MAS Membership Benefits

Along with the obvious benefits of participating in a society of people sharing a common interest, your membership in the Minnesota Astronomical Society provides other substantial, tangible benefits such as:


            • Loaner telescopes. A number of loaner telescopes are available for members’ personal use. Telescopes are loaned for a period of 30 days. The loan is continually renewable so long as another member is not waiting for a telescope. Contact the MAS Vice President for information or to request a telescope.
            • Use of observing facilities. MAS members can use the various observing facilities the Society maintains. Metcalf Field, the Cherry Grove Observatory, LLCC, the Joseph J. Casby Observatory and the Eagle Lake Observatory (consisting of the Onan Observatory, the Sylvia A. Casby Observatory and the HotSpot Classroom).
            • Keyholder Training. With required training, MAS members can obtain keyholder privileges for the observing facilities listed above. Depending on the facility, training lasts from few hours of orientation to a full day at the Eagle Lake Observatory. Upon completion of training, MAS members are allowed personal use of the facilities, equipment and warming houses. Eligibility and service requirements vary from site to site — visit the ”Become a MAS Keyholder” webpage for details.
            • Bi-monthly MAS newsletter. The Society’s newsletter, Gemini, is electronically published bi-monthly as a downloadable .pdf file. Members are notified of its availability by email when each issue is posted online. The Gemini contains information about the organization and its activities as well as articles and columns by MAS members.
            • Special Interest Groups. The hobby of astronomy has its own set of specializations – including observing, imaging, amateur telescope making, history, scientific research, radio astronomy and more. You can join any of a number of Special Interest Groups – “SIGs” – within the MAS depending upon your own interests. If you are just beginning in astronomy we especially encourage you to visit and participate in the “Beginner’s Special Interest Group” where you can meet with other members who are new to the club and to the hobby of astronomy.
            • Astronomical League Membership. The Astronomical League (AL) is a parent organization of many of the astronomy clubs and societies across the nation. As a member of the MAS, you also become an affiliate member of the Astronomical League. A portion of your membership dues goes to pay for your membership to the Astronomical League.
            • AL Observing programs / certificates. The Astronomical League currently has more than 40 Observing Programs from easy to difficult, for young and old, designed to challenge your astronomical abilities. The Observing Lists provide a purpose to many observers and solve the issue of ”what else is there to observe”. The A. L. provides awards, pins and certificates upon completion of the observing lists. Additional details are available in the A. L. publication, Reflector, or by contacting the MAS Astronomical League Coordinator, Jerry Jones.
            • Quarterly newsletter of the Astronomical League. Members receive a subscription to Reflector, the quarterly newsletter of the Astronomical League, a national federation of astronomical societies and clubs.
            • North Central Region of the Astronomical League (NCRAL).  The AL has regional groups.  The MAS is a member of NCRAL, which also publishes electronically their Northern Lights newsletter quarterly.  To add your name to the NCRAL Northern Lights notification email list, add your contact information to the NCRAL Email Database You can also go to to read past issues.
            • MAS Slack Community:  Members of the MAS are encouraged to join our discussion platform and community on Slack.  Slack is a team chat platform. It provides a new way for members to communicate. If you want to join in on the conversation please send an email request to:  Please give us your real name and email that you with so use for Slack. After a verification process, you will then receive back a link to join!
            • Discounted Sky & Telescope magazine subscriptions are available to any current member by directly contacting the magazine’s customer service department.  Detailed instructions for subscribing (or renewing existing subscriptions) at astronomy club discount rates are found here
            • Discounted Astronomy magazine subscriptions are available to any current member by directly contacting the magazine’s customer service department.  Detailed instructions for subscribing (or renewing existing subscriptions) at astronomy club discount rates are found here.
            • Sky Publishing Merchandise. The publishers of Sky and Telescope magazine also sell books and other astronomy-related merchandise, all of which is available to MAS members at a discount. Discounts are available simply by listing “Minnesota Astronomical Society” in the appropriate place on the paper or electronic order form when you submit the order directly to Sky Publishing Corporation.
            • Thousand Oaks solar filters. Thousand Oaks Optical, manufacturer of solar filters and other equipment, is offering 10% off all products, excluding their H-Alpha filters, with no minimum purchase required, to MAS members. Members must indicate 10% Minnesota Astronomical Society Club Discount when ordering on-line at their web site,
            • San Pedro Valley Observatory remote telescope rental. MAS has obtained member discounts for access to a remote observatory – San Pedro Valley Observatory. They offer on-site hosting of your own telescope in their observatory, with internet access. They also offer nightly rental of their telescopes. The prices for MAS members is $400 per month for the hosting service (normal price is $500 per month), and remote telescope access rental is $75 per night for MAS members (regularly $120 per night). For further details contact or 520-250-0407 or visit
            • Discounted / group purchases of annual publications and Software. Most years, the MAS purchases a quantity of annual publications and software. These may include the Observer’s Handbook (published by the Royal Canadian Astronomical Society), Astronomical Calendars or planetarium software items. Contact the Society’s Secretary for more information, to reserve copies or to check availability of extra copies.
            • Astronomical League Store. MAS members may order merchandise through the Astronomical League’s Store at a discount. For information on the ordering procedure, look in the most recent copy of the League’s quarterly publication, the Reflector.