Who we are:

We are people of all ages who are interested in the science of astronomy. While many are accomplished observers and astrophotographers, others are new to the hobby. LCAS tries to respond to all levels of interest. Various members own large telescopes, some of which they've built themselves from scratch. On the other hand, some members don't own any telescope at all, but simply enjoy observing the night sky with their unaided eyes.

Membership benefits include:

  • Field trips to local planetaria and observatories
  • Observing sessions at designated LCAS dark-sky sites
  • Annual trips to the Southwest for very dark sky observing
  • Help in acquiring telescopes and guidance in using them
  • Support for activities of the International Dark Sky Association
  • Monthly newsletter (Sample LCAS NightTimes (PDF))
  • Discounted subscriptions to various astronomy-related periodicals
  • Use of the club's rental telescopes
  • Access to books and computer programs in the LCAS library
  • Mentoring for members who are new to the club or new to astronomy
  • Use of the LCAS Yahoo User Group

How to learn more about LCAS:

Everyone is invited to attend our meetings. (Map and directions.) If you decide to join, the dues are $20.00 a year. This is a flat rate for individuals and families. You do not need to become a member to attend the meetings; they are always open to the public.

You need not be very knowledgeable in astronomy to join LCAS. But you'll find that as your knowledge grows, you'll derive great satisfaction from this oldest of sciences, which is as up-to-date as the latest space-age technology. Moreover, astronomy is probably the only science where an amateur can make a positive contribution through careful observations.

Send your questions about joining to the Membership Chairman.

General questions and comments may be sent to the Publicity Chariman.

Also see our application for Astronomy Magazine's outreach contest (8 MB PDF). It provides a good summary of our activities in 2010.

LCAS is a contributor to the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast.

How to join:

Please contact the Membership chair at one of our meetings, or by phone, and send him a filled out Membership Application (PDF) at membership@lcas-astronomy.org. He will give you access to the Yahoo! web site and mailing list.

Then send (or give) the dues to the treasurer The dues cover January - December. The dues are are also payable via Paypal on our Join page. If joining in the middle of the year be sure to check the prorated dues schedule.

Frequently asked questions:

What if I don't own a telescope?
No problem! LCAS is the perfect place to look through other members' scopes before buying your own. There are also some basic telescopes owned by the club that members may rent for a nominal fee.

What if I join in the middle of the year?
If you join in July-December the dues are 50% of the yearly rate. See the PayPal page for the prorate dues schedule.

Does the club have an observing site?
Yes. We have a site on private land near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

Does the club have an observatory?

Can the public observe with the club?
Yes. Weather permitting, there is a star party after every public meeting. Also see our Astronomy Under The City Lights program.