No matter what your age, level of knowledge, or interest in astronomy and space, we'd like to invite you to join the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers (AAAA). The AAAA was founded in 1979 to bring together people of all ages united by a common interest in the vast and magnificent universe around us. The AAAA presently has about 70 member households from all over central Iowa and beyond; our members range from casual stargazers and armchair space enthusiasts to experienced amateur astronomers. Many are beginners who are interested in learning more about astronomy, telescopes, and observing skills, and want to share their interests with others.
Activities include field trips, automatic membership in the Astronomical League (a nationwide organization of amateur astronomers), and the Dark Sky Preservation Section. Our organization is active in promoting better outdoor lighting practices which minimize the amount of light going directly up into the sky. The unchecked growth of light pollution in recent years has resulted in a substantial diminishment of most everyone's access to the beauty of the night sky. But the tide is turning. On the horizon one can see a night whenk the sky will be darker than it is today, and efficient and glare-free lighting will light our way only where and when it is needed, saving vast amounts of energy, natural resources, and money in the process.
There are several broad categories that our club's activities fall into. These are:
Dark Sky - The dark sky section aims to promote better outdoor lighting practices.
Educational Outreach - Club members provide programs for schools and educational groups as well as public star parties, spring through fall.
Adams Observatory - Once club members are checked out on the telescope they are issued a key to the observatory. These tasks along with occasional maintenance and upgrades of the observatory are done by this section.
Monthly Meeting Programs - At each month's meeting we try to have a speaker or activity of interest to the group. We encourage members to suggest speakers and also present programs themselves.