Sharing the gift of astronomy: The Asif Astronomy Club

Sharing the gift of astronomy: The Asif Astronomy Club

The field of astronomy has become increasingly accessible in recent years, thanks to the growth of online astronomical communities, citizen astronomers, and open-access databases. This growth has paralleled the creation of next-generation telescopes, instruments, and data-sharing methods allowing greater collaboration between observatories and the general public. 

Unfortunately, despite these positive developments, there are still millions of people around the world who do not have access to astronomy and would like to. This problem mirrors disparities that exist worldwide, where many communities experience lower education, health, and economic outcomes. These exist not only between nations but between urban and rural communities, where a lack of infrastructure can translate into a lack of access. 

To address this disparity, a growing number of organizations are looking to bring STEM education to traditionally underserved communities. This includes the Asif Astronomy Club, which has engaged with students in remote communities in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains since 2020.

Through its efforts, the club and its leader (El-Mehdi Essaidi) are spreading the culture of astronomy and its central message: “Space is for everyone.” They are also helping to inspire the next generation of scientists and change-makers to reach for the stars (literally and figuratively).

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