The 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. Please use Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software to open the form which can be printed and completed by hand. This version can be completed on-screen, printed, and returned with dues payment. Membership applications may be mailed in or returned with dues payment at a regular club meeting.
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 consortium of amateur astronomer associations sponsoring conventions each summer.
CAA Mailing Address:
Cuyahoga Astronomical Association
PO Box 868
North Olmsted, OH 44070-0868
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 lecture 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.” The program is followed by a refreshment and social break to discuss astronomical issues with other members, and the evening concludes with a membership business meeting. Information on monthly meetings, speakers, and current astronomical events are described in the CAA newsletter, “The Observer,” and on this Web site.
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.
Our most outstanding public events?
- Event with largest number of scopes: 2012 Transit of Venus Edgewater (counted 40)
- Event with largest attendance: 2017 Solar Eclipse at Edgewater Park (10,000 est)
- Longest duration of public event: 2005 Astronomy Day at NASA Glenn Research Center — 9:00 AM – 11:59 PM. (20+ scopes with 4,500 people attending!)
- Possibly most extreme conditions: 1985-1986 apparition of Comet 1P/Halley at Cleveland Metroparks’ Hinckley Reservation, about 4:00 AM, temperature about 0 degrees, snow on the ground, an estimated 1,300 attended.
- Largest, unexpected attendance: 2003 Mars party at Huntington Beach (15 telescopes for 200 people; 3,000 attended and another 3,000 people never found parking. Cleveland Metroparks rangers and Bay Village police proclaimed largest traffic-jam in Bay History!)
- 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 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
CAA members who are interested in observing in the Cleveland Metroparks and/or Medina Parks after normal park hours may do so so long as they are paid-up members with membership cards to display to park officials. We must notify the park rangers at least 24 hours in advance of our intent to be in the park observing the stars. Members must have their CAA membership card with them on site. If several members are going to the same site at the same time, one member must have contacted the rangers.
All Cleveland Metroparks areas are covered by our permit. Here are some favorites:
- Frostville Museum Field — Rocky River
- Lewis Road Riding Ring — Rocky River
- Wolf Picnic Area — Lake Erie Nature & Science Center
- Meadows Picnic Area — Brecksville
- Top 0′ Ledges Picnic Area — Hinckley
Medina County Park District areas covered by our permit:
- Letha House Barn
Those wishing to view in park areas not covered by our permits may contact the parks directly and arrange for access. 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 Park District about extending the use of our blanket permit.