2006-10-28

Astronomy Clubs

One of the best resources of an amateur astronomer is an astronomy club -- if you are lucky enough to live close to one. But not all are created equal.

The Atlanta Astronomy Club has been a bit of a disappointment -- I showed up for their meeting in September, only to find the building locked. I found out later you have to arrive early, before the security guard locks the doors. I showed up in October, only to find out later they had no meeting that month. The club is large enough to become impersonal - but I highly recommend them because they are large enough to afford to bring in wonderful speakers and programs. So stick with them for a while!! They maintain a great dark site and astronomy village. They have several telescopes and observing programs.

The Northwest Georgia Astronomy Association is a very hospitable group. They are an informal group where there are no dues and anyone with an interest in any aspect of astronomy is welcome and 'belongs'.

The Southern Cross in south Miami is a great group and has a great outreach into the community by having solar viewing set up on Sundays at the Miami Zoo. Their star party in the Keys is one of the best.

The South Florida Amateur Astronomy Association has a great observatory (Fox) and is very welcoming to visitors, guests and new members.

When I started in astronomy, I had no mentors to help me learn how to use a telescope or find the Ring Nebula. My first contact with other astronomers was at a viewing area for a solar eclipse in 1971. It was sponsored by the Astronomical League, which is a wonderful resource for those of us who are "at large" members who are not close enough to a good club.

If you can't join a local club, the Astronomical League is well worth your time.

2 comments:

Daniel Herron said...

On the Atlanta Astronomy Club meetings the door was not locked it was stuck. Before the meeting the door was found to be hard to open by those showing up and we had to tell them to yank real hard to open it. You really had to pull real hard to open it. The doors are not locked by security during the meetings.

There is never an October meeting due to the Peach State Star Gaze, our annual star party. A calendar entry was posted about an october meeting on our yahoo group inadvertently due to the fact that it was added as a re-occuring meeting every 3rd thrusday of the month, however soon after the meeting reminder was sent out Joanne responded that there was not meeting due to the star party.

Yes, there are no refunds for bad weather at the Peach State Star Gaze, and most people understand that. I have never been to a star party that does give refunds for a Star Party that is rained out. You also emailed the group asking if you could come at the end of the week (you had registered for the beginning) and I asked Joanne and then responded that you could come at the end instead. The weather was great the last few days and you choose not to come.

Daniel Herron
Observing Chair, AAC

Daniel Herron said...

Details of the email first is my response to your email below...

"
To:PSSG-Discussion@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tue 10/17/2006 10:47 AM
Subject: [PSSG-Discussion] Re: What's the weather like today?


Rain last night just stopped raining here today. We have been having
fun though! JO JO says registration will be good for later in the
week.

--- In PSSG-Discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Maynard Pittendreigh"
maynard@...> wrote:

My plans were to leave Greater Atlanta area and go to White Water
after a
morning staff meeting. It is raining here - the weather reports on
the
Internet suggest the same is happening there.



Anyone got a different on-site weather report to share?



What happens in case of rain? Would my reservation be good for
later in the
week?



Maynard Pittendreigh


"