Want to view the August 21 Solar Eclipse through a $5,000 solar telescope? Or perhaps use a high end deep-sky telescope outfitted with the latest high-end solar filter? Of course, the answer is “sure!” and of course, most of you reading this have no intention of going out and buying a telescope.
Fortunately, you don’t have to as local astronomy clubs across the United States are hosting Solar Eclipse viewing events and will be bringing the latest astro tech to these events to let you see outstanding, close-up views of the eclipse. You can be sure that in your community there is a local astronomy club hosting a solar eclipse viewing event.
Astronomy clubs are made up of individuals that enjoy sharing their passion for viewing the nighttime (and daytime) skies. You may be surprised to find members who hunt for comets, supernovae, and asteroids. There are those members who enjoy specializing in solar observing, lunar and planetary observing, astro-photography, and telescope making.
In addition to special events like the solar eclipse, most local astronomy clubs host monthly events open to the public where you will have the opportunity to look through a number of different telescopes. Some clubs offer other outreach programs such as “borrow a telescope” programs hosted through local libraries.
Another resource for many communities for eclipse viewing events are planetariums, observatories, and science centers that offer ongoing astronomy related programming. Your local college or university also may provide astronomy outreach and be hosting an event.
Listed here are resources to help you locate the most convenient club or science center:
Astronomical League – List of US Astronomy Clubs
The Astronomical League is composed of local amateur astronomical societies located across the United States. The league’s primary goal is to encourage an interest in astronomy (and especially amateur astronomy) throughout America. Their goal is to give people access to telescopes, whether it is through their local astronomical society, school, or their own instruments. To find an Astronomical League affiliated club near you click here.
Sky & Telescope – Astronomy Clubs & Organizations
The editors of Sky & Telescope have created a database of astronomy clubs, planetariums, observatories, museums, science centers and other great resources. Click here to access the full list.
Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the NASA Night Sky Network Affiliate Clubs
The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific which offers a community of more than 400 astronomy clubs across the U.S. that share their time and telescopes to engage the public with unique astronomy experiences. The ASP provides training and materials to enhance clubs’ outreach activities, and reaches more than two million people through their participation in 20,000+ plus events. Click here to learn more.
The Astronomy Technology Today editorial staff would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the availability of our Solar eclipse equipment guide – The Definitive Equipment Guide to the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Our goal with the 40 page publication is to provide an easy-to-consume introduction to the technological options for viewing and imaging the Great Solar Eclipse. We cover the gamut of options available including building your own solar viewer, solar glasses, smart phones, DSLR cameras, using astronomy telescopes, solar telescopes, using binoculars, solar filters (including a DYI filter option), CCD astro cameras, astro video cameras, webcams and much more. You can view the guide on our website here – its free and there is no requirement to sign up to read the guide.