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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What kind of group is ASSNE?

ASSNE is a social and educational club dedicated to amateur astronomy, with a focus on Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We are a registered 501(c) nonprofit organization. The club is administered by a board of four officers, who are elected by membership vote every two years. We meet monthly at the Carpenter Museum, in Rehoboth, MA.

Q. What is your public/community involvement?

Our mission statement is "to educate and inspire," so ASSNE volunteers frequently lead and participate in community outreach events to help people learn more about astronomy. For outdoor events, our volunteers bring their own telescopes to give people an up-close view of celestial objects. We also give talks and lead workshops, and are happy to work with schools and other non-profits to provide astronomy outreach and educational opportunities. See our public events listings on our Meetup page

Q. Who can become a member of ASSNE?

Anyone with a sincere interest in astronomy. Our membership comprises men and women of all ages and with every level of knowledge, from complete beginners to dedicated astrophotographers and asteroid hunters. We all learn from each other and enjoy each other's company while discussing astronomy and observing together.

Q. What are the benefits of membership?

  • Voting rights at club meetings
  • Invitations to club-only events, such as our annual camping trip and private observing sessions
  • Access to the members-only club forum section
  • Discounts on merchandise & Astronomical League membership
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Loaner equipment (after a year's membership)
  • The chance to get to know a great group of amateur astronomers!

Q. What does membership in ASSNE cost?

$20 per year for an individual (age 16 and up) or family (up to two adults and any children under 16). Dues are collected January-March each year. Should you join the club after March, dues will be prorated for the remainder of the year.

We also sponsor discounted membership for club members in the Astronomical League (AL), the world's largest federation of amateur astronomers for $7.50 per year (completely optional).

Please note that there is never any pressure to join ASSNE: Our meetings are free and open to the public. We prefer people to join the club only when they feel that it is right for them.

Q. So what does ASSNE do as a group?

  • Meet monthly to socialize, observe, and hear astronomy talks
  • Participate in community outreach events
  • Get together for private small-group observing
  • Attend regional astronomy events & star parties
  • Participate in Astronomical League observer challenge programs
  • Support each other's astronomy projects and help one another learn more!

Q. Do I need a telescope to join ASSNE?

Absolutely not. Some members choose not to have their own equipment or want to spend some time learning more about astronomy before they acquire gear. In fact, we advise people NOT to rush out and buy a telescope until they have spent some time looking through all the different kinds of scopes (which you can do at our public outreach events and after club meetings on clear nights). Our members can provide you with plenty of good advice!

Want to learn more? Come to a meeting!