FOUNDED IN 1951 by Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces holds downtown moon-gazing events, monthly dark sky gatherings at their Walter Haas Observatory in Leasburg Dam State Park, and outreach and education programs that include star parties at Rockhound and City of Rocks state parks.

The Albuquerque Astronomical Society boasts a robust membership and regular constellation tours and trainings. General Nathan Twining Observatory, located south of Belén, gives members and their guests year-round access to a 16-inch reflector telescope, plus on-site loaner telescopes for use on one of 22 observing pads. Members can conduct astrophotography with a 14-inch imaging telescope, camera, and laptop equipped with the necessary software. Check out “How to Find Deep Sky Objects” with Sara Wofford on August 5.

The Albuquerque Astronomical Society hosts a Cosmic Carnival in the fall. Photograph courtesy of The Albuquerque Astronomical Society.

The Rio Rancho Astronomical Society holds monthly events and periodic trips to archeoastronomy sites. The group’s three research-grade telescopes are housed in a permanent facility that includes an outdoor planetarium and interactive sundial. The overnight White Ridge Stargaze will be October 14 at White Ridge Bike Trails in San Ysidro.

It’s free to join Alamogordo’s Amateur Astronomers Group, which holds family-friendly visual observation and astrophotography events at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.

Founded in the 1960s at a local middle school, the Roswell Astronomy Club welcomes anyone interested in learning about outer space, celestial objects, and phenomena (this is Roswell after all!) to meetings the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium. Plus: Catch the club at outreach events including the Dragonfly Festival at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge in September and viewing of the annular solar eclipse at Cielo Grande Recreation area October 14. 

Read more: Wayne Suggs offers a galaxy of advice for night-sky Shooters.