Mahoning Valley Astronomical Society
From AstronomyOutreach network
The Mahoning Valley Astronomical Society was founded in October of 1939 by sixteen dedicated amateur astronomers. By 1949 the club had built a telescope that used a 16 inch diameter primary mirror. This mirror was ground and polished by charter member Jack Draper. Jack was an expert at making telescope optics. At the time, the 16 inch was one of the largest amateur telescopes in the State. This telescope was installed on the farm of member John Hoynos, in Braceville, OH. There was a dedication ceremony held in September of 1949, to commemorate the club’s new telescope. The site also served as a much needed central meeting place. Since that time, the location has been the home of the MVAS and its observatory, now called the Mahoning Valley Cortese Observatory.
Anyone interested in astronomy and observing the night sky is encouraged to attend MVAS public observing sessions.
Awards and Recognition
Clubs and Certification Programs
Over the years members of the MVAS have used the MVCO to conduct astronomical observations of variable stars, lunar occultations and solar system objects. These observation are often affiliated with major amateur organizations such as the AAVSO, ALPO and IOTA. These efforts help scientist to further understand our universe. In August of 2003, the MVAS hosted the annual meeting of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO). Top amateur and professional astronomers from the U.S. and Asia attended this conference. Results from the latest in solar system research and new observing and imaging techniques were shared with attendees.
In addition to its own research efforts, the MVAS has a program of educating the general public about the wonders of astronomy. Stargazing during special “open house nights” at the MVCO had been popular events in the past. Since 1991, the MVAS has mainly conducted its public observing sessions at Scenic Vista Park in Columbiana County. Just west of Lisbon, OH. Scenic Vista Park offers skies dark enough to provide the best views of galaxies and nebulae. And it has a wide open area suitable for large crowds. The MVAS has recently expanded its public outreach to events at Boardman Park, Mill Creek Park and the campus of YSU.