Deer Valley High ACE Academy skywatching events in Oct. and Nov. begin at John Marsh house Saturday night

The Deer Valley High School Academic Challenge & Enrichment (ACE) Academy has a lot of things going on for the public in the next three weeks. Take a look at these skywatching events and join us for a look at the heavens. More and more people are attending our planetarium program — our first two shows were basically running at full capacity. In addition, for each of the three events listed below we will also have a lunar sample disc borrowed from NASA that has six samples of rocks and soil brought back to earth from the Apollo missions. You can see a moon rock at any of the three following events.

October 19 – John Marsh Stone House.

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m Join Astronomer and teacher Jeff Adkins for a close-up view of the night sky. Enjoy the history and splendor of the Marsh Creek State Historic Park. $20 per person

ACE Academy students and Mr. Adkins will provide a stargazing event at the John Marsh Stone House south of Brentwood near the new LMC campus as a fundraiser for the new state park interpretive center being built there. There are events all day long including a meal. This event is NOT free ($20 for the astronomy part) but you can pay for only the parts you want. For tickets, directions and more information visit this link:

October 24 – DVHS Planetarium presents “We Choose Space,” a program provided by Loch Ness Productions and sponsored by Corteva (formerly Dow Agriscience). This program reviews the beginning of the space age and explains why we explore space. Following the program we will have a planetarium show to look at Saturn, the Summer Triangle, the Ring Nebula, and other objects. The planetarium is free and the doors open at 8 PM. The show starts at 8:15 and observing starts at 8:45. We will finish up around 9:30-10 PM. For more information go to

October 26 – DVHS astronomy students and Mr. Adkins will be at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Brentwood, one of the darkest locations in Contra Costa County, to observe the night sky with our fleet of telescopes. This event will run from 8 – 10:30 PM (although I will be there earlier as it gets dark.) There is a parking fee for each car.

For more information go to

Finally, on the morning of November 11 the planet Mercury will pass in front of the sun. Our school’s solar telescopes can see this event and we will be displaying it “live” so you can see it. This is being done as an ACE academy fundraiser at Barnes and Noble in Antioch. We will be encouraging visitors to mention ACE as they check out to help support the academy. This is the last transit of Mercury visible from North America until the year 2049. Our event will already be happening as the sun rises and will continue until about 10 AM. For more information about the transit including an animation of what we expect to see visit: (Please note the moon rocks will not be available for this event.)

For the Mercury Transit, the Stone House, and the Los Vaqueros reservoir, the events are subject to the weather. If it is cloudy they may be cancelled. The planetarium show happens rain or shine.

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