One of the goals of the Midlands Astronomy Club is to help promote Astronomy education and awareness throughout the community. To acheive this goal, members of the club regularly participate in outreach events tailored to the general public as well as local schools and other groups. For a list of upcoming events, please refer to our Calendar of Events.
planets for the people
Planets for the People, in coordination with the South Carolina State Museum, is a regular public outreach program hosted by MAC and the State Museum. Members of the club will set up several telescopes at various locations throughout the Columbia, SC area to allow passersby to observe the Sun, Moon and any planets that may be visible. Previous locations have included Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Ale House, Mellow Mushroom in the Vista, and Chick-fil-A on Harbison Blvd. Refer to our Calendar of Events for the next Planets for the People event.
The Midland's Astronomy Club Educational Programs and Information Committee (MAC EPIC) was started in 1989 by members particularly interested in sharing their knowledge and love of astronomy with local schools and other groups. When you schedule an event with MAC, members will bring telescopes to your site for night observations. Solar observations and slide programs can also be arranged upon request.
Just like everything else nowadays, Astronomy has its day! Many clubs all across the United States celebrate Astronomy Day sometime in the Spring by holding a special program or observation, and for many years, MAC has participated in Astronomy Day.
A typical setup includes displaying several telescopes, so the public can learn about the different types of scopes. We may also have astrophotographs (taken by members) displayed along with star charts, so folks can see where some of the photographed objects are located in the sky. Members will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions about Astronomy and our club. There will be lots of informative handouts (Buying Your First Telescope, Star Chart/Sky Calendar, catalogs, etc.) as well as some neat demos.
Stay tuned for details for the next Astronomy Day.
Special Observing Events
While we certainly encourage folks to enjoy the night sky any time, there are certain celestial events that are easier seen with a telescope. When those events (eclipses, transits, bright comet, etc.) are visible over SC, MAC will sometimes organize a special public observing event. Details about any special events will be posted on the homepage.