The Association was founded early in 1999 by a small group of local amateur astronomers who recognised the need for an active group operating in the Falkirk area. An exhibition, held in a local hotel, had an encouraging turnout confirming that there was interest in the area for an astronomical group. The Association now has a membership of nearly 40.
Currently annual subscriptions are Â£10 for adults, Â£5 for Juniors and Â£16 for Families. The Association magazine, â€œAd Astraâ€ (To The Stars), is published quarterly. You can become an Associate Member and receive at least 4 issues of "Ad Astra" plus any other newsletters issued to members. Click here for application form.
Memberâ€™s nights are usually held on the second Wednesday of the month in the Old Peoplesâ€™ Welfare Hall, Laurieston, near Falkirk, (Click here for map) except for June and July, when there is a recess. Meetings commence at 7.30pm (doors open around 7pm) and finish around 10.00pm. These cover discussion of events of current interest, reports from the Committee, followed by the main event of the evening which is a presentation by an Association member or Guest Speaker describing a topic of general interest. Observing equipment is always available to use after the meetings, but weather conditions are rarely favourable, unfortunately!
Weather permitting, sessions are usually held ad hoc at various dark sites and arrange by the members themselves. For special observations we will notify members and advertise in the local press. We do not have a permanent observatory as yet, until then we make do with our own â€˜scopes having apertures of between 4â€ and 8â€ and of various optical designs.
We are active in giving talks on astronomy to local community groups, such as the Scouts and Guides, and as a source of astronomical information to the local media. We hold free exhibitions at frequent intervals to promote amateur astronomy in the local community. An annual Astronomy Weekend is held in Glen Lyon, Perthshire, which is always well attended and voted a great success. The Association also played a significant part in the very successful first Scottish AstroFest, held in Wigtown in November 2000. We have close ties with the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and the Stirling Astronomical Society and joint meetings are usually held during the year.