The only thing better than pursuing the hobby of astronomy, is sharing your interest with other like minded enthusiasts. Consider joining the Omaha Astronomical Society!
The Omaha Astronomical Society Meets Every First Friday at 7:30 PM at UNO in the Durham Science Center Room 169. Where holidays interfere or other special events merit, meetings may be re-scheduled. See the club calendar for specific dates and times.
Meetings Are Open To The Public!
The Omaha Astronomical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which has essentially been in existence for over 76 years. Conceived in 1938, the original name for the club was "Great Plains Astronomy Club" and it included the Omaha and the Lincoln areas. The club met in the Knights of Columbus building at 20th and Dodge.
After World War II, membership grew, primarily due to the country's fascination with space movies such as "Journey To The Moon" and The Day The Earth Stood Still" and a host of others, most too bad to be mentioned. These movies spawned an interest in UFO's and many people that went searching for these elusive "little green men" naturally began to show an interest in the cosmos. Another factor that led to the national growth of amateur astronomy clubs, as well as our own, was the abundance of cheap surplus materials that could be used to make telescopes. A number of catalogue outlets also sprung up, offering a host of astronomy-related items. In 1962, the club had grown so much that it was no longer reasonable for the club to continue serving both geographical areas. Club President Evelyn Hines founded the Omaha Astronomical Society as a non-profit organization. The club met at a member-owned observatory near Gretna, Nebraska for several years. In the mid-1970's, the club purchased a tract of land near Weeping Water, Nebraska. Since the purchase, several observatory buildigs and concrete pads have been built for the use and enjoyment of our club members. Currently, The Omaha Astronomical Society boasts nearly 100 active members. We are active in the promotion of astronomy education and public awareness.
The club enjoys a good relationship with the Lincoln club, known as "The Prairie Astronomy Club", and we share in many activities such as public star-parties at Mahoney State Park and we co-sponsor the annual "Nebraska Star Party", that is held in at Merritt Reservoir, near Valentine Nebraska. This event draws amateurs from all over the country.
OAS holds monthly Star Parties (outdoor observing sessions) at the club's rural observing site near Weeping Water, Nebraska (weather permitting). These events allow members and guests to use our 4+ acres for the pure enjoyment of Astronomy. The site contains several member-owned observing buildings and concrete observing pads that allow the members to observe faint deep-sky objects, planets and the Moon without the blinding city lights.
In addition to the Weeping Water site, OAS provides assistants for observing sessions at the Kountze Planetarium at UNO.