September 15, 2018


Audience: Groups, Adults, High School Students, Public, Middle School Students, Families, Seniors, Elementary School Students

Event Type: One Tam

Mt. Tam Astronomy Night - Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves

Presented by Mt Tamalpais State Park, Friends of Mt Tam, Wonderfest, and the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

Featuring: Jill Tarter, Research Chair, SETI Institute
Are we alone? Humans have been asking this question throughout history. Since the middle of the 20th century, we have had tools that permit us to explore this question scientifically. As we look up and look out, we are forced to see ourselves from a cosmic perspective. This perspective is fundamental to finding a way to sustain life on Earth for the long future.

NEW THIS SEASON- We have new directives from the State Park which will impact our programs and you, our patrons.

1. HOURS- The programs will start and end earlier than in past seasons.  Note that most programs (April-Aug minus July's movie night) will start at 8:00pm while July's movie night and Sept start at 7:30pm and Oct starts at 7:00pm.  All obsevring will STOP at 10:15pm to be sure all cars out of the park by 10:30pm

2. REGISTRATION AND PARKING PASSES-Our audience members parking at Rock Spring Parking Lot are requested to register and download a parking pass to display on your dash.  The gate at Pan Toll will be closed at Sunset (State Park closure time) and only cars with printed parking passes will be allowed entry after Sunset. Vehicles remaining in the park after 10:30pm may be cited. Log on to to register and download your pass. One pass pervehicle, so make this a little easier by CAR POOLING. 


The Mt Tam Astronomy Programs are sponsored by the Mt Tamalpais State Park, organized by the Friends of Mt Tam and Wonderfest the Bay Area Beacon of Science and are followed by star parties (laser tours of bright objects and telescope viewing)  in the Rock Spring Parking Lot by the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers. The evenings are FREE and open to the general public. Families and youth groups are encouraged to attend. If some topics are too advanced for the younger members of your party they can always go down to the telescopes early.


  • Register your car and download a PASS to Park at Rock Spring parking lot and CARPOOL if possible
  • Dress appropriately, it can be cold in the evenings on the mountain
  • Bring a flashlight to help navigate your way from the theater to the telescopes and cars
  • Help us inform others about these programs
  • IF the weather is questionable the day of the event, call our hotline: 415-455-5370 after 3:30pm. Any cancellations will be posted. Note that cloudy weather and/or high winds may prevent observing through the telescopes, but generally don’t stop the lectures.  Talks are cancelled only for rain or fire danger.

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