Astronomy Club TikTok blasts off

Ben Choucroun

Though created last year, the Astronomy Club has already become one of Redwood’s most popular clubs. Founded and led by senior Bayanni Rivera, the club is a place for students to learn about astronomy, build model rockets and stargaze.

Club leader Bayanni Rivera founded the Astronomy Club to share his passion for astronomy with others. (Photo courtesy of Bayanni Rivera)

Rivera, who is fascinated by astronomy, founded the club in order to share this passion with his peers. 

 “I know there is already an astronomy class, so I wanted to make the club different. My club is a lot more about current events and findings in the field. I wanted to share my findings with others and have a space with a lot of people who like a topic and want to talk about it,” Rivera said.

What makes the Astronomy Club unique from others is its popular TikTok account. Run by Rivera, the club’s TikTok profile (@astroclubrhs) has millions of likes and over 150,000 followers. 

The TikTok channel releases weekly videos on topics in astronomy. These videos are often inspired by different sources.

“Initially, I started making content covering basic topics in astronomy. As time progressed, I started to cover more breaking astronomy news. Right now, my content is either breaking news in the field or covering a really cool space topic, like [one of] Jupiter’s moons,” Rivera said. “I have my own Google account dedicated to astronomy, so my YouTube feed is completely filled with astronomy-related news and ideas. When I see a cool topic, I’ll say ‘I can make a video on this’ and I’ll put my own spin on it. Or, if there’s a video I don’t like, I’ll be like ‘I can make this better.’”

Another contributor to the TikTok is senior Sophia Acker, who helps Rivera brainstorm video topics and gather notes. 

“We would normally think of interesting topics that other people would like to learn about, even if they’re not interested in astronomy. We wanted to keep our videos more general so that everyone can enjoy them,” Acker said.

The Astronomy Club’s TikTok has steadily received millions of views and thousands of likes since it’s August inception

However, there is more to the Astronomy Club than its viral TikTok page. In addition to holding events outside of school, such as stargazing events known as “star parties,” the club also has a strong community centered around learning and friendship. According to the club advisor and astronomy teacher Elise Rubio, the Astronomy Club has great chemistry.

 “[My favorite part of the club is] how excited everyone is. Sometimes they build rockets, sometimes they talk about black holes [and] sometimes they watch their own TikToks. No matter [if] it’s a super hard or super easy [activity], they are all excited to be there,” Rubio said. “It’s a really kind group of students —everyone is welcome —which is refreshing to see.”

Acker urges more students to join the tight-knit Astronomy Club community.

“We’re open to everyone. You don’t have to come every week, you don’t have to come to all of the star parties. You can just come, hang out, talk about astronomy and help build a rocket,” Acker said. 

To learn more about astronomy and other topics in space, come to room 225 on Wednesdays for the Astronomy Club’s weekly meetings or follow their TikTok.