(images courtesy Darien O'Brien)
In 2004, NASA took another shot in the dark. At that time, they had no idea how dedicated, knowlegeable, and prolific amateur astronomy clubs could be. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasedena, CA along with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco launched a new venture into the unknown. Amateur astronomy clubs partnering with NASA to share the wonders of space with their communities.
Rosalie and Charlie above are great examples of how an astronomy club can have an effect on children. The middle picture above was one of the first articles ever featured on this website - Rosalie won a telescope at a school science fair. She and her brother Charles, with help from their local astronomy club took an image through that small telescope that was featured in Night Sky Magazine!
Now, some 15 years later, Charles smiles just as wide as the president of his local astronomy club and Rosalie received numerous honors as she graduated with an engineering degree in 2018. This is just one of many stories and two of the many young people that amateur astronomy clubs have inspired. Fifteen years later, here's what we have accomplished together.
- Starting with just 140 clubs, now there are more than 430 clubs across the country.
- Night Sky Network astronomy clubs have reported more than 36,000 events nationwide.
- Dedicated club members have engaged an incredible 4 million+ people with the wonders of the sky and NASA outreach resources.
We congratulate Charles and Rosalie on their great accomplishments and know that they will carry on the tradition of reaching back to help others who are just begining their journey to the stars. To the thousands of members of astronomy clubs across the country, thank you for all of your dedicated outreach in your communities. Your influence, big and small is not on the news every day, but we think it should be. Keep looking up! We look forward to supporting your efforts for the next 15 years too.
Last Updated: March 15, 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.