About CCAS

photo_shuttle_launch_atlantis_sts-51j_largeWelcome to the virtual home of the Central Coast Astronomical Society, located on the Central Coast of California, USA, in beautiful San Luis Obispo County, halfway between the cities of San Francisco (to the north) and Los Angeles (to the south). We appreciate your visit and welcome any comments you may have about our organization or our website.

The CCAS is an informal non-profit service organization that exists solely for the enjoyment of citizens of all ages who have an interest in studying the wonderful and fascinating world of astronomy and space exploration.

Established in 1979, the CCAS promotes human understanding of the cosmos by providing an enjoyable, friendly and rewarding astronomical experience for beginners and experts alike. Community outreach is part of our operation, with CCAS members conducting slide show presentations and star parties for schools and the community.

We live on a tiny blue speck of a planet, just one of many worlds that orbit an average star called the Sun.  The Sun and its family of planets, like all other solar systems that have ever been spotted exist within a vast, luminous stellar aggregation called a galaxy.  (Our galaxy is the Milky Way.)  It contains about 200 billion stars and is more than one hundred thousand light-years in diameter.

How much space does our little solar system occupy in the Milky Way? If the Sun and its planets were reduced to the size of a quarter, the Milky Way would stretch four times the width of the continental United States. But this is only the beginning. The Milky Way is one of about thirty galaxies that form a small cluster known as the Local Group.  The Local Group, in turn, is one of the dozens of small clusters centered on a large collection of more than twenty-five hundred galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. And still, there is more.  Altogether, these galaxies and galaxy groups form what is called the Local Supercluster.  And the universe contains millions of such superclusters.

From here your mind can take you to all kinds of possibilities and future adventures for mankind. Who knows what we will find when we finally do get to venture to the stars.

I invite you to join us for our next astronomy event!

Arp 273: Battling Galaxies from Hubble
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & Copyright: Rudy Pohl





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