Astronomy Day 2017

Held on April 29th at Kalamazoo Valley Community College
AD2K17-01  This year’s Astronomy Day was held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Texas Township Campus. AD2K17-02  Most activities, including our "Meet the Telescopes" display, were held in KVCC's cafeteria. AD2K17-03  Matt DePriest points out a feature on his 18-inch truss-tube Dobsonian. AD2K17-04  Dave Garten introduces these guests to this Meade 10-inch LX90 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
AD2K17-05  This display highlighted Astronomy Day 2017's theme: The Great American Eclipse on August 21st. AD2K17-06  Our "Solar Eclipses" display covered how solar eclipses occur, phenomena to observe during a total solar eclipse, eclipse safety, and some fun eclipse facts. AD2K17-07  KAS members Barb & Bob Havira were impressed with our eclipse display and Astronomy Day in general. AD2K17-08  Our robotic telescope display returned this year, but with an updated picture showing the Takahashi telescope we installed in March 2017.
AD2K17-09  "The Vanishing Night" display covers the consequences of modern-day lighting and what you can do to reduce light pollution. AD2K17-10  Poor lighting threatens astronomy, disrupts ecosystems, affects human circadian rhythms, and wastes energy to the tune of $2.2 billion per year in the U.S. alone. AD2K17-11  Instead of the traditional static display, our "KAS Member Astrophotography" display was transformed into a dynamic slide show presentation. AD2K17-12  Images were supplied by Richard Bell, Dave Garten, Kevin Jung, Jim Kurtz, Bill Nigg, Eric Schreur, and Roger Williams.
AD2K17-13  This year, all hands-on tables and the Freebie Table were staffed by students from the Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center (KAMSC). Thank you! AD2K17-14  Our "Solar Eclipse Flipbooks" showed the progression of the total solar eclipse on August 21st as seen from Carbondale, Illinois. AD2K17-15  Each page flip jumped ahead by 11 minutes; totality was seen in a flash! AD2K17-16  This young astronomer cuts out his flipbook with high precision!
AD2K17-17  The "Eclipse Pinhole Viewer" activity provided a safe and handy way to view the solar eclipse on August 21st. AD2K17-18  Children could choose one of two designs; a totality eclipsed Sun or a U.S. map showing the 2017 eclipse path. AD2K17-19  Hold out our "Pinhole Viewers" on Eclipse Day and they'll show little crescent suns during the partial stages of the eclipse. AD2K17-20  One of our classic hands-on activities, creating a Sundial, returned this year.
AD2K17-21  The Sun can be an accurate time telling device as long as you have one of our sundials to help you. AD2K17-22  People of all ages participated in our hands-on activities this year. AD2K17-23  Special thanks to "Astronomy" magazine, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Space Telescope Science Institute, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA Space Place for providing goodies for our Freebie Table. AD2K17-24  Frank Severance and Dave Woolf sold Eclipse Shades in the cafeteria, helping to raise funds for the KAS.
AD2K17-25  Astronomy Day guests had the opportunity to also buy books written by our guest speakers. AD2K17-26  KAS President and Astronomy Day Co-coordinator, Richard Bell, introduces our first guest speaker. AD2K17-27  Dr. Tyler Nordgren is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Redlands and the author of "Sun Moon Earth." AD2K17-28  The title of Dr. Nordgren's presentation, held at 11am, was "Sun Moon Earth: Solar Eclipses from Omen to Awe."
AD2K17-29  Dr. Nordgren's excellent presentation covered how those moments of brief beauty that are a hallmark of total solar eclipses have allowed us to measure our world, and understand the nature of others. AD2K17-30  We wanted to cover every aspect of the Great American Eclipse as we could and for people of all ages, so two eclipse presentations were aimed toward a younger audience. AD2K17-31  Patricia Totten Espenak is the author of "Total Eclipse or Bust," a book for the entire family.  It was also the title of her presentation at 12:15 pm. AD2K17-32  Mrs. Espenak is a retired chemistry teacher and has witnessed 17 total solar eclipses to date.
AD2K17-33  “Mr. Eclipse” Fred Espenak gave the first of two presentations at 12:15 pm. AD2K17-34  Fred Espenak is an eclipse photography expert who has shot over 20 total solar eclipses. AD2K17-35  Much of what "Mr. Eclipse" covered, and examples of his photography, can be found at AD2K17-36  Jay Anderson gave the second featured presentation, "Moonshadow Madness: The Lure of the Total Eclipse," at 1pm.
AD2K17-37  Mr. Anderson is a retired Canadian meteorologist and an avid eclipse chaser, the total solar eclipse on August 21st will be his 30th! AD2K17-38  This slide, shown by Jay Anderson, outlines what to look for during a total solar eclipse. AD2K17-39  KAS member and award-winning teacher, Mike Sinclair, gave the 2:15 pm kid's talk entitled "Be Safe! Tips for Eclipse Viewing." AD2K17-40  Mike is a past president of the KAS and teaches at the Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center.
AD2K17-41  “Mr. Eclipse” Fred Espenak, the most widely recognized name in solar eclipses, gave his second presentation, "Predicting & Chasing Solar Eclipses," at 3pm. AD2K17-42  Over the past 47 years, Mr. Espenak has witnessed 27 total eclipses of the Sun. He has also published numerous books and articles on eclipse predictions. AD2K17-43  Mr. Espenak gave the details on the partial solar eclipse as it will be seen from Kalamazoo. However, it's only a relatively short drive to Carbondale, Illinois to experience the grandeur of a total solar eclipse (and the longest duration along the eclipse path - about 2minutes and 41seconds. AD2K17-44  KAS members enjoyed dinner with our guest speakers at Mangia Pizza & Pasta Company after the festivities ended at KVCC.