Jerelyn Ramirez of the Kansas Astronomical Observers showing young observers at the Manhattan Public Library how to view the Sun using the 'Sun funnel" projection tool. Photo by Rachel Carnes.
Did you know that there are enthusiastic and friendly astronomers who love talking to the public about the stars living right in your own community? NASA's Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Network outreach programs help local community organizations find local volunteer astronomers and space science enthusiasts who bring the wonders of NASA science down to Earth.
The Solar System Ambassadors program helps communities across the USA connect with NASA Ambassadors, individual volunteers who are passionate about space science. Ambassadors share the latest science and discoveries from NASA's many missions to their communities a my types of events, including presentations, activities, and stargazing.
Night Sky Network (NSN) member astronomy clubs also share the latest in astronomy and NASA science to their communities, but rather than working as individuals, NSN club members work together to bring the wonders of the universe to the public with outreach events like star parties and science demos at community events. Members of the public are always welcome to join these clubs if their interest is piqued after meeting. If it sounds like there may be some overlap between these two programs, there is: some Solar System Ambassadors are also members of Night Sky Network clubs!
Jerelyn discusses solar eclipse basics to young attendees at the Manhattan Public Library's solar outreach event - a wonderful example of one of the many types of outreach events NASA astronomy volunteers bring to their communities! Photo Credit: Rachel Carnes
We have a few resources that can help you find the right partners for your upcoming space science events. You can watch a recording of the "NASA in Your Neighborhood" webinar, held with libraries across the country and featuring members from the Night Sky Network and NASA Solar System Ambassadors program, for more information about these programs. You can find even more information and tips for best practices on how to partner with your local astronomers in our article on How to Partner with Your Local Astronomy Club and in the handout How to Partner With Local NASA Volunteers. You can also find a handy guide on the STARnet program's website.
We have collected some of these resources on this page, with more updates coming in the future. More educational programs for informal educators can be found via NASA Nationwide's website.
Last Updated: February 25, 2019
Night Sky Network members bring astronomy to the public! Find clubs and events near you on the NSN locator page.
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The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The ASP is a 501c3 non-profit organization advancing science literacy through astronomy.