Mid-States Region of the Astronomical League 2018


Mid-States Region of the Astronomical League (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

Emily Frank

Sharing her passion for space and the excitement of her job at the Class of ’51 Observatory at Vassar College

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

Abbey 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.