North Central Region Carl Wenning

The North Central Region of the Astronomical League (NCRAL)
was established on August 30, 1947. Today it consists of 42 associations
scattered across the upper Midwest. States included in the region with the most
to least number of member associations are Illinois (16), Wisconsin (14), Iowa
(5), Minnesota (5), Upper Peninsula of Michigan (1), North Dakota (1), and South
Dakota (0). Members-at-large of the Astronomical League are also part of the
NCRAL membership.

The goals of NCRAL are numerous, but the most
essential are the promotion of amateur astronomy and fellowship among its
members. The Region does so through a variety of means, but the most important
are the annual spring convention, the quarterly Northern Lights newsletter, and star parties.

Annual conventions are hosted by one of our
member associations each spring. These gatherings are as varied as the hosts,
but generally consist of invited speakers and contributed talks, tours of
astronomical facilities and museums, star parties, imaging contests, club
displays, show-and-tell, formal discussions, and include plenty of time for
camaraderie. Business meetings set the direction of the Region for the
following year. A closing banquet is the setting for a keynote speaker and the
venue at which the NCRAL Region Award is presented to one or more members who
have provided distinguished service to amateur astronomy within the North
Central region.

The Northern
newsletter is compiled by the Region Chair and produced an
Editor-in-Chief. The newsletter is distributed electronically in portable
document format (PDF) to each member association’s President, ALCor, and
newsletter editor for dissemination to their association’s membership.
Executive Council members as well as individual association members contribute
to the content of this full-color publication. The newsletter is growing in
both size and scope and typically runs from 24-30 pages. Back issues of the newsletter
can be found on the region’s website.

There are typically half a dozen star parties
taking place within the Region each year. Many, but not all, are hosted by
Region-affiliated clubs. To learn more about the dates, times, and locations of
these events, be certain to look for announcements in the Region’s newsletter.

NCRAL is governed by an Executive Council consisting
of the Region’s three elected officials (Chair, Vice Chair,
Secretary-Treasurer) in concert with the Representative to the AL Council. The
NCRAL Council that guides the Region in concert with the Executive Council. The
NCRAL Council consists of association presidents and one representative of all
the AL-affiliated astronomy clubs in a six-state region. The governing Bylaws
can be found on the Region’s website.

NCRAL’s website is
available separate from the Astronomical League website. The website contains
detailed information about the Region’s activities and benefits. You may access
the NCRAL website through the following URL:

updated 6/19/17, cjw)

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