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Inspiring people to look up and wonder —
for over 125 years

On a chilly February evening in 1889 in San Francisco, astronomers from Lick Observatory and members of the Pacific Coast Amateur Photographic Association — fresh from viewing the New Year’s Day total solar eclipse north of the City — met to share pictures and experiences. Edward Holden, Lick’s first director, complimented the amateurs on their service to science, and proposed to continue the good fellowship through the founding of a Society to advance the science of Astronomy, and to diffuse information concerning it. Thus the Astronomical Society of the Pacific was born.

Through more than a century of operation, as human understanding of the universe has advanced, so has the ASP — connecting scientists, educators, amateur astronomers and the public to share astronomical research, conduct professional development in science education, and provide resources that engage students and adults alike in the adventure of scientific discovery.

As a non-profit membership organization, international in scope, the ASP’s mission is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy — through the engagement of our many constituencies — to advance science and science literacy. We invite you to explore our site to learn more about us, to check out our resources and education section for the researcher, the educator, and the backyard enthusiast, to get involved by becoming an ASP member and to consider supporting our work for the benefit of a science literate world!

Building Bridges • Connecting People to Science
Advancing Science Literacy Through Astronomy


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The ASP is proud to participate in the Annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #10651), a workplace giving program supported by Federal civilian, postal, and military donors around the world. Thank you!




Hey, corporate America … got STEM literacy?
Astronomy sows the seeds of curiosity and discovery, critical thinking, quantitative fluency, comfort with data, and problem solving. These skills lay the foundation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), thus positioning astronomy as the gateway to STEM literacy. ASP's corporate supporters understand the value of investing in our mission to cultivate the next generation of STEM leaders. Thank you! Click here to learn more.
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