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Coming Events

(Observatory is open to the public
ONLY for scheduled events).

Star Party

Saturday, September 28

Solar Observing: 11am-3pm
Star Party: 8pm

New Docent Training

Begins Tuesday, Sept. 10, 7pm

If you've ever thought about becoming a volunteer at the Observatory, now's the time! The introductory meeting is followed by frequent training sessions on the telescopes, general astronomy and much more. For more information, see our Volunteer page.

Fill out a Volunteer Application Form and join us!

What's Up?

Thursday, Sept. 26, 8pm

If you've ever looked up at the stars overhead and wondered what else is up there, the Robert Ferguson Observatory's "Whats Up?" program is designed for you!

The program will feature a talk, suitable for all ages, on objects in our local galaxy, the Milky Way, and very deep space objects beyond. The small group format insures you'll get plenty of time at the telescopes!

Tickets may be purchased via Brown Paper Tickets.

Observing Lab

Friday, Sept. 27, 7pm
Rain check: Oct. 1, 7pm

Star Death: The End of Stellar Fusion
Stars are giant balls of gas so massive that their internal pressures and temperatures result in sustained nuclear fusion that generates tremendous amounts of energy. In this lab we examine what happens when stars exhaust their nuclear fuel, observing the various and beautiful remnants different types of stars leave behind.

The Lab is limited to 10 participants. After a short presentation, each person gets lots of eye time at several observatory telescopes, with an annotated observing list of the targeted objects.

Tickets may be purchased via Brown Paper Tickets.

Night Sky Classes


Sept. 23, Sept. 30, Oct. 21
Oct. 28, Nov. 18, Nov. 25

A series of six classes focusing on the Spring constellations and their deep-sky objects. Classes last about an hour with telescope observing after class. For prices and more information go to our Classes page.


Want to help us keep our doors open?


RFO at night

Above: The Observatory at night. Photo by Mark Hillestad
Top right photo of Refractor Telescope by Jerry Telfer


Rent an

Yes, you can!
Treat your family, friends,
or group of up to 50 people
to a night with the stars!


Weather Forecast

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Sugarloaf Ridge
State Park

"Team Sugarloaf" operates Sugarloaf Ridge,
including the campground. Five nonprofit organizations formed a unique partnership that has worked tirelessly to keep our park open.  

Partners are: Sonoma Ecology Center; United Camps, Conferences and Retreats; Valley of the Moon Natural History Association; Sonoma County Trails Council; and Valley of the Moon Observatory Association.  

With expertise in campground operations, ecological restoration, astronomy, trails management, and volunteer recruiting and training, Team Sugarloaf is creating new opportunities for Sugarloaf Ridge and its visitors.  Visit sugarloafpark.org for more information.

Come to stargaze and camp at Sugarloaf Ridge!