About | History | Membership | Joining | Contacting | Facilities

About the AAAP

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Inc. (AAAP) has promoted popular astronomy in western Pennsylvania for over seventy five years. With over 500 members, it is one of the larger astronomy clubs in the nation. At monthly meetings (open to the public, see the current club calendar for time and place) we announce upcoming celestial events such as meteor showers, comets, occultations, and rare planetary alignments. We also share observations and techniques so that all members may benefit from the experiences. Each meeting also features a special speaker, sometimes an AAAP member, but also outside experts from various fields. Past speakers have presented topics including meteorite hunting in Antarctica, cosmological modeling using supercomputers, and astrophotography with exotic equipment such as dry-ice cameras.

Club members have been involved in many projects in both the astronomical and general communities. Recent accomplishments include the installation of an official Pennsylvania Historic Marker honoring the location of the first ever astronomical dome constructed from aluminum, the naming of an asteroid after the co-founder of the AAAP, making area zoning boards and other officials aware of the need for careful design and installation of nighttime lighting for schools, malls, and housing to avoid adversely affecting the visibility of the night time sky (Light Pollution).

Education of the general public in the science and hobby of astronomy has always been a prime focus of the AAAP. Through public Star Parties at the Wagman Observatory and at Mingo Creek Park Observatory, lectures at area bookstores and nature centers, and scheduled classes; AAAP members spread the word about the fascinating and inspiring wonders in the nighttime sky.

The membership of the AAAP includes many experienced observers and telescope makers. AAAP'ers contribute articles to magazines and several have written astronomy books. Our members are interviewed by the local news media during unusual celestial events, and teach adult education courses in astronomy. Many staff members of Allegheny Observatory, Carnegie Science Center and the science departments of district universities are members of the club. Several AAAP members have notable discoveries to their credit, and the club is proud to have one of the largest number of Messier Certificates in the country (awarded for observing a large and diverse number of distant celestial objects), a clear sign of our members' skill at the telescope. And the influence of the AAAP extends into the solar system: seven members have asteroids named for them!


The AAAP was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1929 by Leo Scanlon and Chester B. Roe. It was founded with the express purpose "to promote the interests that are common to amateur astronomers, and the advancement of the science of astronomy through public education programs and scientific research." The AAAP has seen a recent surge in membership in the last several years owing to two extraterrestrial visitors (comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp), several exciting, successful, and highly publicized NASA space programs, and the warm charm of the members.


There are no technical qualifications for AAAP membership. The club includes salesmen, nurses, mechanics, homemakers, teachers, retirees, etc., as well as professional scientists. Students at all levels are welcome and age is no barrier; the AAAP includes teenagers through centenarians.

Benefits of membership

What does it cost?

Membership fees for 2013 are:
Adult regular membership: $30
Student membership: $20
Family membership: $45

Members can subscribe to the national magazines "Astronomy" and "Sky & Telescope" (some at a discount rate). Here are some general descriptions of the magazines from our members:

Joining the AAAP

If you would like to join the AAAP select the New Members form from the links below for a membership application. Print the application, complete it, and send to the address listed on the form. Existing members should use the Renewal form provided below to renew.

New Members AAAP New Membership Form
Renewing Members AAAP Membership Renewal Form 2014

Contacting the AAAP

Mailing Address Phone Number
Electronic Mail
AAAP, Inc.
P.O. Box 314
Glenshaw, PA 15116
(724) 224-2510 Wagman Observatory
(724) 348-6150 Mingo Creek Park Observatory