The Harford County Astronomical Society (HCAS) was founded in 1970 and is affiliated with the Astronomical League. The Society offers a wide range of activities for persons with an interest in astronomy. These include:
- Numerous opportunities to view the planets, moon, and stars.
- Monthly club meetings, sometimes with a speaker on an aspect of astronomy.
The club meetings are open to the public and are held in the observatory located on the campus of Harford Community College, just outside of Bel Air, Maryland.
HCAS conducts public open houses on one Saturday night of each month throughout the year. The general public is invited to these events which are held at the observatory. Parking is at the Vocational Technical High School parking lot which is adjacent to the observatory.
The club's "dark sky" sites at Broad Creek and at Stepping Stone are for use only by club members during star parties and other advanced observing sessions. These events are not open to the public.
The Society participates with the college in a cooperative effort which includes operating the observatory and assisting in the observational program for students enrolled in the college's astronomy classes. The primary instrument at the observatory is a 14-inch Celestron C-14 catadioptric Schmidt-Cassegrain. The mount is an Astro-Physics 1200 GOTO computerized system.
Our outreach program is one of the best in the state reaching out to children, students and all other interested groups or individuals. For more information, see our "Outreach" page.
If you are interested in photographing the cosmos, we are the club for you! We recently purchased the NEW Deep Sky Pro CCD Imager. We are available to help anyone who wants to learn. Our club has several members who are avid astrophotographers. You can view some of our work in our "Photo Gallery".
After attending an open house or club meeting, you may be interested in joining the club. Our "MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION" can be found here and on the Contact page. You can print out the form, fill it in, write a check for the appropriate membership amount, and mail it to us via snail mail. You can also pay on our online Catalog and email you application.