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Last Updated:
December 27, 2007



About the Minnesota Astronomical Society

[Note: This section is currently under construction.  The information supplied is summarized from a chronology MAS member Carl Harstad prepared and published in the April, 1992 issue of Gemini.  More information is needed for the period May 1981 to February 1988.  Individuals with information about this period are encouraged to contact the web master so this gap can be filled.]


November 21, 1972 Ten people interested in forming an astronomy club meet in the St. Paul Arts and Science Center at the invitation of Jim Fox, then-president of the 3M Club Astronomy Society.  A regular monthly meeting is scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month at 7:15 p.m. at the Science Museum of Minnesota.  The 'Twin Cities Astronomy Club' is selected as the name for the new group, edging out 'Skyprobe' by a narrow margin.  Those present donate $11.50, from which $3.64 is spent for a rubber stamp and $2.80 for postage, leaving the club with a balance of $5.06.


February 13, 1973 The club adopts its first constitution citing its purpose as: 'increasing observational capabilities of its members; establishing information resources--especially a library--and sharing of information among the membership; promoting community knowledge about and involvement in amateur astronomy; and, creating good fellowship through mutual interest in astronomy.'  Dues are set at $15 per year for regular members and $5 for students.


March 6, 1973 Elections are conducted with 40 voting members.  Jim Witzany is elected as the club's first President.  John Botkin and Doug Tweet are elected to the position of 'Student Chairman'.  (In the early days of the TCAC, students had their own board, reporting to the regular board of directors.)


September 1973 TCAC offers its members discounted subscriptions to Sky & Telescope magazine.


October 2, 1973 Membership in the TCAC is 17 regular members and 19 student members.

Members are introduced to a new magazine, Astronomy, costing $12 per year.

The TCAC joins the Astronomical League.


June 21, 1974 The club conducts a star party at Metcalf Nature Center.  The big attraction--a 14" Celestron SCT.


April, 1976 Volume 1, number 1 of the club's publication, GEMINI, is delivered to members.  The first issue is 10 pages in length.


August 6, 1976 The student section of the TCAC is disbanded due to lack of interest.


January 1, 1980 The TCAC is renamed the 'Minnesota Astronomical Society', and a new constitution is adopted.  

Membership: 86.


July 1980 The Society purchases the 16-inch, Group 128 cassegrain telescope from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.


August 15, 1980 Seven members move the 16-inch telescope from Duluth to the Twin Cities.


May 1, 1981 The Society hosts the annual convention of the North Central Region of the Astronomical League.



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