Goddard Astronomy Club Info.


Intro

The Goddard Astronomy Club is an employee organization at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland. It provides a focal point for amateur astronomers in the GSFC community -- an amateur astronomer being someone who loves the sky, whether or not they get paid for it!

Meetings are held at noon on the second Tuesday of each month. They often feature a speaker, usually either a Goddard scientist discussing current research or a member of the Goddard community speaking on some aspect of amateur astronomy.

We publish a monthly newsletter, the Nebula, which features club and astronomy news, articles and observations by members, etc.


Club Contacts

President: Emily Aldoretta (emily.aldoretta AT ssaihq.com)
Vice President: Truman Wilson (truman.wilson AT ssaihq.com)
Treasurer: Keith Evans (evans AT umbc.edu)
Secretary: Allison Evans (allison.evans AT nasa.gov)
Outreach Coordinator: Vanessa Thomas (vanessa.j.thomas AT nasa.gov)
Equipment Monitor: Truman Wilson (truman.wilson AT ssaihq.com)
Observatory Committee Chairman:
Assistant Observatory Committee Chairman:
ALCOR: Keith Evans (evans AT umbc.edu)
WebMaster: Keith Evans (evans AT umbc.edu)


Membership

Membership is open to anyone who holds a Goddard badge, including both civil servants and contractors, on-site and off. Dues are currently $15/year. The dues pay for club memberships in the Astronomical League and the International Dark-Sky Association, interest on our club bank account and the rest is for equipment for the club observatory.

Members may subscribe to Sky and Telescope magazine at a substantial discount; the member rate is currently $32.95/year.

To join: Fill out the application form and send it along with $15 (make checks payable to the Goddard Astronomy Club) and send it to the Treasurer, currently Keith Evans, at Code 614.

I don't work at Goddard, but I'd like to join: Sorry. We considered having non-Goddard members, but concluded that the complications resulting from Goddard's security make this unfeasible. (However, guests are welcome to join us for our off-site activities, such as Astronomy Day and field trips.) Here are some other astronomy clubs in the area that are open to the public. Each has a different flavor, so we suggest trying several before deciding:

Or you can look under Astronomy Links for more area clubs.


Club Resources

GAC maintains an observatory on the grounds of the Goddard Geophysical and Astrophysical Observatory (Area 200, off Springfield Rd.). Club members may check out the observatory key from the main-gate guardhouse at any time.

Current instrumentation consists of the following:

  • 12" f/5.8 Newtonian reflector
  • 7" Questar Maksutov.
Additionally, some members have access to other telescopes at GGAO, and can make arrangements for their use.


Club Activities

Star parties (observing sessions) are held at the observatory every month, usually scheduled on a Friday night close to the last quarter moon. The backup days (if the weather is bad) is the next night, Saturday, and then the following weekend on Friday or Saturday, which is near the new moon. The star parties are not public, but guests of members are welcome. The Goddard Visitor's Center does hold public star parties which we often support.

We also have annual field trips to dark sky observing sites, such as Caroline Furnace or Big Meadows, VA, and to astronomy conventions and star parties such as Stellafane, York Count Star Party, and Blackwater Falls.

Here is a detailed listing of our upcoming events.


Curator: Keith Evans (evans AT umbc.edu)
Responsible NASA Official: Scott Hull
Last modified: July 8, 2019
NASA's policy on web pages