The Albuquerque Astronomical Society
Observe - Educate - Have Fun
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P.O. Box 50581
Albuquerque, NM 87181-0581

"Observe - Educate - Have Fun"

Upcoming Events

As one of the largest and most active amateur astronomy clubs anywhere, there's always something going on in TAAS. Here's a look at upcoming events. Unless otherwise mentioned, all events are free and open to the public so try us out. Then help us "Observe - Educate - Have Fun."

Enchanted Skies Star Party - Wednesday October 26, 2016



OCTOBER 26-29, 2016

The Enchanted Skies Star Party gathering of astronomers has some of darkest skies in the USA, deep rural location, featured speakers, catered food options, camping opportunity, and organized daytime optional events in and around Magdalena. Good times are to be had, even if the clouds come in.

You might consider driving down to Star Village from Wednesday through Saturday for a dark-sky star party not that far away. Check out their website:

Friday Nights at the UNM Observatory

Friday Nights at the UNM Observatory are going strong for this semester and well attended by both students,visitors and the TAAS telescopes. Join the happy group and enjoy observing and learning every Friday night during UNM semesters.

The TAAS-UNMO coordinator, Fernando Torres, can be reached at if you have questions or need further information

See below for details and map

More details...

Amateur Telescope Making/Maintenance

Next session - Wednesday, November 2nd- 7:00 p.m.

Telescopes! Make Them-Use Them-Fix Them!

TAAS has a wonderful special interest group-Amateur Telescope Making/Maintenance-which meets the first and third Wednesdays of each month (see our calendar). Members and the public alike are welcome to visit, learn more about the opportunities, bring in a telescope for assistance, begin a telescope from scratch or just ask questions.

More details...

Celebration of Science and Astronomy-TAAS Cosmic Carnival - Saturday November 5, 2016

1:00-5:00 p.m.

Open Space Visitor Center

Free and open to the public

The Albuquerque Astronomical Society and the delightful facility of the Open Space Visitor Center and its staff and volunteers host the annual Cosmic Carnival to offer the public a sampler of the many science and astronomy organizations in New Mexico.

TAAS itself greets the guests with a solar telescope observing station outside the building before ushering them into the lobby with a large Society display, ticket station for the Portable Planetarium shows and a telescope demonstration.

On traveling through the building, each organization presents its own "specialty" at its station--listing of the groups participating will be presented soon.

The TAAS portable planetarium will be in action in the Kiva Room for four shows, so get your tickets early to enjoy the stars in the daytime and hear a polished presentation.

There will be two offerings by TAAS members at 2:00pm and 3:30pm in the Media Room: "The Vastness of the Universe" and "Getting Started in Astronomy"

Telescopes of many types will be displayed on the back patio for inspection with members explaining the details.

In the evening, a star party will take place on the back patio from 6:00-9:00pm, incorporating the TAAS Fabulous Fifty...see separate article on our webpage

More details...

TAAS Public Star Party! - Saturday November 5, 2016

6:00-9:00 p.m.

Open Space Visitor Center

Free and open to the public

That wonderful autumn time of year when we visit the Open Space Visitor Center with TAAS Telescopes on the east patio of the Center to show off the astronomical wonders of the New Mexico night skies to visitors.

Because it is already dark, we can begin to view at 6:00pm. At 7:00 and 8:00pm, Dee Friesen and Sterling Beeson will give presentations of the TAAS Fabulous Fifty program in the Kiva Room, showing the naked- eye constellations, stars and planets of the season-- guests can then go outside and see them in the night sky and through telescopes. We will give a laser-guided tour of the constellations at least one time during the evening.

Remember to bring jackets for the fall chill and red flashlights/headlamps to preserve night vision.

You can attend the Cosmic Carnival from 1:00-5:00pm in the OSVC, take a dinner break and then enjoy the star party, all in the same day! Thanks to the Center for its incredible generosity and collaboration with TAAS throughout the year...

Check out the video below and map to OSVC below

More details...

TAAS General Meeting - Saturday November 12, 2016

7:00 p.m.

Science and Math Learning Center, UNM Campus

Free and open to the public

Dr. Paul D. Hillman - Photo Tour of A Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Dr. Hillman traveled to the European Southern Observatory site in the Atacama Desert of Chile as part of a bid process for the four guidestar laser system for one of the VLTs for his company, FASORtronics. They spent four days at the Paranal Observatory crawling around one of the four 8-meter telescopes, learning about technical requirements for installing their lasers on the telescope and interfacing with their infrastructure. To help document these needs he acquired many photos of the telescope from all perspectives, its infrastructure--and the Atacama Desert, which he emphasizes, "what we have here is a rain forest in comparison !"

While FASORtronics did not win the final build contract, they won one of two preliminary design contracts, which led to the site visit, the learning process, and experience.

He has obtained clearance from the ESO to share the photos with us, and he will also be speaking on the telescopes, specifications, history and timeline of the project, and the geographic area.

More details...

TAAS Astronomy 101 - Saturday November 12, 2016

6:00 p.m.

Science and Math Learning Center

Free and open to the public

Barry Spletzer - How Did The Moon Get Inside My Telescope?

The simple fact that you see things differently with your telescope than with your naked eye is explained in a highly illuminated way as Barry explains the basic workings of a telescope, how lenses and mirrors make an image and magnify it.

Also discussed are focal length, calculating magnification and eyepiece basics. Understand your telescope for the magnificent invention it is!

More details...

Solar Astronomy Outreach

Solar Astronomy, observing our nearest star, the Sun, is a very active and popular part of TAAS. Its events are too numerous to list here, so for the full schedule of solar observing events click here.

Remember, you don't have to stay up late at night to see a star!