ASSNE - Astronomical Society of Southern New England
This is an organization that meets at the Carpenter Museum in Rehoboth Mass. They typically meet the second saturday of each month. I recently had the chance to stop by one of their meetings and was pleasantly surprised. They were having a special event night and there were a whole lot of people there. All the telescopes were out and there was a series of presentations about astronomy and telescopes. Overall my impression of the club is that it is very vibrant and active.
I really had a good time and let me give you a quick overview of some of the telescopes.
There were a whole bunch of telescopes out for people to look at and to look through and I spent a lot of time talking to various people about their scopes. I also did some peeking through the scopes. I viewed the moon, M13 and M31. The sky was clear but the moon was near full so viewing wasn't optimal.
There were some Meades and Celestrons (the largest of which was an eight inch. And there were some nice refractors including a pretty darn nice 5 inch. I think it was an Orion. And there were a few different Dobsonians, the largest of which was 16 inches. Pretty nice! There was also a home made dobsonion that I really want to talk about. It was totally homemade. And by home made I mean that the owner of the scope even ground and figured the mirror! Pretty nice accomplishment. Particularly considering that the primary was 12.5 inches in diameter! The builder told me that it took him about 200 hours to finish that mirror! Wow, that is a serious accomplishment.
Anyhoo. On my dream list is a 14 inch Celestron and there wasn't one there on this particular evening so I will keep looking. But, I thought I overheard someone say something about there being one in the club!
Thoughts - This is an active astronomy club and they seem to have a lot of fun. They are interested in Self building of telescopes and they really seem to have a passion for astro-photography. Nice! YOu can check out their website here: ASSNE.org
The Sidewalk Astronomers - This is the organization founded by John Dobson himself.