OBSERVE - EDUCATE - HAVE FUN!
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS) has been sharing the stars with its members and the public since 1959 and has expanded its reach beyond the New Mexico area with our outstanding webpage at www.taas.org, a Facebook page and the accomplishments of our amateur astronomers.
We gather each month for a General Meeting on a Saturday, determined by the full moon, a good time for a gathering, but not for observing, at Regener Hall on the UNM campus at 7:00pm (see www.taas.org for details and map). Our meetings are free and open to the public and feature a welcome to all and to new guests, statements of coming events and spotlight a talk by professional and amateur astronomers, physicists or authors. This is followed by a social hour so that all can share their common interests, ask questions and generally enjoy each other's company.
Every other month, the meeting is preceded at 6:00pm by Astronomy 101, our continuing series on different aspects of astronomy and telescopes for beginners and those wishing to refresh their knowledge. This session is also free and open to the public.
TAAS is especially known for its community Educational Outreach which encompasses school parties both stars and solar, public star parties at dark-sky sites, talks and lectures to groups and organizations and cooperation with the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, Albuquerque Public Schools, University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Explora Science Center and Children's Museum, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History and other local entities. Our school star parties are enriched by the use of our own Starlab planetarium and indoor activities, in addition to the telescope observing, and we have equipped six local teachers with telescopes. In 2011, TAAS won the Out-Of-This-World Award from Astronomy Magazine for these accomplishments and is using the award money to develop a telescope for use by disabled amateur astronomers. Our outreach continues to expand and diversify, thanks to the generous time contributions of our volunteers.
Our own observatory! The General Nathan Twining Observatory (GNTO) is located about an hour south of Albuquerque on a very dark-sky site and is offered to members and their guests several times a month. It has a dome with a 16" telescope, as well as several various types that can be used by visitors, pads for scopes brought by visitors, a warming/refreshment building and new astro-imaging equipment in a separate smaller dome. All members are welcomed to GNTO and offered training in using all the scopes and imaging equipment.
The Society owns a large array of telescopes of all types and sizes which are made readily available to our membership through checkout from our Loaner Program.
TAAS is proud of its programs in Amateur Telescope Making & Maintenance, assisting at the UNM Observatory Friday Night Program (volunteers/telescopes working with the UNM staff and dome) and our annual Cosmic Carnival in collaboration with the City of Albuquerque.
During the year, we connect with the Open Spaces of both the City and the County for public star parties, with the Forest Service for five public star parties in the summer at their Oakflat Picnic Grounds south of Tijeras and hold sessions of the TAAS Fabulous 50 featuring the stars of each season and an introduction to observing.
Membership is available to all ages on an annual basis with different fees for adults, students and educators. We encourage all with an enthusiastic interest in astronomy, with or without telescopes, to join us, whether beginner, physicist, engineer or artist and to enjoy the company of like-minded people. Membership includes our monthly newsletter, The Sidereal Times, the Telescope Loaner Program, access to GNTO and voting privileges for elections. All membership information and the application form can be found on www.taas.org.
Each year, we hold the Perihelion Banquet in January to celebrate with our members and guests another year of observing, outreach and fellowshipa chance to socialize and meet new people and enjoy old friends.
Please contact us with any inquiries and check out our information sources:
505-254-8227 (Hotline, leave a message)
www.taas.org - upcoming events and information
Facebook - The Albuquerque Astronomical Society
Mail to P. O. Box 50581, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-0581