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MSRAL 2018

MSRAL 2018 will be a blended conference with both youth and adult speakers looking at the history, future, and various aspects of the astronomy hobby. Youth attendance and participation is encouraged. 


Registration is open for the Mid-States Region of the Astronomical League (MSRAL) convention. This special event is open to everyone interested in astronomy. Registration and Check-in will begin at Explore Scientific Friday afternoon. Registration will continue at a Star Party and Youth Cosmic Scavenger Hunt at the Hobbs State Park Visitor's Center.

For old school, mail-in registration, please find the form at the bottom of this page. On-line registration is available at Eventbrite. Note that meals are chosen separately on the online registration after choosing the number of tickets desired. So each participant can determine which meals to order through the conference and which to eat elsewhere.


Saturday morning will begin with a complementary, continental breakfast for registrants and continue with the MSRAL meeting and a full day of speakers. There will be a lunch break at the noon hour. Attendees can optionally purchase a box lunch served on site. Speakers will continue after the lunch break.

David H Levy will be the special guest speaker for the Saturday evening Banquet. The banquet will be held on the campus of the Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, AR. After the banquet, there will be a tour of the “Giant Telescope” and Sidewalk Astronomy. The “Giant Telescope” is a Relocation /Restoration Project of a 1911, 24-inch, Brashear refracting telescope.

There will be a complementary, continental breakfast for registrants Sunday morning followed by additional speakers and the grand giveaway before the closing remarks at noon.


The convention will be held at the Explore Scientific facility located at 1010 S. 48th Street, Springdale, Arkansas 72762.


David Levy

    Canadian astronomer and science writer who has participated in discovering 22 comets and written 34 books.

Denis Svechkarev

     Talking about science advocacy, public outreach, youth engagement and gifted education as relates to astronomy

Rick Marshall

     Sharing his fascination and expertise with video astronomy

Bruce McMath

     Reasons for creating a chapter of IDA in your area    

Andy Poniros

     Science Correspondent for WPKN. Will host a panel discussion on the future of astronomy as a hobby

John Goss

     Update on Astronomical League by National President

Ken Ledbetter

     Retired NASA engineer/administrator telling his story as a member of the team that repaired the Hubble Telescope

Jeffrey Lichtman

     Radioastronomy and hands on demonstration of his 1420 21 cm radio telescope

Abby Bollenbach

     Speaking on the Cassini Mission to Saturn with some amazing visual aids to demonstrate her ideas

Don Ficken

     Suggesting national standards to be used in implementing a library telescope program


A block of rooms has been reserved for June 22nd - June 24th at the Quality Suites in Springdale. The special room rate of $87.00 will be available until May 22nd, or until the group block is sold-out. Please contact the motel directly at 479-725-1777 to request the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society group rate. For other questions or concerns, you are invited to speak with the General Manager, Curtis Boyd. A lodging location map for this facility and other nearby lodging options is provided below.

Note the room block at Comfort Suites. Multiple other lodging options are available.

Note the room block at Comfort Suites. Multiple other lodging options are available.