PAS Status as of October 2021:

Effective October 22nd PAS monthly meetings will resume being held at the UNO Science building Rm 1001.
  • Guests are always welcome to attend.
  • The water well at the SPMOS is currently not usable. Bring your own until further notice.
  • See the SPMOS page for other updates on its use.
  • Follow us on Twitter - @PAS_Nola And visit us on Facebook

    Sandras-Paulk Memorial Observing Site (SPMOS)

    The Sandras-Paulk Memorial Observing Site (SPMOS) is located in Franklinton, Louisiana, approximately a one hour drive north of New Orleans. The site is situated on three acres of land, surrounded by a developing pine forest. The area is rural and provides a unique setting for observing. Dark skies here are as good as it gets in Southern Louisiana.

    2021 UPDATE: The gate combination & locks have been changed due to recent vandalism. All members that want access need a walkthrough to discuss changes & Covid-19 considerations. Members can contact Ron Marcella at to arrange walkthrough.


    • A 3m observa-dome, housing a Celestron 11" Schmidt Cassegrain.
    • A utility barn that stores maintenance equipment.
    • A heated and air conditioned bunkhouse that sleeps 10, including a bathroom facility consisting of a toilet, sink, shower and new water heater that helps to make the SPMOS one of the finest Dark Sky Observing Sites in the country.
    • 120 volt power is available on the observing field & picnic area.

    This facility is readily available for use to all of our members. Grounds maintenance is provided on a voluntary basis by PAS members.
    All guests MUST be accompanied by a PAS member.

    Before you visit the SPMOS, Guests must read and sign the Rules and Release of Liability.

    SPMOS Light Rules


    All light rules for the SPMOS were (or should have been) provided to you with your membership package, along with directions to the site. This is an addendum to the light rules. You must disable the daytime running lights on your vehicle. If unable to, you should park in the parking area before you get to the field. If it's necessary to park on the field next to your equipment, you must arrive before dark and not leave until all other members are finished observing or until sunrise, whichever occurs first.

    Note From Barry Simon: Let me remind everyone in the PAS, particularly new members who have not used the SPMOS observing site yet; we do have light rules at the site and it is mandatory that you abide by them. It is advised that you prepare yourself and your car before you come up to the site the first time. You will have to do whatever it takes to get yourself and your car ready for the experience.

    Note From Mike Sandras: I brought this situation to the club's attention a few years ago. I don't know what was discussed on the equipment forum but

    • On most models with daytime running lights, you can engage the parking brake lever just enough to engage the defeat switch and your running lights will go off.
    • Most imports have light switches from their home market that will enable you to shut them off. The permanent fix would be to get that switch (if available) and replace it. Don't ask your typical dealer, they will probably have no idea what you are talking about.

    Upcoming Events

    2022 PAS Meeting Dates

    • January 21
    • February 18
    • March 18
    • April 15
    • May 20
    • June 17

    The Pontchartrain Astronomy Society is a member organization of: