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Image of Messier 27 (NGC 6853) taken by Bob Vanderbei

Enthusiasm for observational astronomy, curiosity about cosmology, achievements with CCD imaging and technology. These and all other aspects of astronomy are interests shared by members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton. The club is based in Princeton, (Mercer County) New Jersey.

This organization of 100 + promotes astronomy-related activities for members and non-members, novice to expert.  A wide spectrum of astronomy interests are explored at the AAAP through regular meetings, workshops, use of the two club observatories, public outreach and regional star parties.

Come explore our web site.  Here you'll find details about our organization's meetings, discussion topics, members and their scopes, and a lot more. Our organization maintains two observatories: the larger in Washington Crossing State Park (housing a research-grade 355mm Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptric and historic 159mm Hastings-Byrne refractor). A second facility is found at Jenny Jump State Park in northwestern New Jersey. This houses a 318mm custom-built Newtonian reflector.

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The AAAP Invites the Public to the Simpson Observatory, Washington Crossing State Park (NJ side)
Each Friday Evening -- Weather Permitting

Friday evenings, 8:00 PM until 11:00 PM --
clear skies permitting

First open house of the season is Friday April 1, 2016.

Visit the Universe at our state-of-the-art astronomical observatory, located near Pennington, NJ just minutes from I-95. AAAP astronomers will show you galaxies, planets, nebulae, globular clusters and open star clusters. You will see the night sky like never before through our telescopes: a research-grade Celestron 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain and a historic 6.25" Hasting-Byrne refractor

** New for 2015! ---> We've installed a Mallincam astronomical video imaging system. View deep sky objects on an LCD screen.

Click here for current Friday night opening updates (go or no go).

Click here for observatory directions and description.

"Saving Hubble" February 9, 2016 Lecture

The February meeting will be held on the 9th at 7:30 PM in Peyton Hall on the Princeton University campus. The talk will be by award-winning filmmaker David Gaynes regarding his documentary film “Saving Hubble”. For background on the film please see

“Saving Hubble” (2012) is David’s second feature length documentary and is a fresh and original telling of the Hubble Space Telescope story, exploring the cultural, political, and spiritual significance of Hubble in addition to the telescope’s scientific importance. Of specific interest to the film is the chapter in Hubble history that began in 2004 with the proposed (and ultimately unsuccessful) cancellation of the telescope. The film tracks Hubble’s fight for survival, documenting the unexpected and transformational grassroots movement that led to its eventual reinstatement and servicing by space shuttle astronauts in Spring 2009.

David Gaynes is an independent filmmaker whose work has been presented theatrically around the world. He recently completed his third feature length documentary, Next Year Jerusalem, which tells the story of eight frail elders who leave the comfort and security of their nursing home to make one final pilgrimage. Keeper of the Kohn (2005), his debut feature, is the story of an autistic man caring for a dying friend and won awards at film festivals across the country, was seen on public television and can be viewed on Hulu. David is an accomplished documentary cinematographer, having photographed the award-winning All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert (2011) among other films. A trailer and additional information about the film are available at the Saving Hubble website:

Peyton Hall is home to the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and is located just east of Washington Road, adjacent to Palmer Stadium, on the Princeton University campus.


Screening of "Saving Hubble" - 6:00PM, February 9, 2016 - Peyton Hall

Members and guests are invited to a screening of "Saving Hubble" before the regular February meeting in Peyton Hall. The film is 70 minutes long. The showing will begin promptly at 6:00 PM. Since this is close to the dinner hour, the club will provide a light meal (think pizza and beverages). For this reason, the meet-the speaker dinner is canceled for February.