Looking to join an amateur astronomy club? Trying to find a reason to do so? Come find out why you should. People join amateur astronomy clubs for numerous reasons, and they’re all different. Whether it be making new friends, finding new spots to do Astronomy, getting tips on gear, or hearing about topics you might not normally hear about.
In the US, there are more than 600 amateur astronomy clubs. Therefore, the available options are pretty good that you will find an active club near you that is active and has members.
Meet New People And Make Friends
When joining an amateur astronomy club, unless you’re the only member, or you’ve been a member for years, then it’s almost impossible to not meet new people. By joining the club, you’re joining a club that you and others have similar interests in. This means new people to meet doing shared activities that those involved in have a shared interest, which should spark conversation and make it easier to make friends.
Get Tips For Gear
In addition to making friends and meeting new people, these same people can provide tips and tricks in ways that online forums, chats, and videos cannot. The benefit is that other club members are there to walk you though getting help and be helpful in a way that maybe some online resources anrent able to be.
Find new Astronomy spots
When joining an astronomy club, it allows you to get tips and tricks from people. Moreover, these same people might know of hidden gems of Astronomy spots. In other instances, some clubs will have exclusive arrangements with landowners to allow members to have access to their land on specific dates for their use.
Lend/Try New Gear
May clubs have telescope libraries that you can use to rent gear for for a period of time, like a month or so, to be able to understand how it works. This is great as it allows you to do trial runs on gear before buying it. Moreover, if you know other members, they can let you use a lens for a night while you’re both at an event.
Learn new topics
As part of a club, there are often monthly meetings from special guest speakers. And although not all clubs are providing remote and in person viewing, these meetings are a great way to learn about new content and be able to ask the presenter questions that would get answered. These question and answer opportunities provide an interaction that would otherwise not happen or be possible in other formats.
Member Only Star Parties
A benefit of joining an astronomy club is that not all star parties are open to the public. By joining an astronomy group, you can get access to member only star parties. This men’s more observation opportunities at different locations.
Bonus: Win Awards
Clubs are a great way to view new objects and win awards for things such as observation, and community service from organizations such as the Astronomy League. These organizations that have awards often require paperwork that members of the club have filed out before and can give advice on how to fill the applications out, plus how to get the awards.