Young Astronomers Group (YA!)

Meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) and start anywhere from 6pm* to 9pm* (times and location subject to changes throughout the year* due to sunset times - check our calendar for actual meeting times). Meetings last for one hour and are normally held at the Parkwood Hill HOA Club House - 5573 Eastwedge Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76137 MAP. Several times during the year meetings are held at special locations. These will be announced in advance on our main club calendar.

* (Start times change throughout the year due to the differing times of sunset and daylight savings see our calendar for up to date meeting times.)

It's free to the public, membership is not required to participate in the YA! meetings and the public is encouraged to come check us out! But in order to get the full benefits of the YA! experience, they will need to join the club officially!

Several of our YA! members (and YA! Facilitator Shawn Kirchdorfer) showing off their membership t-shirts
Several of our YA! members (and YA! Facilitator Shawn Kirchdorfer) showing off their membership t-shirts.

One of the many public YA! events held in the clubhouse.
One of the many public YA! events held in the clubhouse.
YA! Kit received when becoming a full club member.
YA! Kit received when becoming a full club member.

With membership, the child will get the handbook, the official YA! member t-shirt, observing supplies to use at the telescopes (planisphere, red flashlights, etc.) as well as to earn several specially designed buttons (there are currently 30 different achievement buttons available to earn!) aimed at different skills and areas of knowledge that a good amateur astronomer will need to know! The buttons, which the kids wear on a lanyard, display the specific milestones and accomplishments each child has achieved. (Ownership of a telescope is not required to join!)

To become an official YA! member the child must officially join the main FWAS astronomy club at least at the $20 per year student membership rate (full family membership is just $40 per year - that includes the entire imediate household).

All FWAS/YA! memberships include*:
  • significant discounts on popular astronomy magazines
  • associate membership status in the international Astronomical League
  • associate membership in NASA's Night Sky Network
  • full use of our FWAS dark site located on a private nature preserve 70 miles North of Ft Worth in Montague County (great for earning those buttons!)
  • use of the large aperture communal telescopes and eyepieces at the dark site (if they don't already own their own scope)
  • invitations and inclusions to all club picnics, club star parties and club banquets
  • as well as occasional special discounts to the Noble Planetarium at the Ft Worth Museum of Science and History
  • ...not to mention the educational benefits of being a member of a scientifically, youth-oriented hobby, and community-centered club.
YA! Facilitator, Bruce Cowles, making a comet nucleus!
YA! Facilitator, Bruce Cowles, making a 'comet' nucleus!

NOTE: Although there is no lower age limit, due to the scientific and technical subject matter, children under 9 years of age might not get much out of the information and experience. Generally we try to focus on making the information accessable to 4th graders and up, but we have some children in the group who are a bit younger.

YA! Achievement Badges*
(Click on each button image below to enlarge and see a description.)

Finding Polaris (The North Star) Achievement Button Constellation Identification Achievement Button Telescope Basic Knowledge Achievement Button Masters and Measurements (Measuring the sky with methods used before invention of telescope) Logging (Recording) Observations Achievement Button Reading Star Maps Achievement Button Amatuer Telescope Making Achievement Button
Mercury Observation Button Venus Observation Button Lunar Features Observation Button Mars Observation Button Jupiter Observation Button Saturn Observation Button Uranus Observation Button Neptune Observation Button         Order of the Ancients Achievement Button (Observed the 5 "naked-eye" planets known to the ancients with a telescope) Order of Sol Achievement Button (Observed all 8 official planets with a telescope)
Galaxy Observation Button Double/Multiple Stars Observation Button Messier List Observation Button Nebulae Observation Button         Comet Observation Button Asteroid Observation Button Meteor Shower Observation Button
Partial Solar Eclipse Observation Button Total Solar Eclipse Observation Button Partial Lunar Eclipse Observation Button Total Lunar Eclipse Observation Button Supernova Observation Button Planetary and Stellar Conjunction Observation Button
Transit of Venus 2012 Achievement Button (Special Edition button only awarded for observing the June 5th, 2012 transit - no longer available)

*Available only to official YA! members.
(FWAS watermark not on the actual buttons)

Also see our club events calendar for dates, times & location:

Click the logo to send us your questions or comments!

This youth oriented astronomy group is sponsored by the Fort Worth Astronomical Society

"See the Universe with your own eyes!"

Send inquiries to:
FWAS is a member of the Astronomical League.
The world's largest federation of amateur astronomers.
and in association with

FWAS is a member of The Night Sky Network, a nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy clubs in cooperation with NASA.

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