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Partner with Local NASA Volunteers

an astronomer giving a presentation to a group of small children at a library
Jerelyn Ramirez of the Kansas Astronomical Observers showing young observers at the Manhattan Public Library how to view the Sun using the 'Sun funnel" projection tool.
Rachel Carnes

Did you know that there are enthusiastic and friendly astronomers who love talking to the public about the stars living right in your own community? NASA's Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Network outreach programs help local community organizations find local volunteer astronomers and space science enthusiasts who bring the wonders of NASA science down to Earth.

The Solar System Ambassadors program helps communities across the USA connect with NASA Ambassadors, individual volunteers who are passionate about space science. Ambassadors share the latest science and discoveries from NASA's many missions to their communities via many types of events, including presentations, activities, and stargazing parties.

Night Sky Network (NSN) member astronomy clubs also share the latest in astronomy and NASA science to their communities, but rather than working as individuals, NSN club members work together to bring the wonders of the universe to the public via outreach events like star parties and science demos at community events. Members of the public are always welcome to join these clubs if their interest is piqued after connecting. If it sounds like there may be some overlap between these two programs, there is: some Solar System Ambassadors are also members of Night Sky Network clubs! 

2023 Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing at Camino Real Marketplace with the View the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.
2023 Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing at Camino Real Marketplace with the View the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.
Photo by Chuck McPartlin

We have a few resources that can help you find the right partners for your upcoming space science events. You can watch a recording of the "NASA in Your Neighborhood" webinar, held with libraries across the country and featuring members from the Night Sky Network and NASA Solar System Ambassadors program,  for more information about these programs. You can find even more information and tips for best practices on how to partner with your local astronomers in our article on How to Partner with Your Local Astronomy Club and in the handout How to Partner With Local NASA Volunteers. You can also find a handy guide on the STARnet website.

We have collected some of these resources on this page, with more updates coming in the future. More educational programs for informal educators can be found via NASA Nationwide's website. Be sure to reach out to these organizations for your total solar eclipse needs before April 8, 2024!

Originally posted by Dave Prosper: February 2019

Last Updated by Kat Troche: February 2024