The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club (CVAC) was formed in 1976 by a group of astronomy enthusiasts from Catawba and surrounding counties. CVAC was chartered as a non-profit corporation in 2002.
The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club, (CVAC) is a non-profit 501 c(3) organization, an association of individuals sincerely
interested in Amateur Astronomy.
The goals of this organization are:
to contribute to the advancement of the science of Astronomy
to encourage and coordinate the activities of amateur astronomical societies
to promote observational and computational studies
to develop craftsmanship in the various fields of Astronomy
and to correlate amateur activities with professional research
CVAC membership is open to all persons without regard to race, creed, sex, or national origin. Voting members must be at least 16 years of age. An existing knowledge or skill in astronomy, or the possession of astronomical instruments, equipment or facilities, is NOT required for membership.
Individual membership is $15 per year, payable in January of each year. Individual members age 16 and over receive ONE vote.
Family membership is $20 per year, payable in January of each year. Each member in a family over age 16 receives ONE vote.
New INDIVIDUAL members may join at a pro-rated rate.
Click HERE to download a membership application
The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. In case of snow, the meeting will be postponed until the following week, at the scheduled location (see below) at the scheduled time. The December Christmas dinner meeting is usually scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
We alternate our meeting locations in three month blocks, between the Catawba Science Center in Hickory and the Lucile Miller Observatory in Maiden. We do this as a courtesy to members from other counties and because Miller Observatory is difficult to heat in the winter and cool in the summer.
Meeting locations and driving directions are:
March, April, May, September, October, and November -
Lucile Miller Observatory, Maiden Middle School (the old High School), Maiden NC. Click Here for driving directions.
June, July, August, December, January, and February -
Catawba Science Center and Millholland Planetarium, Hickory, NC. Click Here for Info about the Sciene Center
Club members picnic each summer or fall, dates and locations to be determined. CVAC provides hamburgers and hotdogs and fixings. Members bring side items and drinks.
Annual Christmas dinner meeting on the 2nd Thursday of December, at 7:00 p.m., usually at the Science Center. Members bring covered dishes.
Election of club officers and directors at the January meeting.
Club members are eligible for discouts to Astronomy Magazine, Sky and Telescope Magazine, and Astronomy Calendars
Qualified club members may volunteer as planetarium presenters on weekends at the Millholland Planetarium at Catawba Science Center
Members have access to club telescopes and telescopes at the Lucile Miller Observatory in Maiden.
Members may participate in special trips to area observatories, and private stargazes at members and other locations.
Members are welcome and encouraged to assist with astronomy programs at Miller Observatory and off site.
Members have the opportunity to attend several major regional astronomy events
Free public observing the first Friday evening of each month at Lucile Miller Observatory in Maiden, NC
National Astronomy Day with exhibits and telescopes at Barnes and Noble in Hickory in April or May
Astronomy Day with exhibits and telescopes at Barnes and Noble in Hickory in November
National Night Out in August with exhibits and telescopes in Conover
Earth Day each April at Catawba Science Center in Hickory
Christmas in the Park each December in downtown Conover
Star Gazes at Lake James State Park in Nebo, NC. Schedule varies
Star Gazes at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. Schedule varies
CVAC communicates with members via E-mail, through the www.catawbasky.org website, via Facebook, and soon, via Twitter. Members are encouraged to use these media resources to stay informed about club and astronomy events.
We send email messages about club happenings twice a week and as needed for special events.
We do not phone members for routine event notification unless there is a last minute change such as a meeting postponement.
We do not send mailings or mail newsletters any more. Our calendars change several times a week and any printed schedule of events would be outdated before it was mailed.
Of course, any member who is not connected to the internet will be notified by phone.
Members have access to members only chat boards on this website. This area allows real time bulletin board type communication between members. Members will also see additional events and information that does not appear on the public calendar or website.
Non-members are invited to subscribe to our e-mail list
The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club dues not have a permanent physical "clubhouse" or dedicated meeting location.
The official mailing address is:
The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club
1141 Fairview Street
Claremont, NC 28610
Do not follow internet map or GPS directions to the Fairview St address, the observatory is not there! Club functions are never held at this address
You may email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club is legally a separate organization from the Lucile Miller Observatory in Maiden. The observatory is part of the Catawba County North Carolina School System and it is located on the campus of Maiden Middle School. CVAC provides volunteers to maintain the equipment at the observatory and to present astronomy programs at the observatory or offsite. The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club receives NO tax dollars from the school system, and we provide our services to them at no charge.
The Lucile Miller Observatory has a physical location on North C Avenue in Maiden NC
No mail should be sent to the observatory at the C Avenue location OR in care of the Middle School OR in care of the school system!
The official mailing address for the Lucile Miller Observatory is:
The Lucile Miller Observatory
1141 Fairview Street
Claremont, NC 28610
Do not follow internet map or GPS directions to the Fairview St address, the observatory is not there!