When you join the Society for Popular Astronomy, you’ll become part of a club of like-minded enthusiasts. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner and afraid that it will all be above you! We were all beginners once, and it is our special role to guide the novice and help them enjoy stargazing and appreciate their Universe.
Popular Astronomy magazine: Our bright, informative magazine Popular Astronomy arrives at your door every two months, giving you the very latest in news, from professional observatories and space missions to our own observing sections. It’s more than just another astronomy magazine – it’s your magazine, full of interesting material from our team of expert writers and from other members.
Get news of big discoveries with our members-only Newsletter: Our email Newsletters – sent to members only – provide a quick means of sending out news, from the latest celestial discoveries to SPA info. When there’s a bright nova, supernova, comet, or even an aurora, we’ll tell you, often within hours of the discovery. All members whose email addresses we hold can receive these newsletters, and can unsubscribe at any time.
Contribute to our observing campaigns: Whatever your observing interest, there’s a section to suit you. Get expert advice from our section directors, send in your observations for comment, or just see what others have been looking at. There are nine separate sections, for The Sun, the Moon, Planets, Meteors, Variable Stars, Deep Sky objects, Aurorae and Noctilucent Cloud, Comets, and Occultations. Find out more about these campaigns here.
Meetings and events: As a member you can attend our regular meetings, held every three months on Saturday afternoons in London, with occasional extra dates in other cities. You’ll hear talks from the country’s top astronomers, both amateur and professional, and meet fellow enthusiasts. There are special meetings from time to time. And if you can’t get to meetings, there’s a report published in Popular Astronomy and you can view videos of most meetings on this website.
Every 18 months, we also hold a very popular, day-long Convention, usually at Cambridge, where you can see the work of the sections and hear talks about a wide variety of topics.
Helpful courses: Want more individual help? We arrange enjoyable weekend courses, too, at which you’ll get to meet other astronomers, hear talks and even observe, if it’s clear. Plus there are occasional day-long Starting from Scratch workshops aimed at beginners.
Young Stargazers: If you’re under 15, there’s an SPA zone just for you! You get all the benefits of being an SPA member, but at reduced cost, plus the exclusive Young Stargazers file. There are special pages in Popular Astronomy for youngsters, including exciting projects and things to make and do. And you’ll get extra mailings each year with information specially for kids.
Get help and advice: We support our members with helpful advice on many aspects of astronomy, including choosing a telescope, photographing the sky, tackling light pollution, and even taking an astronomy GCSE.
Discount scheme: Joining the SPA can save you money! Membership entitles you to discounts on a wide range of astronomy goods and services from many of the UK’s leading telescope suppliers, along with discounted admission into a number of scientific and astronomy centres around the country.