• 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, Mar. 4, 2020, 7pm. Social "half-hour" starts at 6:30pm.

    Our speaker will be Dr. Neil Comins, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine at Orono. Professor Comins is the editor of one of the most widely used undergraduate textbooks on Astronomy in the country. From that perch he is in a perfect position to see the greatest misconceptions that exist in Astronomy and will test us over what we think we know or understand. In 2001 he published “Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions About the Real Nature of the Universe.” Some 20 years on we can learn if the human race has gotten better at scientific knowledge or If we are still suffering from ignorance. Come enjoy a discussion that will be sure to educate and entertain.

     

    Also, Russ Pinozzotto will give us a tour or one of the lesser Known and fainter constellations – Monoceros – but still a trove of treasures.

     

    Doors open at 6:30, meeting begins at 7. We will be enforcing stricter time limits so that we can conclude our formal meeting in about 90 minutes, and be done by 8:45.

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

    SMA Monthly Club Meeting (ZOOM Only)

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

    We have a great program lined up for February. Our speaker is Chuck Allen, Vice President of the Astronomical League. The Astronomical League is the largest astronomical organization in the world: it has over 18,000 members and 304 participating societies of which we are one. The League is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Chuck has been part of the management structure of the organization for many years, having served as AL President from 1998-2002. He has spoken to hundreds of groups and clubs across the country and will have an excellent perspective on what’s happening in the amateur astronomy community, particularly in a time of COVID restrictions. In addition to producing the quarterly Reflector magazine that club members get the League also has over 80 Observing Clubs designed to challenge and educate stargazers. I’m sure we have a lot to learn from Chuck’s talk on making our club even better.

     

    We will also have a few minutes of open mic for folks to share recent observations or information about places they have visited or articles or books they’ve read about Astronomy. A feature of club meetings we’ve been working on – short (5 minute) bios on famous and sometimes not-so-famous astronomers – will resume in February with a presentation on Mary Somerville. Who’s Mary Somerville? Well come and find out!


    Finally, Russ Pinizzotto will take us on a tour of the constellation AURIGA. Come learn about some very cool objects to observe in this winter constellation, currently overhead.

     

    The Zoom doors open at 6:30 pm for some socializing, with the formal meeting starting at 7. Hope you can join us!

    SMA Monthly Club Meeting (ZOOM Only)

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

    Please join us for our first meeting of the year. Our main event will be a discussion about observing from telescope basics, set up and alignment, to binocular observing, to use of setting circles, to cell phone imaging, to utilizing all the observing aids in Night Sky Network … and more. We welcome comments from all attendees on tips they’ve learned over the years to make observing more enjoyable and productive. The evening will conclude with Russ Pinizzotto’s tour or everyone’s favorite constellation – ORION. The formal meeting begins at 7 p.m. but the zoom window opens at 6:30 p.m. for socializing. Hope you can join us!

  • Membership

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

    Annual Membership Fee

    Annual Membership Fee

    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.
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    Coming soon
  • 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!

    Membership

    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 Members: Bob Dodge, Al DiSabatino, Scott Lovejoy

    Outreach

    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 Members: Ron Thompson, Ara Jerahian, James Shields,

    Program

    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 Members: George Bokinsky, Rowan Goebel-Bain

    Equipment

    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 Members: Kirk Rogers, Forrest Sumner

    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

    Finance

    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.

     

    Director Members: Ron Thompson, All Directors

    Fundraising Subcommittee: Rob Burgess, Bob Dodge, Ron Thompson, Club Member Russ Pinozzotto

  • 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 :)

  • Affiliations

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