The Salt Lake Astronomical Society, or SLAS, is a nonprofit corporation formed in the state of Utah, composed of about two hundred members wishing to enjoy "the pleasures and benefits of an association of persons interested in astronomy; promote the science... ;" and "encourage and coordinate activities with professional research" The Society was first organized on July 29, 1971 and reorganized in 1979 and is governed by a constitution and yearly elected Board of Directors consisting of a president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, and two members at-large.
To become a member of SLAS, a yearly fee is paid to the secretary/treasurer. Activities and resources are available to current members. Membership includes a bimonthly newsletter and membership in the Astronomical League. Members may also enjoy discounts on magazine subscriptions, and other astronomy items through SLAS.
Meetings are held monthly, and are open to the public. General Meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of each month. They begin at 7:30 p.m., ending at approximately 9:00 p.m. A topic and speaker or other activity is held each month except December, when the annual Solstice Celebration/Party replaces the meeting. Meeting are currently held at the Salt Lake County Goverment Center 2001 South State Street, SLC, UT in the North Building on the 1st floor where the Salt Lake County Council meets. Look for the room with the large glass windows. There is plenty of free parking in the parking terraces on the east side of the complex. The Board meets 45 minutes prior to the general meeting.
The NOVA is a publication of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society. It is a bimonthly newsletter which contains minutes of General and Board Meetings, Board member names and telephone numbers, activities, reports, calendars, and new member information. It also announces special events and dates such as speakers, field trips and conventions. The Nova may contain advertising of equipment for sale, etc. The deadline for submitting information or articles to the newsletter is usually the last week in February, April, August, October, and December.
The editor(s) of the NOVA is (are) appointed by the Board and may serve until replaced or resignation. The editor(s) may be Board members, and publication of the NOVA lies within the responsibility of the vice president. If you wish to help with publication, or have suggestions or submissions, please contact the vice president, a Board member, or the NOVA Editor(s).
Members are encouraged to contribute items and participate in
PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES
Advance Training or Social Hour
Assets of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society:
Telescopes (Use privileges available to members of at least 30
Equipment and accessories (Available to members, special training, conditions
and fees apply.)
YEARLY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Public Star Parties
Public Sun Parties
Private SLAS Star Parties
Special Star Parties
A Winter Solstice party is held in December. The time and place are announced in the NOVA and at meetings. Reservations are required. Funding comes in part from membership dues. Contest prizes are awarded and entertainment provided. The Solstice party committee oversees the event.
An Astronomy Picture Contest is sponsored yearly and open to members. Rules and categories are announced in the NOVA and a contest chairperson is appointed. A monthly astronomy picture contest is also held at each general meeting.
The Messier Marathon is held during the month of March on or near new moon, the best time to observe all Messier objects in one night. The event is generally held at SPOC, and those wishing to participate sometimes observe until sunrise. The 16" telescope is sometimes utilized. Members are encouraged to use private telescopes as well. An alternate evening is chosen in case of poor weather. This is a private SLAS event and is not advertised to the public.
Slastrofest may be held yearly at a remote site and is primarily organized for new members who get basic instruction in general astronomy, telescope and equipment usage, astrophotography, and other elements of amateur observing from experienced members. This helps make star gazing more fun.
National Astronomy Day is held in April or May. Activities may be planned as a daytime event for the public, and is generally followed by an evening star party. Contact the Board for more information.
Space Week is a yearly event celebrating the Lunar Landing in 1969. When activities are planned, members may be asked to assist with public information or a booth at a designated site.
Miscellaneous other events may be planned by SLAS or
science organizations when astronomical events take place (such as eclipses,
comets, impacts and grazing events).
Each year the Society sponsors an astronomical contest for members, and occasionally permit entries from nonmembers as well. The rules are distributed in the NOVA or at meetings toward the beginning of the observing season (March), and members are encouraged to participate. No registration is required until submission of entries, usually in November. There may be an entry fee, based on the yearly budget and at the discretion of the contest chairperson.
Prizes in various categories are awarded at the December Solstice party, and include a certificate of award. Depending on the budget, the party chairperson may also award gifts or cash. Participants are encouraged to display entries for the Society at the party or the November meeting prior to the ceremony. Contestants need not be present to win.
Various categories are decided upon prior to the beginning of the
contest. Participants may enter more than one category, and may wish to advise
the contest chairperson of special arrangements that are needed for display or
return of entries. Categories in the past have included colored and
black-and-white astrophotography of stellar or planetary objects; astronomical
art; observing program; telescope or equipment design and construction,
NEW MEMBER SURVEY - Please note this survey will be available to fill out online soon.
To better serve the membership of SLAS, please complete the following survey and return it to:
* What was the main reason or reasons you joined the organization? (Use 1
for the most important, 2 for next important, etc. Fill in "other" if not
* What are your main interests as an amateur astronomer. (Use 1 for the
* What is your present knowledge of astronomy and related sciences?
* Would you like to get involved as a volunteer on committees, at star
* What can this organization do to improve the experience of new members?