Second Site Search
The search is on for a second observing site for the SDAA.
Dear Astronomy Enthusiast,
Thank you for searching out our "Second Site" information page. We truly enjoy sharing the wonders of the skies above with you and look forward to your assistance in helping the SDAA insure clear, dark, star-studded skies for generations to come!
The SDAA is a non-profit educational organization formed in 1963 to further the education of our members and the general public in the astronomy-related sciences. We do this through events such as Astronomy Day, Stars In The Park(TM), our School Star Parties, and public observing nights at our world-renowned 22" Lipp Telescope in Tierra del Sol (TDS), our dark-sky observing site about 65 miles east of San Diego. With these events, tens of thousands of San Diegans and visitors to our fine city see and experience the wonders of our Universe each and every year.
The SDAA is faced with its most difficult challenge in the 40-year history of the club, and we are asking for your help. The US Border Patrol is presently installing many portable light towers on the US-Mexico border, less than a mile from our dark-sky site. More lights will soon follow. These lights will flood the border area and our site with hundreds of thousands of watts of light, creating a light pollution that effectively renders our site useless for astronomical pursuits. The loss of the dark sky at TDS will severally hamper our ability to see much of the sky above and will imperil our ability to do educational outreach, which could sound the death knell for the club. Without this major asset the SDAA would be hard-pressed to continue its public outreach efforts.
While we appreciate the hard work of the Border Patrol in stemming the tide of illegal activities along the border, are proud of these fine men and women, and do not wish to hamper their valiant efforts, we need to work at a solution to continue our outreach without interruption. The SDAA has determined its best course of action is to develop another dark-sky site. This effort, however, will take several years and many dollars to accomplish.
Our request for help is two-fold. First, please write the congressman for the Tierra del Sol area and let him know that he needs have the Border Patrol work with the SDAA in mitigating the light trespass onto our night skies, and aid the SDAA in securing the resources needed to continue our outreach efforts. For your convenience, we have a form letter that may be used directly, or as a template to create your own letter. This letter may be downloaded from the list of files below. You may write to Congressman Filner at:
The Honorable Bob Filner
U.S. House of Representatives
2428 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0551
Second, we need to raise the financial means to acquire and develop a new dark-sky observing site. Donations may be sent, in the form of a check or money order, to the SDAA, at:
San Diego Astronomy Association
P.O. Box 23215
San Diego, CA 92193-3215
Please indicate on the check that it is for the "Second Site Fund." Any money donated is fully tax deductible and a receipt can be mailed to you; if you so desire, simply request it with your donation. Or, if you'd like to donate electronically (the SDAA's preferred method), you may use the convenient on-line form below.
On behalf of the Board of Directors for the SDAA and its members, we thank you for your consideration in this matter, and wish you clear, dark skies!
San Diego Astronomy Association