Sangamon Astronomical Society

Home of the Illinois Dark Sky Star Party

IDSSP 2015


Illinois Dark Skies Star Party


September 10 – 13, 2015


Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area


Observer oriented – Dark skies – Great facilities – Fantastic food


Illinois parks, recreation and wildlife areas are a great location for stargazing and
the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area is one of the best
Click here for registration information.

The 2014 IDSSP and guests were a featured part of a video created and produced by the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources:



S.A.S. Welcomes You

S.A.S. – Lamphier Observatory    

 N 39D 52′ 00.75″      W 89D 54′ 04.72″      



The Sangamon Astronomical Society is a registered not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising the public’s awareness about the science of astronomy and to increasing the interest of astronomical science to education in the Springfield area.  We aim our telescopes and intentions on developing friendships based upon a hobby that engages the mind and raises the appreciation of the universe around us.  S.A.S. origins date back to 1953 when six local amateur astronomers decided to formally organize and offer regularly scheduled public meetings.  The monthly Member Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month and begin at 7pm.  Emails are sent to all members prior to a monthly meeting announcing the meeting’s location.  These monthly meetings have continued in various places throughout the years.  S.A.S. is available for public presentations to groups of all sizes.  Sharing astronomy is not only part of the hobby, it’s our mission.  For further information of our organization contact us at our email   Applicants for membership  Click Here to print a membership form.


The S.A.S. is a member of the Astronomical League, a national association of member societies that all have the same mission – to promote the science of astronomy in the community.  The Astronomical League is made up of over 200 member amateur organizations from the United States and individual members-at-large from around the world.


Sangamon Astronomical Society is also proud to be a member of the Night Sky Network, an educational outreach program sponsored by NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratories and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.  The purpose of this program and one of the functions of our organization as well, is to make public observing nights available for the public and area school programs introducing the night sky and astronomy to those interested.

See the International Space Station (ISS)



Spot The Space Station Over Your Backyard With New NASA Service


 On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the  International Space Station, NASA announced  Friday a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when it passes overhead. “Spot the Station” will send an email  or text message to those who sign up for the service a few hours before they will be able to see the space station.


When the space station is visible — typically at dawn and dusk — it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus. “Spot the Station” users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings.


The International Space Station’s trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth’s population. The service is designed to only notify users of passes that are high enough in the sky to be easily visible over trees, buildings and other objects on the horizon. NASA’s Johnson Space Center calculates the sighting information several times a week for more than 4,600 locations worldwide, all of which are available on “Spot the Station.”


To sign up for “Spot the Station”, visit:


This service will only notify you of “good” sighting opportunities – that is, sightings that are high enough in the sky (40 degrees or more) and last long enough to give you the best view of the orbiting laboratory. This will be anywhere from once or twice a week to once or twice a month, depending on the space station’s orbit.


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