The Raleigh Astronomy Club (RAC) is a 501(c)(3) North Carolina non-profit organization that was founded in 1978 to foster education and interest in astronomy in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area. Membership in the Raleigh Astronomy Club is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. There are no requirements for any equipment or expertise in science or astronomy, only an interest in the night sky.
RAC provides educational lectures, facilitates observing sessions, conducts public observing sessions, astronomy workshops, and enables social connections for amateurs to learn more about astronomy and to enhance their enjoyment of the hobby. All age groups are represented and RAC welcomes family involvement, although there is no children's program at this time.
RAC regularly schedules sessions to help the general public learn more about astronomy or using a telescope. For more information see the Learning Astronomy page.
Several times a year RAC schedules observing sessions for the general public, where members provide their telescopes and expertise in showing the sun, moon, planets, and deep-sky objects.
The Club also co-hosts the annual Astronomy Days event in conjunction with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Astronomy Days attracts over 12,000 people annually.
RAC normally has two meetings every month. One meeting is an indoor meeting, held on the second or fourth Thursday of the month, where members share their astronomical interests, listen to guest lecturers, and learn about club activities. Indoor meetings occur at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at 7:00PM. The other meeting is an observation session at various dark sky sites on the second or fourth Friday of the month, dependent on the moon phase). Please note that observing sesisons are dependent on the weather. For more information see the Meetings page.
In addition, RAC has special interest groups that meet separately to discuss particular aspects of amateur astronomy, such as astronomical imaging (astrophotography). For more information see the Meetings page.
Membership in the Raleigh Astronomy Club provides further benefits, such as use of Club owned telescopes and access to the Club's observing site for impromptu observing sessions. For more information see the Membership page.