Eyes on the Universe

Astronomy is one of the most beautiful of all sciences. Swirling spiral galaxies, exploding supernova, clusters of white hot stars all ignite our imaginations and make us look beyond our small planet. Astronomy can be enjoyed simply from your backyard without the aid of a telescope or spectacularly enhanced by large instrumentation from a mountain-top observatory under dark skies.

Who We Are

Group 70 is a non-profit educational organization comprised of people from several countries and many walks of life. We all share the same purpose of making the beauty of astronomy available to the peoples of the world.

Our Goals

We began in 1988 with the goal of building the Large amateur Telescope, a 71"(1.8M) astronomical instrument. Upon completion it will be the Largest telescope in the world build by and for those who do not have access to large institution-run observatories. The project has grown to not just providing a large aperture telescope, but to offering related instrumentation and services to those in Amateur, professional and educational fields of astronomy.


The mirror of  the 71" telescope is now complete. The mirror blank, found at the University of Tasmania, Australia, is make of Pyrex glass and was originally cast in 1938 as a backup blank for the 48" Schmidt Camera now in service at Mt. Palomar Observatory. The blank is currently being "stored" at Elliott Labs in Fremont, California. The Telescope will be a f/10 Nasmyth Cassegrain, allowing for optimal use of auxiliary equipment such as CCD cameras, photometers and spectrographs. Remote access by desktop computer along the World-Wide-Web will allow access to these tools of astronomy in classrooms, laboratories and enthusiasts home world-wide.


The 1.8 Meter telescope will be located in California's "Dark Sky Corridor", a 200 mile long stretch of ridges in the Coastal Mountain Ranges along the Pacific Ocean renown for its clear,dark, steady skies. Several acceptable sites are now being evaluated. Group 70, as a non-profit educational organization, is governed by a board of directors who meet monthly to act on these goals. The Large Amateur Telescope project is operated by volunteers who give their time, talents, and resources in the building of this project, through physically working on parts of the project and its instrumentation, soliciting grants and other funding, and planning for the future of the observatory, telescope and organization.

Join us.                      (printable membership form)


page marked up by Rick Powell