Here are some of the things you can look forward to as a member of VCAS:
Where else can you see photos of Saturn's moons shot just days before by one of NASA's space probes, followed by a hands-on demonstration in how to use a telescope? You'll experience all of these things, and more, at VCAS's monthly membership meetings.
VCAS prides itself in attracting world-class speakers from academia, industry and government. Recent programs have included mission specialists from JPL/NASA who updated us on the latest interplanetary missions; astrophysicists who showed us how amateur astronomers are helping to quantify the size of near-earth asteroids; and astronomers who described their search for exo-planets orbiting distant stars. Speakers usually present their latest work, giving members a rare behind-the-scenes look at these cutting-edge programs.
Just as important, however, is learning the ins-and-outs of being an amateur astronomer. What's the difference between a refracting and a reflecting telescope? How will a slightly different eyepiece affect what you see in the sky? What's the name of that bright star up there? And where is the little dipper, anyway? VCAS includes practical sessions in its meeting line-up to answer member questions like these. So check out the VCAS CALENDAR
and be sure to make the meetings -- you won't be disappointed.
Star Parties & Other Programs:
Besides the monthly membership meetings, join other VCAS members at one of the regular STAR PARTIES
held at various locations. Take a look through members' telescopes, ask questions, learn more about the night sky, and above all, have fun.
VCAS also holds other club events throughout the year, including Outreach programs, Astronomy Day, a traditional July summer picnic, and an Annual Banquet in December. You can also join other members and attend local telescope shows and regional star-parties.
VCAS Monthly Newletter: Celestial Horizons:
As a VCAS member you'll receive our monthly newsletter "Celestial Horizons" via email. Besides reminding members of upcoming events it includes detailed information on future speakers, a section on current happenings in the night sky, observation tips, NASA updates and more.
VCAS Loaner Telescopes and equipment:
VCAS has a variety of telescopes, tripods, eyepieces and other equipment available for VCAS members to borrow on a no-fee basis. It's a great way to get started, or try out equipment before investing your own money. Members interested in borrowing equipment should contact our EQUIPMENT CHAIRMAN
. He'll let you know what equipment is available and can answer your questions about what piece might be best for your purpose.