- Full voting privileges.
- The Reflector quarterly newsletter mailed direct to each of your members.
- Liability insurance to protect the society and its officers.
- The Book Service through which your members can buy astronomy-related books at a 10% discount if not already sold through League Sales.
- Observing awards for your members to work toward, promoting observing and the study of the sky.
When your organization joins the Astronomical League, the first benefit all your members will see is the next issue of the Reflector. This will be mailed to each member at his/her home address. The Reflector has articles, cartoons, poetry, book reviews, League business, and information about League services. Unlike commercial magazines, the Reflector is amateurs talking to other amateurs about their activities. Currently, your organization will pay the AL $5.00 annually per member for this newsletter and all our other benefits, plus a $10.00 member society fee. If less than 95% of your total membership join the Astronomical League then the price is $7.50 annually per member.
Your individual members can use our Book Service through which they can buy astronomy-related books at a 10% discount (with no shipping and handling charges). The Observing Clubs offer encouragement and certificates of accomplishment for demonstrating observing skills with a variety of instruments and objects. These include the Messier Club, Binocular Messier Club, Deep Sky Binocular Club, Southern Skies Binocular Club, Herschel 400 Club, Sunspotter Club, Meteor Club, Arp Peculiar Galaxy Club, Double Star Club, and the Lunar Club. Our Education Committee provides planned study guides for societies who want to provide organized courses or group study in astronomy. These services are only available to League members.
What many people find to be the best benefits that the Astronomical League provide are our national and regional conventions. These events provide a chance to meet the people you read about in the Reflector, and to discuss amateur astronomy with other active amateur astronomers.
The National Conventions are held annually in a different part of the country each year. These typically start on a Wednesday and extend through Saturday evening. They are often held in conjunction with other astronomical organizations, such as the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA), the Western Amateur Astronomers (WAA), and/or the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). This gives you access to the best and brightest names in amateur astronomy in every field from all over the country. The events consist of professional, advanced amateur, and amateur presentations on differing fields of astronomy and observing. There are also commercial exhibits, astrophotography displays and contests, and workshops on the practical aspects of observing. This convention also provides a vehicle for the membership to become involved with the League business that is discussed and transacted there on an annual basis. You can read about our national conventions, past and future.
The Astronomical League in the United States is divided into ten regions. Each region has its own officers, treasury, By-laws, and most importantly, convention. These Regional Conventions are often held on a Saturday and consist of papers given by active amateurs and professional talks about the latest discoveries in astronomy. Others run a few days and include both programs and observing sessions in a star-party environment. As with the National Convention, Regional business is transacted before the assembled convention, providing a platform for anyone to become involved with League activities.
If your organization is going to become a member of the Astronomical League, you will need to select an ALCor. An ALCor (Astronomical League Correspondent) is someone in your organization who has been selected to serve as official contact person between the AL and your group. As such, this person will act as an officer of the League, and is responsible for making sure a good working relationship exists between your organization and the Astronomical League. The ALCor must be a conscientious person familiar with organization activities, attends meetings regularly, and will relay information to your organization about the AL, and to the League about your organization. Until we are advised of your selection, League materials will be sent to the organization's president or other designated official who serves as temporary ALCor.
The society membership application can be found here
The ALCor is responsible for sending in roster updates quarterly to the National Office at : rosters '--at--' astroleague '--dot--' org. Along with your organization's president, the ALCor serves as your organization's representative on the Regional Council. If the ALCor is not able to attend the regional convention, your organization may appoint an alternate and send him or her with a proxy letter. As organization ALCor, this person will need to be in contact with your regional representative to forward nominations, suggestions, or other proposals. In turn, the Regional Representative acts as your representative to the decision making body of the AL, the Astronomical League Council.
If you find your organization cannot join us as a group, you can individually become members-at-large. An application for membership at large can be found here
We think you will find your membership in the Astronomical League both interesting and valuable. We hope to hear from you soon!