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.
About the Society
MAS Monthly Meetings
Monthly meetings include board introductions, constellation presentations, social gatherings, and more.
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. Visit the Keyholder page to learn more about becoming a MAS keyholder.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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.
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.
- Fill out the form at skyandtelescope.org/clubrenew to get your print + digital subscription renewal at the discount rate of $45.75 per year. Visit skyandtelescope.org/clubspecial for new subscriptions at the discount rate. Note that you will need your S&T account number to renew – this should be on your magazine label, or can be looked up online.
- 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.
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 email@example.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 Celestial Savings
The Astronomical League has a program called Celestial Savings where participating vendors offer discounts to AL members. The list of participating vendors and their corresponding discounts can be found by visiting the Astronomical League web site at www.astroleague.org and clicking on Celestial Savings in the header. Astronomical League merchandise and publications, also accessible from the AL web site by clicking on AL Store in the header are already appropriately priced for Astronomical League members.
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.