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July 09, 2008
Using the Onan
The public is invited to visit the observatory during any of our
scheduled events or MAS star parties (see the 'Upcoming
Events' section for the observatory events schedule).
(Most events at the observatory are 'fair- or foul-weather'
events, however MAS star parties only take place if the skies are
clear on the scheduled evening. Always call
952-467-2426 the evening a star party is scheduled to determine
if it has been canceled.)
Groups are encouraged to attend one of our scheduled public
star-gazing nights at the observatory (see the 'Upcoming Events' section for the
schedule). If you plan to bring a group, please contact us via the email
so we can ensure adequate staffing to meet your needs.
If the schedule of public nights does not meet your needs,
you can request a private evening for your group. You can check the
availability of the observatory by following the 'Reservations' link in the left-hand
margin. While there is no
guarantee we will be able to schedule and staff such events, our
volunteers will make every effort to accommodate you. Please send
these requests to the same email address (OnanInfo@MnAstro.org).
A portion of observing time at the Onan
Observatory is reserved for use by members of the Minnesota Astronomical
The observatory is always reserved for use by the members of the
Society on every star party night scheduled for Baylor. Observatory keyholders are encouraged to open the observatory on
these evenings. Members and visitors are
welcome to visit the observatory if it is open during an MAS star party.
To use the observatory privately, members must either be
observatory keyholders, or be the guests of a keyholder. Non-keyholding
members who wish to use the observatory should review the list of Onan keyholders (see the link in the left-hand column)
and contact a keyholder directly with your request. You can also email
your request to OnanInfo@MnAstro.org.
You can check on the availability of the observatory by following the 'Reservations' link in the left-hand margin.
[Note: Observing on the observatory grounds and use of the
external electrical outlets is available to all members, at all times, per the
terms of access between the MAS and Baylor Regional Park. Please visit the
Baylor site page in the 'Facilities' section of the web site for details.]
Keyholders may reserve time at the observatory in advance by
using the reservation system found in the Onan keyholders
section of the site (www.mnastro.org/onankey).
Becoming an Onan Keyholder
Individuals must meet four requirements to become an Onan
Be at least eighteen years of age.
Be a member in good-standing of the MAS.
Complete a two-hour training session.
Provide assistance with construction, maintenance or
program activities at the observatory during the calendar year.
Every keyholder must:
- Enforce observatory operating rules and guidelines when the
observatory is in use and they are present
- Complete the closing checklist and observatory log each time they
are in charge of any observatory-related activity (construction and
maintenance work parties, MAS star parties, public events, educational
In addition, each keyholder is required to contribute in one or more of
the following areas:
- Act as host for MAS members visiting the observatory during star
parties held at Baylor
- Help with public events at the observatory either as team member or
- Participate in observatory construction "work parties"
- Participate in quarterly observatory maintenance "work
parties" (cleaning, adjusting equipment, taking inventory, etc.)
- Be available to non-keyholding MAS members desiring use of the
observatory for special projects
- Conduct observatory-based educational events for schools, scouts and
- Recruit and train others as observatory keyholders or participants
in work parties and events
- Personal use of the observatory when not previously scheduled for
public event, MAS star party or educational event
- Annual recognition event (end of summer cook-out at Baylor)
- Annual recognition of efforts, published in Gemini