The History of NYAC and ASNY
A. G. D. Philip
American Astronomical Society 196th Meeting, June 2000
The New York Astronomical Corporation (NYAC) was formed in 1968 by astronomers at New York State universities, colleges and observatories with the aim of building a large telescope for the use of astronomers in the state. Hawaii was selected as a possible site for a 150-in telescope and for a period of five years a vigorous effort was made at fund raising. A grant was received from the New York State Science and Technology Foundation to help in the organization of the group. By 1973 it was decided to stop plans for a New York Telescope since we had no success in the fund raising. However our group was already involved in holding meetings at the member institutions and staff and students would give reports on their work. In 1973 we formally set up the Astronomical Society of New York (ASNY). Meetings are held twice a year. The Fall meeting is held at Union College or RPI and at this time the business meeting of NYAC is held. The Spring meeting is held at the other member institutions, from Alfred University in the west and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, in the east. The proceedings of the meetings are published in the News Letter of the Astronomical Society of New York. Prizes are awarded for the best graduate and the best undergraduate papers submitted to the Prize Committee. The winners give invited talks at a meeting following the award. Travel grants are awarded to both graduate and undergraduate students who are granted time to observe on optical or radio telescopes. ASNY has provided a good platform for students to give their first papers and by awarding the prizes and travel grants ASNY has been able to support student research. The meetings help to maintain good contacts among New York astronomers.