born Within a Bubble of Stars”


Dr. Dan Wilkins, Kavli Institute, Stanford University

The Universe is big – bigger than we can often comprehend - but it has fascinating details on every scale. From the extremely large, galaxies, stars and planets, to the incredibly small, with intricate structure inside every atom. But where did it all come from? Find out how astronomy can start to answer some of the biggest questions, how the Universe evolved from the Big Bang to the galaxies, stars and planets we see today, and how this picture fits with the recent discoveries about the history of our stellar neighborhood: a 1,000 light year wide “bubble of stars” in which we live.

Click here for how to view the lecture.


Membership brings with it many benefits, including access to:


Free and open to the public as well as to members, the SFAA hosts a distinguished list of guest speakers throughout the year. Our Speaker Series attracts leaders from astronomy, physics and related disciplines who share with SFAA members and the general public the latest developments from cutting-edge scientific programs. The Series invite experts from nearby NASA-Ames, Stanford, SETI, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, as well as speakers throughout the US via live-stream.


Star Parties

Each month the SFAA hosts member-only viewing atop Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. Private viewing nights like this are one of the great benefits of SFAA membership, offering peaceful viewing, with no street lights, great range of visibility from the site, (bathrooms!) and the opportunity to network with fellow astronomers. This venue is truly wonderful because it is almost always ‘above the fog’, making viewing especially ideal when the city lights are blocked by the marine layer. Many nights we can see the Milky Way in all its glory!



Special Events

Each year the SFAA hosts members-only camping and star parties at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park in coordination with the National Park Service. Other member-only events have included night-time tours of Lick Observatory and weekend camping and star parties at the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sonoma County. The SFAA works with schools and universities to bring telescopes to Science and Astronomy nights throughout San Francisco and Marin.


Telescope Loans

The SFAA has a number of telescopes that it loans to members who are just starting out to discover the world of astronomy and night sky viewing. The available equipment includes simple-to-use Dobsonian telescopes, computerized "go-to" telescopes, as well as numerous telescope accessories. New users are encouraged to attend member-only star parties so they can be tutored by more experienced members on how to setup their loaner scopes and to plan their viewing session.