Outreach / Star Parties / Solar Viewing


    SMA is a community of interested professional and amateur astronomers, exchanging ideas and information at meetings, through Google Groups and the Night Sky Network. As a member of the International Dark Sky Association and Dark Sky Maine, SMA is actively involved in fighting light pollution and preserving our dark Maine skies.


    SMA Club members provide advanced astronomical equipment and mentorship to members, students and the general public interested in astronomy. We also plan for star parties where naked eye, binocular, and telescope viewing take place with the support of trained volunteers.


    Also, SMA has partnered with "Cornerstones of Science" and the Library Telescope Program, recently changed to the STAR Program; Sharing Telescopes And Resources. We modify telescopes, provide assistance, hands-on training and mentoring for the staff at participating Libraries.


    SMA’s monthly meetings feature occasional lectures by experts in astronomy, "what's up" this month, discussions among members and member presentations.


    Due to COVID-19, all meetings will be by ZOOM, until further notice.

    Contact us for ZOOM details.


  • Upcoming Events

    Outreach and other public events

    You can also see our events calendar on the NASA's Night Sky Network!

    SMA Monthly Club Meeting (ZOOM Only)

    Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, 7pm. Social "half-hour" starts at 6:30pm.

    Just a reminder of tomorrow night’s meeting covering some helpful astronomy basics presented by knowledgeable club members.  We’ll also go inside the “belly of the beast” when Russ Pinizzotto takes us on a tour of the constellation Cetus.  Doors open at 6:30 for chit chat and the formal meeting begins at 7.  We’ll also share some thoughts about the JWST, the incredible Parker Solar probe and upcoming events.  Please join us!


    Please use the "Contact Us" form or join our Google Group for the Zoom link, if you don't have it!

    SMA Monthly Club Meeting (ZOOM Only)

    Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, 7pm. Social "half-hour" starts at 6:30pm.

    This is a reminder to join us on the night of, Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., for our December meeting featuring Club Member and scientist Jon Wallace, talking about meteorites and his quest over the last four years to find micrometeorites right here, in rooftops and rain gutters. They are all around us but you need to know how to look! This will be a fascinating talk by someone with a passion to find extraterrestrial visitors and the stuff of our early Solar System. We will also get a tour of probably the most obscure circumpolar constellations out there – Camelopardalis. Russ will show us interesting things to find in this neglected patch of sky.

    Please plan to join us Thursday, Dec. 2. The “doors” open at 6:30p for socializing and the formal meeting begins at 7 p.m. The link was sent out to our Google Group. Please use the "Contact Us" form or join our Google Group for the Zoom link, if you don't have it!

    SMA Monthly Club Meeting (ZOOM Only)

    Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, 7 p.m. Social "half-hour" starts at 6:30pm.

    As previously announced, our next club meeting is this Thursday, Nov 4. Doors open at 6:30 for socializing, with our formal meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Our topic this month will be “Journey to a Comet” presented by Greg Shanos, a member of a sister astronomy club in Rhode Island, Skyscrapers. Greg will hitch us a ride on the six US and ESA missions that have visited comets and discuss their scientific pursuits and findings.


    Greg has a PhD in Pharmacy, with underlying Bachelor degrees in pharmacy and chemistry. He is a practicing pharmacist, but his real love is astronomy. Besides being a NASA Solar System Ambassador, Greg is a member of several astronomy clubs in regions of the country where he has lived over his career. It was the return of Halley’s Comet in 1985 that really kindled his interest in astronomy and he has followed it passionately: he has witnessed twelve total solar eclipses, three annular solar eclipses and caught both Transits of Venus! He is an avid collector of meteorites and has published over 35 articles on the significance of organic materials in meteorites. Of late, Greg’s interest has taken him into astrophotography, and his images are archived with the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. As a very much self-taught amateur astronomer fueled with curiosity and excitement I’m sure we will have a fascinating talk on Thursday night.

    Club member and director Russ Pinizzotto will also delight us with a tour of our winged friend Pegasus.

    The meeting starts officially at 7 p.m. for the talk and doors open at 6:30 for socializing. The link was sent out to our Google Group. Please use the "Contact Us" form or join our Google Group for the Zoom link, if you don't have it!


    Please attend if you can and we look forward to seeing you.

    Past Events & Speakers

    • 2021/09 - Our resident MD and Director, Dr. George Bokinsky, updates us on the current state of Astrobiology.
    • 2021/07 - Dr. David Batuski presenting "Tracking Dark Matter in Two Superclusters of Galaxies"
    • 2021/06 - Dr. Catherine Zucker talking about the now-called Radcliffe Wave.
    • 2021/05 - Feature a preview of our Electronically-Assisted Astronomy (EAA) project by Russ & Ara.
    • 2021/04 - Prof. Chris Magri, Assistant Professor of Physics and Chair of the Natural Sciences Department at the University of Maine at Farmington, “A Radar Analysis of Asteroid Bennu.”
    • 2021/03 - Dr. Neil Comins, Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Univ. of Maine, Orono, "Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions About the Real Nature of the Universe."
    • 2021/02 - Chuck Allen, Vice President of the Astronomical League
    • 2021/01 - Telescope Workshop
    • 2020/12 - Dr. Aileen Yingst, Planetary Science Institute, “Big News from a Dwarf Planet: The Story of Vesta”
    • 2020/11 - Sarah Betti, Ph.D. candidate, UMass, “Planet Formation in Protoplanetary Discs”2
    • 2020/10 - Tom Field, President, Field Tested Systems, LLC “You Can Almost Touch the Stars” – Spectroscopy for Amateur Astronomers
  • Membership

    Support your local club and become a member of Southern Maine Astronomers!

    Purchase Annual Membership - New / Renewal

    Purchase Annual Membership - New / Renewal

    10.00 - 1,000.00
    SMA annual membership fee. This includes a membership to the Night Sky Network and a membership to the Astronomical League, which entitles you to receive the quarterly Reflector magazine.

    All memberships are annual and aligned with the calendar year, not to the time of purchase. Payments received on or after Oct. 1 apply for the following calendar year.
    Buy now
  • Wish to donate to SMA?

    Your donation will go to support the club including our outreach and educational efforts in the communities we serve.

  • Committees

    We've got a top notch team! While each of these committees is staffed by Club Directors, any member can join and assist these committees in their club objectives. We welcome participation! Support your Club!


    This committee is focused on increasing membership and improving member experience.

    Purview includes club meetings, greeting members and guests, following up with new people, providing refreshments. It will be the point of contact for club clothing and such. This committee will coordinate with the Program Committee to ensure we are offering speakers and topics that square with the needs and desires of members. It will also liaise with other clubs, including student organizations, and encourage developments between clubs.


    Director Member: Al DiSabatino, Bob Dodge


    Acting as the point of contact for the public, for things like star parties, speakers, etc., and for coordinating the club’s response.

    This committee responds to groups looking for star parties and such events; would determine if it’s a request the club can accommodate; would organize club members willing to attend/staff the event. This committee also provides formal notice to news organizations and public bulletin boards and other third parties of club meetings and events.


    Director Member: James Shields, Ara Jerahian

    Club Member: Ron Thompson


    Planning for meetings, finding speakers, coordinating publicity.

    This Committee seeks speakers in contemporary topics of astronomy and space exploration that are of interest to the membership. The Committee ensures other engaging content to appeal to beginners as well as seasoned amateurs to improve their knowledge of the night sky, telescope equipment, observing techniques and astrophotography.


    Director Member: George Bokinsky, Rowan Goebel-Bain, Russ Pinizzotto


    Managing club equipment, purchased and donated, to fulfill the club's outreach and educational mission.

    Club assets include purchased and donated equipment. This committee determines what best suits club needs and then seeks to sell or otherwise dispose of excess equipment with funds received used to support the club. This committee also manages the Club's Equipment Lending Program that makes more sophisticated equipment available to club members for use.


    Director Member: Forrest Sumner, Kerry Kertes

    Club Member: Ron Thompson

    Dark Sky Advocacy

    Liaising with Dark Sky Maine, IDA, and other groups interested in controlling light pollution.

    Advocating for dark sky-friendly zoning and other regulations to control and reduce light pollution. This Committee hope to develop a recognition program for organizations and municipalities who undertake improvements in light pollution control.


    Director Member: Rob Burgess

    Club Member: Paul Howell


    This Committee is responsible for administration of club finances.

    Responsibilities include management and reconcilement of club finances and bank statements, tax filings, club insurances, etc. Recently, the club decided to undertake fundraising. This new venture will examine club short and long term goals and then find sources and develop strategies to support those goals, including the establishment of an endowment fund.


    Treasurer & Chair: Bob Dodge

    Fundraising Subcommittee: Rob Burgess, Bob Dodge, Russ Pinizzotto

    Executive Committe

    Director Members: Rob Burgess, Bob Dodge, Forrest Sumner, Ara Jerahian

  • Drop Us A Note

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + us = awesome.


    You can also join our Google Groups mailing list and
    stay super informed of our club activity :)

    179 Neptune Drive, Suite 300
    Brunswick, ME 04011
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