Spokane Astronomical Society

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The official logo of the Spokane Astronomical Society
Spokane Astronomical Society is one of the oldest astronomy clubs in the United States. Established sometime prior to 1932 as The Amateur Telescope Makers of Spokane, the name was changed to The Spokane Astronomical Society in 1967. We are a nonprofit organization and a registered charity with the state of Washington and the federal government.

Our members have a wide range of experience from beginners to professional astronomers. Historically, the SAS has taken a positive and active role in sharing our expertise and time with the public. We conduct numerous star parties and astronomy related presentations for local schools, clubs and other organizations throughout the year as part our public outreach. We invite and encourage our members to participate in the many activities we have to offer. Serving on the Board of Directors, organizing a public event or helping out with our Young Astronomers group are just a few of the ways you can get involved. The best part is that no experience is required. A simple desire to help is all the experience you need. Like most astronomy clubs, the SAS has a group of experienced amateur astronomers who are always willing to help those members that new to the hobby. From locating objects in the sky, to advice on which telescope or eyepiece to buy, these members can help. The SAS also has an active Amateur Telescope Makers group. The ATM group will be happy to teach you how to build your own telescope. One of our members designed and built the world’s largest, portable amateur telescope! This scope is known as Hercules and has a primary mirror which is over 41 inches across! The ATM group will even help you improve or repair any telescope you might have. The club owns several telescopes, a modest library and other equipment that is available to members to use free of charge. Our dark sky observing site, located near Fishtrap Lake, is an excellent place to escape the light pollution of the city. Star parties are scheduled each month, weather permitting. These star parties are the best place to try out different telescopes and ask questions before buying one. Their basic goal is to encourage an interest in astronomy (and especially amateur astronomy) throughout America. Many people have seen pictures of the other planets in our Solar System from spacecraft, but have no idea that they too can see these objects with a telescope. We want people to get access to telescopes, whether it is through their local astronomical society, school, or their own instruments, and use them to view the beauty in the heavens. The mission of the Astronomical League is clearly stated in the masthead: to promote the science of Astronomy. The major benefit of belonging to this organization is receiving the quarterly newsletter, The Reflector, which keeps you in touch with amateur activities all over the country. The chance to meet the people you read about there occurs during our annual National Convention, or at one of the ten regional conventions that the AL sponsors. The easiest way to become part of the AL is to join one of our member societies close to you. A benefit of membership in this society is membership in the Astronomical League and part of your society dues goes to pay for your Reflector subscription.

The main purpose of the Spokane Astronomical Society is to further the knowledge and understanding of astronomy among its members and the general public. This goal is pursued in several ways:

1. By maintaining an organization that is openly dedicated to promoting the study of astronomy and related sciences.

2. By fostering observational skills and studies while advancing craftsmanship in the various fields of astronomy.

3. By encouraging and assisting members in the design, construction and use of telescopes and associated apparatus.

4. Through the holding of various public events related to astronomy throughout the year.

5. By developing and maintaining both an up to date library and inventory of equipment.

6. By coordinating amateur activities with professional research.

Anyone with an interest in advancing this mission or participating in these activities is welcome to become a member of the society.



Becoming a member of the Spokane Astronomical Society is easy. Simply send your name, address, phone number along with a check for the type of membership you would like to the following address:

Spokane Astronomical Society

P.O. Box 8114

Spokane, WA 99203

You can also join in person at any general meeting.

Individual or family memberships are $25.00 for one year.

(note: family memberships include everyone in a household AND all family members wanting voting rights MUST be named at the time dues are paid)

Student and under 18 memberships $14.00 for one year.

Newsletter only memberships $14.00 for one year.

Individual, family and student memberships include the following benefits:

Twelve issues of the Asterisk, official newsletter of the SAS.

Twelve months membership in the Astronomical League. For AL membership benefits, click here. Learn about the AL here.

Use of club telescopes, equipment and library materials. (after 60 days of membership)

Discounted subscriptions to Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines.

Access to the club observing sites.

Full voting rights.

Newsletter Subscriptions include the following benefit only:

Twelve issues of the Asterisk, official newsletter of the SAS.

Awards and Recognition

Clubs and Certification Programs

Being a member of the SAS also includes membership in the Astronomical League. As an AL member you are entitled to participate in the League Observing Clubs. These clubs, or observing programs, are designed to increase your observing skills and techniques. As you successfully complete each program, you earn a beautiful certificate and pin. There are currently 20 observing programs and you do not need a telescope for some of them! To get started today just click here for more information and to download the observing lists and rules.

Eric Strang is our coordinator for the Telescopic Messier Club.

Dan Bakken is our coordinator for the Herschel 400 Club.

The SAS has an Observing Club of it’s own called the Strang List. This list is named after and compiled by our very own Eric Strang.

Sometimes referred to as The Professor or Refractor Man, Eric is a kind and respected member of the SAS. He has helped more members navigate the Virgo Cluster of galaxies than anyone alive! He is almost always willing to help the celestially stranded observer find his way to the next faint fuzzy. Because of his eerily natural ability to recall the appearance and location of seemingly obscure NGC objects from memory, he has earned the nickname “The Professor”.

Eric has compiled of list of 100 of his favorite objects. The great thing about this list is that all of the objects can be seen in a 4” scope under dark skies from 47 degrees north latitude. To find out more about the Strang List send Eric an e-mail. The award for completing the Strang List is yet to be determined so check back here often.


Sky Puppy Observing Club:

•Earn a Certificate & Pin from the Astronomical League •Expert support makes observing fun and easy •FREE 1-Month “Telescopes 4 Kid’s” Rental •Award Presentation at YAA Meetings •Completion Prize: a NASA Space Shuttle Kite

Telescopes 4 Kids Program:

•6” Fully-Equipped Dobsonian Telescopes •Eyepieces, Star Charts & Sky Guides Included •FREE 1-Month Rental


•Never aim the Telescope at the Sun! •S.A.S. Membership Required •Liability form signed by a Parent

External Links

Spokane Astronomical Society Website

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