Public Events

Monthly lectures

TAAA General Meeting

Our general meeting occurs on the first Friday of every month and consists of two (2) parts:

Astronomy Essentials Presentation

We start out with an Essentials Presentation. A member or invited guest gives a short presentation on a basic astronomical concept.

Main Presentation

An invited guest delivers an interesting and informative presentation on an astronomy related topic.

Get the Details About Our Next General Meeting!

Astronomy Fundamentals Meeting

afsig-logoThe Astronomy Fundamentals group meets on the second Thursday of every month. Discussions include the Constellation of the Month, instruction on astronomy equipment and tools, and other topics of interest to the amateur astronomer. Read more about the Astronomy Fundamentals SIG

Get the Details About Our Next General Fundamentals Meeting!

Public Star Parties

Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) conducts Public Star Parties throughout the Tucson area.  Details regarding upcoming events can be viewed in our Events Calendar.  Follow our Facebook page (link under “Media” on our homepage) for public star party events (under Facebook Events) to get real-time updates to include any potential weather cancellations.

Astronomy Festival

Astronomy Day Celebration!  The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will host a free family Astronomy Festival on Saturday April 29, 2017 from Noon to 9 pm at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, 3482 E River Road (River & Alvernon) Ramada A.  We will have safe solar viewing of the Sun and interactive astronomy exhibits for the kids, including building an eclipse viewer, throughout the afternoon.  During the evening, there will be about 10 telescopes for observing such celestial wonders as:  Jupiter, Mars, and a small crescent Moon; Double Stars and Star Clusters; Nebulae; Galaxies; and more.  Plus, at 8 pm, we will have a “Walk Around the Night Sky” presentation about constellations and astronomy folk lore.  At dusk, there will be a free raffle of a 50mm telescope (must be present to win) + other cool prizes.  Participants can bring their personal telescopes if you would like any help in using it.  There will also be a food truck throughout the afternoon for purchasing food.

For real-time updates (weather and changing events, check back here or follow the event on our Facebook page (link under Media on our home page).

Schedule:

Noon – 6:30 pm                Safe Solar viewing of the Sun
Noon – 6:00 pm                Interactive Astronomy Exhibits
–  Learn about the upcoming solar eclipse by making an eclipse viewer
– Other interactive projects for kids to have fun with astronomy
7:00 pm                                 Door Prizes (free) – 50mm refractor telescope + other astronomy related items (must be present to win)
7:30 – 9:00 pm                   Night Sky Viewing through TAAA telescopes
– TAAA will have a couple “kid friendly” telescopes for kids to learn about telescopes and view celestial objects
8:00 pm                                 Walk Around The Night Sky Presentation
– Learn about constellations, celestial objects, and Folk Lore
All Afternoon / Evening             Bring personal telescopes for viewing or assistance in using

Oracle State Park

Our next Oracle State Park Star Party will be Saturday September23, 2017 at the Kannally Ranch House from 7 – 9 pm.

Catalina State Park

Our next Catalina State Park Star Party will be Saturday October 14, 2017 at the trailhead parking lot.  We will have about 10 telescopes to view some amazing deep sky objects.  Observing will be from 7 – 10 pm.

Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation

Monthly Star Parties at Agua Caliente Park (NE Tucson) & Tucson Mountain Park Ironwood Picnic Area (West Tucson) & occasionally Brandi Fenton Park.  See our Events Calendar for more details.

Annual and Bi-Annual Events

Grand Canyon Star Party

June 17-24, 2017

Grand Canyon Star Party, sponsored by the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, is a shared event between astronomers from around North America and the National Park Service to bring astronomical outreach to visitors at the Grand Canyon. More information including current and future dates for the Grand Canyon Star Party can be found here.

About the Party
Frequently Asked Questions
Accommodation information
National Park Service Grand Canyon Star Party website

If you have any more questions or concerns, please ask!

Jim O’Connor
South Rim Coordinator, Grand Canyon Star Party
P.O. Box 457
Cortaro, AZ 85652
gcsp [at] tucsonastronomy [dot] org

Tucson Festival of Books (TBA)

 

Member Benefits

Special Interest Groups

Sub-groups formed to study areas of special interest.

Astronomy Fundamentals

afsig-logoHolds monthly meetings on topics of interest to the budding astronomer and the seasoned veteran. This multifunctional group presents a basic astronomy course; sponsors workshops and guided observing programs.

Starry Messenger

Starry Messenger Banner

This multi-faceted group reaches out to the public in many ways to share the awesomeness of our universe.

Astronomical Imaging

Members meet monthly to share their images and discuss astro imaging, hardware & software, and the issues that may arise.

Dark Sites

TIMPA
CAC

Equipment Lending Program

We have telescopes and accessories that members can borrow. This allows members to test the various equipment types before buying.

Affiliation with National Organizations

Opportunity to meet and associate with astronomy professionals and share your astronomy knowledge with others.

Magazine Discounts

Members get club discount on Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazine subscriptions.

magazines

Access to Club Library

Our club library contains many books and CD’s that are available to our members. [Read More]

Specialty Workshops

Guided projects to build astronomy equipment. Our current projects include building white light solar filters and lamps which help preserve night vision.

Guided Observing Programs

Include observing constellations, the sun, the moon, our solar system, and double stars. We even have a family observing program.

Link to your Website

We will provide a link from our website to yours.

Now that you have seen what we are about, you might want to consider joining with us. If you join with us, you will receive a New Member Packet which includes the following:

  • Welcome Letter
  • TAAA Privacy Policy
  • Star party Etiquette
  • Getting Started in Astronomy
  • Astronomy for Beginners
  • TAAA Lending Programs
  • Helpful Astronomy Product Reviews

…and we provide mentoring where needed.

Join Us

Services We Provide

Community Star Parties

Public Star Parties – Star Parties open to the public

  • Catalina State Park
  • Oracle State Park
  • Parks and Recreation

Member Star Parties – Star Parties for members and invited guests

Private/Convention Star Parties – Paid star parties

[ See Details ]

  • Special Occasions
  • Conventions
  • Resorts

Astronomy Extravaganzas

  • Astronomy Festival
  • Grand Canyon Star Party

Other Non-Star Party Events

  • Tucson Festival of Books

Mentoring Youth/Adults

  • Boy Scouts
  • Boys/Girls Clubs
  • Star Party Volunteers
  • How to observe – Observing Clubs

Tools We Use

  • Knowledgeable Volunteers
  • Excellent Educational Materials
  • NSN Tool Kits
  • Quality Equipment – Binoculars, Telescopes and Accessories

About TAAA

Our Purpose

The Association shall be an educational, service, scientific, and technical organization devoted to the study of, and promotion of interest in, Astronomy and its related allied sciences.

We are a friendly group of individuals like you with a common interest in astronomy.

Special Interest Groups

Sub-groups formed to study areas of special interest:

Astronomy Fundamentals

afsig-logoHolds monthly meetings on topics of interest to the budding astronomer as well as the seasoned veteran. This multifunctional group presents a basic astronomy course; sponsors workshops and guided observing programs.

Starry Messenger

Starry Messenger Banner

This multi-faceted group reaches out to the public in many ways to share the awesomeness of our universe.

Astronomical Imaging

Members meet monthly to share their images and discuss astro imaging, hardware & software and the issues that may arise.

TAAA Publications

Monthly Bulletin: Members receive a monthly bulletin listing the events of the following month. The current Bulletin is available only to members.

Desert Skies Newsletter: A journal published quarterly that includes articles of interest on various astronomy topics.

What We Provide to Members:

The opportunity to learn and understand the magnificence and grandeur of the universe There are various services and programs available only to our members . Join us!

What We Provide to Tucson:

Brief glimpses of the awesomeness of the universe and the opportunity to enjoy the allure and elegance of the night sky through star parties and hands on activities. You’re invited!

A Brief History of TAAA

Founded in 1954, we quickly grew to a group of 50 people known as the Tucson Amateur Astronomers (TAA). Activities then included tracking artificial satellites from a Moon Watch station at the U of A. The Moon Watch Program, coordinated by the Smithsonian Institution, helped the early US space-flight engineers perfect their science. Our Moon Watch station was recognized as one of the top three stations in the U.S. These activities led to a name change and we became the Tucson Astronomical and Astronautical Association (TAAA), a real tongue twister.
As the Moon Watch Program came to an end in the early 70s, our emphasis moved away from astronautics and focused on astronomy, but it wasn’t until 1978 that we became the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association. [Read More About Our History]

Non-Profit Status

In 1987 we were incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit organization with the dedicated purpose of studying and promoting astronomy and its allied sciences.

Please help us further our goals.

Local Astronomy

Desert skies are ideal for astronomy and the Tucson Desert sky is no exception. Many seek out Tucson as the place to be. Why? Because of our night sky, but also because of all of the astronomy and scientific organizations based here. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association is the premier amateur astronomy group by virtue of our close ties to many of the astronomy and scientific organizations as well as our educational opportunities and outreach events.

In addition to TAAA events, here are some of the things that are happening in and around Tucson:

Kitt Peak National Observatory

 

kitt-peak

Kitt Peak supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun. Whether you wish to visit during the day to catch a guided tour, learn the constellations and view through a telescope at night, or even reserve a telescope all to yourself, there is something for you. Daytime and evening programs, some very special events, programs for schools and youth groups, tours for organized groups, exhibits, and facilities. Visit the Kitt Peak website for more information.

Flandrau Science Center

 

flandrau

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium explores our universe from earth to space and everything in-between, bringing science alive for young and life-long learners alike. Changing exhibits through the year focus on biology, energy, optics and more, weaving in ground-breaking UA research and revealing the world of science careers for budding scientists. Flandrau’s Observatory is open to the public at no charge each week Thursday through Saturday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Steward Observatory

 

steward

Since September 1922, Steward Observatory has been hosting public evening lectures in astronomy. The lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held in Room N210 of Steward Observatory. Following all Monday evening talks, the Raymond E. White, Jr. Reflector in the historic Steward Observatory dome will be open for public viewing of the night sky (weather permitting). All of the lectures and the use of the telescope are free of charge and open to the general public. Visit the Steward Observatory website for more information.

Mt. Lemon Sky Center

 

skycenter

The SkyNights StarGazing Program is open to the public most nights of the year using the Southwest’s largest dedicated public telescope! This program is a unique awe-inspiring opportunity that lets you peer beyond the blue horizons of our southwestern skies and explore the astronomical wonders of the Universe.

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory

 

whipple

The Visitors Center features displays and exhibits on astronomy and astrophysics, natural science, and cultural history. Located at the base of Mt. Hopkins in the Santa Rita Mountains, just within the boundary of the Coronado National Forest. For more information, visit the Whipple Observatory website.

National Solar Observatory

 

national-solar

The National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak welcomes visitors during the daytime. The Observatory offers various kinds of tours.

Mt. Bigelow Astronomy Camp

 

astronomy-camp

An opportunity for both young and old to experience the universe in a new and exciting way. Teenage students gain a cosmic perspective of the earth and themselves. Visit the Mt Bigelow Astronomy Camp website for more information.

Richard F Caris Mirror Lab

 

mirror-lab

The Mirror Lab offers a 90 minute tour which provides a unique opportunity to learn how innovative engineering and optical technology melds with manufacturing techniques to produce the largest and most advanced giant (8.4 meters / 27 ft) telescope mirrors in the world on the University of Arizona campus.