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One of the surest and most pleasant ways to continue enjoying amateur astronomy is to join an active astronomy club. There is joy in being alone under the stars with a telescope, but observing with groups of like-minded people can be a welcome relief from the Lone Astronomer act after a while. Not just that; the enthusiasm of fellow club members acts as a reinforcement, as does the constant sharing of knowledge. There's also a social aspect many of us find engaging—group trips to observing sites, holiday dinners, late-night bull sessions, and more.

Don't have a local club or don't have the spare time to participate in one? There's a virtual astronomy club meeting going on day and night on the Internet. Places like the astronomy-oriented Yahoo groups and Astromart's and Cloudynights' forums can be almost as much fun as a non-virtual astronomical society. There isn't the group observing and socializing of a "real" club, but otherwise the experience is much the same and just as rewarding.

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