Member Benefits

When you join the Minnesota Astronomical Society, you not only participate in a society of people sharing a common interest, but you receive numerous other benefits that make exploring our universe even more special.
Join NowAbout the Society

Exploring the Universe

is just the beginning.

It doesn’t end at stargazing or finding out about the wonders of the night sky. As an MAS member, you’ll have access to all of the benefits listed here, in addition to being part of an active, passionate group (of more than 450 people!) who loves learning, teaching one another about astronomy, and exploring the Minnesota sky.

Events

Discussion Forum

About the Society

Membership Benefits

MAS Monthly Meetings

Monthly meetings include board introductions, constellation presentations, social gatherings, and more.

Loaner Telescopes

Through the Loaner Scope Program, a number of loaner telescopes are available for members’ use. Telescopes are loaned for 30 days, which is continually renewable, so long as no one is waiting for a telescope. Contact the Loaner Scope Coordinator for additional details.

Keyholder Training

With required keyholder training, MAS members can obtain keyholder privileges for the observing facilities. Depending on the facility, training lasts from a 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.

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 a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within the MAS depending upon your own interests.

Newsletters & Other Resources

MAS Members have access to several astronomy-related newsletters and resources, including:

Bi-Monthly MAS Newsletter

The Society’s newsletter, Gemini, is electronically published bi-monthly as a PDF. When posted, members are notified of its availability by email. The Gemini contains information about the organization and its activities, as well as articles and columns by MAS members.

MAS Slack Community

Slack is a team chat platform set up specifically for MAS members.

Within Slack, we have topic-specific channels set up that you can subscribe to. You can change your notification settings on a channel by channel basis.

MAS members in good standing can request Slack access by sending an email to slack@mnastro.org.

Astronomical League Membership

The Astronomical League is a parent organization of many astronomy clubs and societies. 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 that membership.

AL Observing Programs/Certificates

The Astronomical League currently has 40+ Observing Programs 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 league provides awards, pins, and certificates upon completion of the observing lists. Find details in the League’s publication, the Reflector, or by contacting the MAS Astronomical League Coordinator.

Quarterly Newsletter of the Astronomical League

Members receive a subscription to the 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 Astronomical League has regional groups. The MAS is a member of NCRAL, which also publishes their quarterly newsletter, Northern Lights, electronically. To get notified, add your contact information to the NCRAL Email Database. You can also read past issues online.

Star Parties

Star Parties are open to the public and a great way to stargaze with others under the night sky!

Use of Observing Facilities

Members can use the various observing facilities the Society maintains: Metcalf Field, Cherry Grove Observatory, Long Lake Conservation Center, Joseph J. Casby Observatory, and Eagle Lake Observatory, which includes the Onan Observatory, the Sylvia A. Casby Observatory, and the HotSpot Classroom.

Special Discounts

MAS members have access to several discounts, including:

Sky & Telescope Magazine Subscriptions

Discounted Sky & Telescope magazine subscriptions are available by contacting the magazine’s customer service department.

  1. Fill out the form at skyandtelescope.org/clubrenew to get your print + digital subscription renewal at the discount rate of $43.95 per year. Visit skyandtelescope.org/clubspecial for new subscriptions at the discount rate.
  2. To pay by check or credit card over the phone, call customer service at 1-800-253-0245, identify yourself as a member of the MAS, and provide the club discount code 4CLB21. (Note: The digits at the code’s end indicate the current year, so the code will change each year.)

Astronomy Magazine Subscriptions

Discounted Astronomy magazine subscriptions are available by contacting the magazine’s customer service department.

Receive either the print version or the digital version at the discount rate of $34 (one year), $60 (two years), or $83 (three years). To subscribe to both print and digital, the discount rates are $46 (one year), $84 (two years), or $119 (three years). To subscribe or renew, visit astronomy.com/clubmember.

Sky Publishing Merchandise

The publishers of Sky & Telescope also sell books and other astronomy-related merchandise. Discounts are available by listing “Minnesota Astronomical Society” on the order form when you submit the order directly to Sky Publishing Corporation.

Thousand Oaks Solar Filters

Thousand Oaks Optical offers 10% off all products, excluding their H-Alpha filters, with no minimum purchase required. Members must indicate 10% Minnesota Astronomical Society Club Discount when ordering online at thousandoaksoptical.com.

San Pedro Valley Observatory Remote Telescope Rental

Enjoy member discounts for access to this remote observatory, including 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 are $400 per month for the hosting service, and remote telescope access rental is $99 per night for MAS members. To learn more, contact dean@remoteobservatories.com, call 520-250-0407, or visit remoteobservatories.com.

Purchases of Annual Publications & Software

The MAS purchases 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.

Astronomical League Store Discount

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.

Alpine Astro Discount

MAS members can get free shipping and 8% off of all Baader Planetarium products (no minumum purchase).  Members must indicate that they are members and are requesting the discount.  Alpine Astonomical LLC – PO Box 1154, Eagle ID 83616 – or call 208-939-2141.