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The Springfield Astronomical Society (SAS) is a not for profit organization created to increase the pleasure and understanding of astronomy among amateurs. The Springfield Astronomical Society engages in four basic missions:
SHARED OBSERVATIONAL EXPERIENCES
Among the many activities the Society promotes, the most popular are observing sessions, or "star parties." Most everyone who belongs to the Society simply enjoys observing the many wonders of the sky. These events may be open to club member only, or to the general public. Star parties serve to stimulate interest, and to enhance the pleasure of the hobby through the sharing of equipment, expertise, and excitement. Observing clubs and awards are also popular activities.
The Society, as an affiliate of the Astronomical League, enjoys the advantage of regional and national conventions. These popular events offer speakers, workshops, and swap meets.
PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH
The Society also presents monthly public meetings on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Library Center on South Campbell in Springfield. These meetings feature a program which often includes a special speaker and other shorter items of interest to both observers and the scientifically minded general public. Starting time is 7:00 PM.
The Society also presents special programs to school, church, and other groups on request.
The Society eagerly engages in select public outreac events throughout the year. Current activies include Earth Day and the Moon Light Bike Ride at the Discovery Center, public outreach events at the Library Center during the Spring and Fall, working with Wonders of Wildlife, and outreaches with other groups.
Several members of the SAS are engaged in scientific research efforts. These include variable star research, coordinated with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and double star research.
With the advent of relatively inexpensive, high quality equipment, amateurs are now able to carry out long-term observation and patrol projects, freeing professional astronomers for other work. AAVSO members monitor interesting stars over long periods to gather photometric data needed for determining key stellar characteristics.
Double star research is similar, except that instead of photometric data, the observer daters data that help to determine the orbits and masses of stars. In fact, the only way to gather information about mass, a crucial parameter in stellar research, is by computing orbits.
Other proposed projects include super nova patrols and minor planet observation.