West Texas Astronomers
Who Are We?
The West Texas Astronomers was created in 1972 to unite amateur astronomers in the West Texas area. Residents of Midland and Odessa dominate the local membership, but the club also has active members from outlying communities such as Andrews and Big Spring. We currently have about 50 members/families. For a printable membership application, click here.
When and Where Do We Meet?
Monthly meetings are held in the Blakemore Planetarium at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland. on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m., except July when we hold a picnic and viewing session. The monthly meetings are open to the public, and begin with an informative program that may feature films, workshops, or talks by members and guest speakers on topics ranging from Archeo-astronomy to the Zodiac. Following the presentation and a break for refreshments, the club conducts the monthly business meeting.
Members also gather for monthly Star Parties and dark site Observing Sessions.
Public Star Parties are an opportunity for the general public and the club to interact. Members set up telescopes in Haley Park behind the planetarium for visitors to look at select celestial objects. Star parties are held approximately monthly on the Friday nearest the first-quarter moon, following the evening Planetarium show. For a schedule and more information, see our Star Party page. NOTE: Public star parties are currently being held at Lancaster Park in Midland.
Most of our members live in the city, and the Public Star Party is held in the city. Once in a while it's nice to get out away from the lights of the city to the dark skies of West Texas. The West Texas Astronomers have a "dark sky site" where we can do just that. Faint nebulae, distant galaxies, and meteor showers are observed under optimal conditions. Members often combine cameras with telescopes to produce spectacular astrophotographs. The Observing Sessions are not open to the public, though members can invite friends and potential new members.
Are There Any Other Activities?In addition to the meetings, star parties, and observing sessions, the club also plans several special events throughout the year. Some are annual events, while others are scheduled as needed. The usual special events are:
Are There Other Membership Benefits?
Additional benefits of membership include the club newsletter AstroNews, Astronomical League membership and Reflector newsletter, discounts for both Astronomy Magazine and Sky & Telescope Magazine, discounts on club T-shirts, patches, and more!
How Do I Get Involved?
Anyone with an interest in astronomy or the night sky can join the West Texas Astronomers. Just visit the Planetarium, or come to any meeting or club sponsored event and speak with an officer. Membership dues of $20 per year include all benefits. Or you can print out a copy of the Membership Form and send it in.
See You Under The Stars!