Community Based Astronomical Organizations
We have compiled a list of many Community Based Astronomy related organizations.
If you run, work for, or know of an organization that you think belongs
on this list, please feel free to Contact
with your information.
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
AAVSO members are largely amateur astronomers dedicated to assisting
researchers in making observations of variable stars. They collect
and process around 300,000 photometric observations per year mostly
of stellar light curves. By the way, the Sun is a variable star and
AAVSO has a solar division.
American Astronomical Society (AAS)
The AAS is the major organization for astronomers in North America.
AAS Education Office:
Association for Astronomy Education
The AAE is a grass roots organization comprising mostly K-12 astronomy
educators. Annual meetings are at National NSTA conferences.
Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
ASTC is the largest professional society of museums and science centers
in the world. Their membership totals more than 540 member centers
in 40 countries. Science Center and Museum Members include not only
science-technology centers and science museums, but also nature centers,
aquariums, planetariums, zoos, botanical gardens, space theaters,
and natural history and children's museums.
Looking for a local star party or an amateur astronomer to work with
your club? Then check out the Astronomical League web site. You can
find contact information by state and county for over 300 amateur
astronomy clubs (member societies) around the country.
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is an excellent resource for many things such as activities and their Family ASTRO Program. They also have a listing of many great activities!
Cassini Saturn Observation Campaign
The Saturn Observation Campaign is comprised of more than 350 amateur and professional astronomers in 45 states and 50 countries around the world. The campaign's objective is to engage the public in the excitement of astronomy, using telescopes to view the planet Saturn (and other objects) during star parties and to provide the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn talks and activities.
Your local members plus US and world maps are here: http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/members.cfm
Challenger Center was formed by the families of the astronauts who
flew aboard the Challenger 51-L Space Shuttle. Their mission is to
further the teaching of space science through a series of Challenger
Learning Centers located in the US, Canada, and Great Britain.
Community College Web
Community colleges can provide a wonderful resource for your astronomy
club. Many have planetariums or observatories and may hold open house
events in astronomy. Find a local community college at:
International Planetarium Society (IPS)
The International Planetarium Society (IPS) is the largest organization
of professional planetarians in the world. It is made up of members
from almost every continent, and has nearly 20 smaller affiliate organizations
associated with it.
IPS Planetarium Finder: Looking for a planetarium near you? Look here.
NASA Education Enterprise
NASA is out in front of all government agencies in their commitment
to support formal and informal education. The NASA Education Enterprise
was formed to develop new science and technology education programs
and to provide best practices for other NASA education initiatives.
You can check them out at:
NASA Educator Resource Centers (ERC)
NASA Educator Resource Centers help teachers learn about and use NASA's
educational resources. Personnel at ERCs located throughout the United
States work with teachers to find out what they need and to share
NASA's expertise. The ERCs provide educators with demonstrations of
educational technologies such as NASA educational Web sites and NASA
Television. ERCs provide inservice and preservice training utilizing
NASA instructional products. Educators also have the opportunity to
preview, copy, and receive NASA instructional products. Find one near
NASA Field Centers
There are 11 NASA Field Centers dispersed across the country. These
centers collectively contain all of NASA's in house expertise, technology,
and resources. Each center has its own areas of expertise and focus.
For a list of center education directors, go to:
NASA Space Science Education Support Network
The NASA Office of Space Science (Now called the Science Mission)
has developed a network of education support organizations grouped
by space science discipline and by geographic region within the U.S.
National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program
The National Space Grant College and Fellowship program is a national
network of colleges and universities working to expand opportunities
for Americans to understand and participate in NASA's aeronautics
and space programs by supporting and enhancing science, and engineering
education, research, and outreach programs. There is one Space Grant
College in every state and the District of Columbia.
Solar System Ambassadors
Volunteers recruited and trained by JPL bring planetary missions and
discoveries into communities across the USA. In 1998-99 84 Ambassadors
in 38 states reached over 250,000 people at various events.