About Us / Membership

Image: Logo of the Cuyahoga Astronomical AssociationThe Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) is a nonprofit organization established in 1957. Its purpose is to organize local amateur astronomers and to promote the science of astronomy to its members and the general public.

CAA membership is open to the public. There are no special requirements to join, only an interest and desire to learn more about issues astronomical and to share that learning with others. Click here for our membership form in PDF. The membership form is now “fillable,” meaning it can be opened and filled in on a computer or tablet. Use the Web browser’s PDF plug-in or download and open using PDF reading software. Print the completed form and mail or return to a club meeting with dues payment.

The CAA is ideally suited for the average person, offering the beginner of all ages a way to stay informed of the latest developments in the world’s oldest science.

Our members range from junior high school students to senior citizens. CAA expertise runs the gamut from beginner to professional astronomer.

The CAA is also a charter member of the Ohio Turnpike Astronomers Association (OTAA), a statewide consortium of amateur astronomer associations sponsoring conventions each summer.

CAA Mailing Address:
Cuyahoga Astronomical Association
PO Box 868
North Olmsted, OH 44070-0868

Email the Webmaster

Monthly Meetings

Our monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of every month (except December) at 7:30 PM at the Rocky River Nature Center; 24000 Valley Parkway; North Olmsted, Ohio, in the Cleveland Metroparks. Meetings begin with a brief business meeting followed by a refreshment and social break to discuss astronomical issues with other members. A lecture is presented by a CAA member or invited guest on subjects ranging from “Astronomy on the Internet” to “Amateur Telescope Making” or “Updates on Space Exploration Activities.” Information on monthly meetings, speakers, and current astronomical events are described in the CAA newsletter, The Observer, and on this Web site.

Image: Night Sky NetworkPublic Programs & Star Parties

Our programs are open to the general public. The programs are usually held in one of the Cleveland Metroparks or Medina County Metropark System, and at our observatory outside Spencer, Ohio. The programs typically begin with a presentation of an astronomy-related subject. Following the program, a star party is held (weather permitting).

So, what’s a star party? Many times during the year, and following public programs, members of the CAA bring their telescopes out and allow the general public to view lunar, planetary, and deep sky objects. It is a great opportunity to look through different telescopes and compare them.

Membership Includes:

  • A subscription to the CAA monthly newsletter, The Observer (optional extra cost for printed edition vs. online access)
  • Group discounts on subscriptions to Sky & Telescope, and Astronomy magazines, the Observer’s Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and other special offers
  • Access to CAA loaner telescopes and the CAA Library
  • Access to the CAA Observatory and its telescopes (once trained)
  • Advice and assistance from experienced amateur astronomers, many of whom are also members of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO is not for the dogs!), the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), or the Astronomical League

Telescope loan policy

Our policy is to loan certain club-owned telescopes to our members. To borrow a telescope, a club member must be up-to-date with club dues and agree to abide by this policy: Telescopes are loaned out on a first come, first served basis. Telescopes are loaned for a period of two months, however, if no other member requests the loaned out telescope, a member can continue to use it until someone else requests it or the person wishes to return it. At the end of the loan period, the person borrowing the telescope agrees to return it to the club at a normally scheduled general meeting. Please notify a club officer prior to returning a telescope as size impacts transportation requirements. Telescopes are loaned through club officers, board members, or the Observatory Director in order to track the telescopes and train individuals in their use. Wear and tear of telescopes beyond normal use is the responsibility of the person borrowing the telescope and such person agrees to make restitution to the club. Note that misuse may impact future use of club telescopes and equipment. The club will publish a list of telescopes available, the member borrowing it, and the loan and due dates. This information is published in the Observer and posted on our club web site to help track the equipment as well as notify all members of its availability.

Note: All individuals require training prior to accepting a telescope. Telescopes identified with an asterisk (*) require demonstrated skill prior to the telescope being loaned. Use of telescopes is at the user’s own risk.

Metroparks permits

CAA members who are interested in observing in the Cleveland Metroparks and/or Medina Parks after normal park hours may pick up copies of the CAA blanket permits from the CAA secretary. Please leave your name as you pick up your copy of our permit. Those using copies of our permits must notify the park rangers at least 24 hours in advance of their intent to be in the park observing the stars, as is stated on the permit. Park rules and regulations are listed on the reverse side of each permit copy. Members must have a copy of the permit with them on site. If several members are going to the same site at the same time, one member must have contacted the rangers and have a copy of the permit on site.
All Cleveland Metroparks areas are covered by our permit. Here are some favorites:

  1. Frostville Museum Field — Rocky River
  2. Lewis Road Riding Ring — Rocky River
  3. Wolf Picnic Area — Lake Erie Nature & Science Center
  4. Meadows Picnic Area — Brecksville
  5. Top 0′ Ledges Picnic Area — Hinckley

Medina County Park District areas covered by our permit:

  1. Letha House Barn

Those wishing to view in park areas not covered by our permits may contact the parks directly and arrange for their own permit. If a group of members wishes to observe in an area not covered by our permits, one may contact the CAA and we will contact the metroparks about extending the use of our blanket permit.

2 Responses to About Us / Membership

  1. Edwina Litherland says:

    Hello CAA,
    My 12 year old daughter is interested in learning about astronomy. We bought her a 6 inch reflector telescope for Christmas. We are very green, but are eager to learn. I see we missed the January meeting. Can you tell me where the next meeting in February will be held. It listed multiple sites. Where do we go to get the permit to be in the park? It said to pick it up from the secretary. I only see a p.o.box address. If there is an age-related group for teens etc, I think we would be interested. We appreciate any information you can share with us.

    • Webmaster says:

      Hello. Meetings are open to the public and require no permit for attendance; the Nature Center is kept open for this indoor “after-hours” activity. Attendees should not bring telescopes to meetings except for special programs — meetings are not observing sessions. The CAA’s meetings take place on the second Monday night of every month except December. Starting time at the Rocky River Nature Center is 7:30 PM. There is no separate “youth” or “teen” subgroup; members and guests represent a wide range of ages and every level of astronomy experience from rank beginner to professional. Your 12-year-old is welcome to attend with her parent or adult caregiver. — JG

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