COVID-19: How Amateur Astronomy Clubs Are Responding

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How have amateur astronomy clubs in the PNW adapted to COVID-19? Which clubs are providing remote meetings? Which of these clubs are posting these videos online and which clubs are making these meetings open to the public?

We did write an article on how COVID-19 provides an opportunity for amateur astronomy clubs to provide virtual meetings for those who cannot attend and aa medium such as Youtube to store previous meetings in a digital format for members or the public.

We are not recommending that the public go to do astronomy in closed off areas or in large groups. We are simply taking a look how some of the amateur astronomical groups in the Pacific Northwest have responded.

We have taken a few examples to show what we think is being done well, whereas, there are always ways for improvement.

Rose City Astronomers

It looks like the Rose City Astronomers do have a Zoom meeting available for members, plus they do publish their meetings on youtube for all to join. This is amazing as they do provide the introduction, but not necessarily the meetings for the public. They do provide slides for these meetings on their website and their youtube can be found here.

Keep Doing: Making meeting slides and videos available for the public. This is unique to astronomy clubs in the area, which is something that others might want to consider doing.

Areas For Improvement:

  1. The OMSI meetings used to be open to the public to attend. They might want consider doing what other astronomical clubs in the area do and provide a way for guests interested in joining the Zoom meetings a way to join.
  2. Make the slides available in a central repository, like a dropbox or Google Drive for those who want access to the slides from previous monthly meetings.

Seattle Astronomical Society

What the Seattle astronomical Society is doing to provide members and the public with access to their meetings is through a Zoom meeting. The general public is welcome and must email President@SeattleAstro.Org prior to 6:30 pm on the day of the meeting for the Zoom link. Members can find the Zoom link by signing into their SAS portal.

Pros: Public and members are able to view the meetings.
Maybe: Make some of the resources available for to members at a later date.

Friends Of Galileo Astronomy Club

The Friends of Galileo are doing an amazing job by allowing members to view their monthly meetings, as they are being done via Zoom. For the interested public, please fill out the following request. It is unsure whether the videos are available to the members at a later date, but keep up the great work!

Keep Doing: Making the Zoom meetings available to the public!

Tacoma Astronomical Society

The Tacoma Astronomical Society handling meetings during Covid-19 by doing something different, which is providing a link to the Zoom meeting on their calendar page for the event. This is amazing as it allows anyone who wants to join, to be able to do so!

Keep Doing: Making the Zoom meetings available to the public!

Other local astronomical groups such as Night Sky 45 are also adopting Zoom videos and are some variation of the themes above.

We are hoping that this continues as it would be really amazing for future amateur astronomers to be able to attend these meetings remotely after the pandemic. There is a great potential benefit for having a centralized video platform for members to provide an incentive for the public to join and watch videos that they weren’t able to attend. We know that if a club were to post these videos to a members only group and make the new member resources available, we would definitely join! We are sure others would as well!

1 Comment on "COVID-19: How Amateur Astronomy Clubs Are Responding"

  1. Good article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

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