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. Who can become a member of ASSNE?
Anyone with a sincere interest in astronomy. Our membership comprises men and women with every level of knowledge, from complete beginners to dedicated astrophotographers and telescope/observatory builders. We consider ourselves to be "friends who do astronomy": 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?
• Club participation and voting rights (members must be at least age 16)
• Invitations to club-only events, such as our annual camping trip and private observing sessions
• Access to the members-only club forum section
• Loaner equipment (after a year's membership)
• Access to members-only observing locations
• Members-only annual cookout & holiday potluck
• Camp with ASSNE at Stellafane, the annual Vermont star party
• Participate in monthly community astronomy outreach
• The chance to get to know a great group of amateur astronomers!
Q. What does membership in ASSNE cost?
Our standard dues are currently $20 per year for an individual (age 16 and up) or family (up to two adults registered as voting members). We encourage donations at the Supporter ($35) and Donor ($50) level to help support our annual programming and meet our budget. Dues are prorated after June 1, dues renew on January 1.
Q. Do I need a telescope to join ASSNE?
Absolutely not. Some members choose not to have their own equipment, prefer binoculars, or want to spend 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!
Q. What is ASSNE's 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, from seniors to kids. For outdoor events, our volunteers bring their own telescopes & other equipment and show people up-close views of celestial objects. We also give talks and lead workshops, and provide other astronomy outreach and educational opportunities. Click Events to see our upcoming public events on our Meetup page.
Q. Can you do an observing night or activity at my school/library/community group?
We are happy to help bring astronomy programs to schools, libraries, and community organizations in Southeastern MA and Rhode Island, depending on our event schedule and the availability of volunteers. It helps to plan well in advance!
If you would like to discuss holding an event, please use our contact form. We need to know the name of your organization, location, approximate time/date, and approximate size and ages of the group. All events must be free, we do not participate in events that charge a fee.
Q. Can you help me learn how to use my telescope?
Certainly! If you have not used your scope before (or in a long time) we recommend that you come to one of our meeting nights, and someone in the club can go over your scope with you after the meeting to make sure it is in working order and teach you the basics of operation.
If you know how to use your scope and just want more practice, come to one of our Moose Hill observing nights and you can set up alongside an experienced astronomer.