ROCKLAND ASTRONOMY CLUB

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Astronomy club

Don Urban, Director

73 Haring Street

Closter, NJ 07624

(201) 768-6575

durban@rocklandastronomy.com

www.rocklandastronomy.com

QUICK TAKE: Families can join the Rockland Astronomy Club

regardless of their knowledge level, making it a learning experience

for the entire family.

AGE REQUIREMENT: All ages.

FEES: Annual dues are $28 for students under 19 and $48 for

the family (Deduct $18 if you choose to receive information

via e-mail rather than paper mail.) Application forms are on

the Web site. Star Party: $35/adult, $20/kid 11–17 and $10/kid

6–10.

BACKGROUND: The Rockland Astronomy Club was founded

in 1958 and provides an exciting array of activities not available

elsewhere. It is a portal to the wonders of the universe

through the largest and most exciting astronomy show in the

United States offering outstanding lectures, workshops, star

parties, planetarium shows, films, and much, much more.

DESCRIPTION: From the club’s Web site: “In addition to scheduled

observing activities, we hold periodic indoor meetings

at various locations in Rockland County where programs are

presented that focus on specific aspects of Astronomy. Among

the most popular are topics relating to the purchase and use

of astronomical telescopes—where to find them, what to look

for, and which ones to avoid. Other subjects deal with basic

celestial navigation, how to read star charts, and learning

how to locate and identify galaxies, nebulae and star clusters

that are generally not visible to the naked eye.” Each year,

the club holds its very own “Summer Star Party and Family

Camping Vacation” for a week in Massachusetts’ beautiful

Berkshire Mountains. Each spring, the Rockland Astronomy

Club sponsors a Spring Northeast Astronomy Forum and

Telescope Show in Suffern, NY. Lectures are given by astronauts

and other professionals. The club also organizes a variety

of other programs.

OUR TAKE: The fact that they have their very own star party is

a huge plus. Monthly “joy of the universe” public star parties,

held in conjunction with the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission

at Anthony Wayne State Park from April to October,

are another highlight of this program. For father and son,

mother and daughter, or even the whole family, partaking

in any portion of this program—whether it is the one-week

vacation or the telescope show—will give everyone lasting

memories.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: It’s an East Coast thing, but it’s known

on both coasts as one of the better astronomy programs in

the country. Most clubs charge a small membership fee that

enables you to take advantage of your kid’s (and your) astronomy

fascination. If you’re looking for something unique

at a uniquely reasonable cost, you’re looking for the Rockland

Astronomy Club.