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History & Mission

Our society was founded in 1926, when 30 local amateur telescope makers organized it as the Los Angeles Telescope Makers Society, excited by the new discoveries expanding mankind's knowledge of the universe far beyond our own galaxy and influenced by Russell W. Porter (1871-1949) who originated the amateur telescope making movement. We believe LATMS may have been the second oldest club of its type in the country (after the Springfield Telescope Makers). It was incorporated as a notforprofit corporation in 1929, and became the Amateur Astronomical Society of Los Angeles in 1934 and the Los Angeles Astronomical Society in 1949. LAAS began using its Lockwood Valley dark sky site in 1970 and acquired title to that property in 1979. Since 1987, LAAS has been operating the Garvey Ranch Park Observatory and its telescope making workshop in the city of Monterey Park.

The mission of LAAS is to promote interest in and advance the knowledge of astronomy, optics, telescope making and related subjects. In furtherance of its mission, LAAS conducts public star parties and other outreach events that are intended to enhance the public's understanding of astronomy and its enjoyment and appreciation of the beauties and wonders of our universe.


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