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AAAA Founders

AAAA Founder John Wagoner (left) and AAAA President Ed Flaspoehler (right)
at the Humbolt Planetarium, Caracas, Venezuela, February, 1998.

AAAA President Ed Flaspoehler  started the American Association of Amateur Astronomers in 1996 with his friend John Wagoner as a way to bring astronomical information via the internet to people who would not otherwise have access to an astronomy club. At that time, the AAAA was registered as a member society of the AL, and over time became one of the 10 largest clubs in the Astronomical League, in terms of number of members. The AAAA website is www.astromax.org.

In recent years, since the AAAA turned its membership base over to the Astronomical League to include them in its Member-at-Large program, The American Association of Amateur Astronomers has evolved into an online resource for amateur astronomers worldwide. Our resources and information are free to everyone online for the browsing. If you wish to join an astronomy club and receive the benefits of being a member of the Astronomical League, but do not have an astronomy club near where you live, consider joining the Astronomical League as a Member-at-Large. 

As part of the activities of the AAAA, Ed runs Astromax, the AAAA Online Store, at www.AstroMax.com, which provides a select line of carefully chosen products to help get you started in astronomy, and to enhance your enjoyment of the night sky.

Ed has been a member of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas since 1980, and served as its president in 1994/1995. He also spent many years on its Board of Directors. He was editor of the REFLECTOR, the newsletter of the Astronomical League, for 11 years, from May 1989 to August 2000. During his editorship, the magazine increased in scope from 8 pages black and white to 24 pages color, with extensive advertising.

Ed is recipient of the Astronomical League's "Bob Wright" Service Award, which was awarded at ALCON 1990 in St. Louis, MO, and the AL President's award in 2000, awarded at the Astronomical League Convention in Ventura,CA, for his work on the REFLECTOR.

Ed received the 1996 Omega Centauri Award, presented annually at the Texas Star Party, for service to astronomy on the local, regional, and national level. He served as Secretary of the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League in the mid-90's.

Over the years, Ed has been an occasional speaker at various astronomy clubs and star parties in the US southwest , including his home club, the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, the Fort Worth AS, the Houston AS, the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, the Astronomical Society of Kansas City, the Great Plains Star Party, and StarCon 2002 in Topeka, KS. For 5 years, he was an invited speaker to the annual Lake Whitney Star Party, near Hillsboro, TX.

AAAA Founder John Wagoner brings significant expertise to his position. His life-long interest in astronomy and long time involvement with the SWRAL's Texas Star Party, the Astronomical League, and his local club, the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, give him a unique perspective on the needs of both novice and experienced amateur astronomers.

John's major accomplishments for the Astronomical League include developing a series of three binocular observing programs, a double star program, a lunar program, a CCD imaging and observing program based on the Arp Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies, and an Urban observing program for heavily light polluted areas to help bring astronomy back to the cities, all programs of wide interest to its membership. John was the A.L.'s Computer User's Group Chairman as well as ran the A.L.'s Stargate Computer Bulletin Board Service for twelve years.

In 2003, John founded the City Lights Astronomical Society for Students (CLASS) as a way to nurture an interest in astronomy to inner city children. CLASS was originally intended for Dallas schools, but, through the Astronomical League, has expanded into an organization with several chapters across the nation.

John served eighteen years on the Board of Directors of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, and was that club's Observing Chairman for the same period, and is an Astronomical League past National Secretary. Each year, John creates binocular and telescope observing programs for the SWRAL's Texas Star Party, and serves on the Board of Director's of the SWRAL's Texas Star Party.

John received the Omega Centauri Award, presented annually at the Texas Star Party for service to astronomy on the local, regional, and national level. He also  received the Texas Star Party's "Lone Stargazer" Award in 1983 for service to the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League.

John Wagoner resigned as president of the AAAA in May 2001.

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