[Schedule of Events]

The KAS is one of the most active organizations in West Michigan. We hold a wide variety of entertaining and educational events throughout the community. Below is a schedule of all of our upcoming activities. This page is updated regularly, so please visit often. Unless noted otherwise, all KAS activities are open to the general public.


|  Jan  |  Feb  |  March  |  April  |  May  |  June  |  July  |  Aug  |  Sept  |  Oct  |  Nov  |  Dec  |



Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, February 25 @ 1:00 pm | Portage District Library


Sooner or later, every amateur astronomer faces the decision of purchasing a first telescope. There are literally hundreds of choices today! What's the difference between a refractor and reflector? Which telescope is the right one for you? To make this daunting task easier, we'll compare several of the top telescopes available today and tell you which ones to avoid. We'll also look at the countless array of accessories available for your telescope. If you already have a telescope but need help then bring it along.

NOTE: For more information on the entire series and to register please visit the Introduction to Amateur Astronomy webpage. Participants that attend ALL FIVE parts will receive a Certificate of Completion!



Member-Only Observing Session
Saturday, February 25 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center



Winter nights can be ideal for observing.  When it's actually clear during a winter night in Michigan, the sky can be unbelievably transparent. So, why don't amateur astronomers turn out in droves to winter observing sessions? It's because it gets REALLY, REALLY COLD on a clear winter night! Now comes the time of year when the hardcore members of the KAS brave the frigid temperatures to enjoy the deep sky delights that most people probably miss because of the chilly conditions.

PLEASE NOTE: This session is for KAS Members and invited guests only. If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!  Our regular pubic sessions will resume in April.





General Meeting
Friday, March 3 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center


Thirty years ago, the implosion of a stellar core was witnessed in both neutrinos and light. The resulting supernova demonstrated that the cores of massive stars do meet their end by collapsing under their own weight until their density exceeds that of an atomic nucleus. The final fate of the core remains, however, uncertain. In this talk, I shall highlight how recent work in observation, computational modeling, and nuclear experiment has advanced our understanding of the densest matter we can observe; and I shall discuss the anticipated era in multi-messenger — light, neutrino, and gravitational wave — astronomy.

About the Speaker:
A native of Ohio, Dr. Brown did his undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University. He then earned a Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Prof. Lars Bildsten (now a permanent member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UCSB). While at Berkeley, Brown was supported by a NASA Graduate Student Fellowship. Upon graduating, he was awarded an Enrico Fermi Fellowship at the University of Chicago, where he worked in the ASC Center for Thermonuclear Astrophysical Flashes. In 2004, Brown moved to Michigan State University to join the Physics and Astronomy faculty, with a joint appointment in the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. He is affiliated with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, an NSF Physics Frontier Center. Dr. Brown's research interests include stellar and nuclear astrophysics, especially related to compact objects and stellar explosions.






Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, March 18 @ 1:00 pm | Portage District Library


Astrophotography is the art of photographing the night sky. In the past few years that art has undergone a revolution as digital cameras have overtaken their film counterparts. In some ways this has made the field more technical, but in many ways shooting the sky is easier than ever! We’ll start with the basics like using a stationary photographic tripod and work our way up to imaging with sophisticated CCD cameras. Constellation patterns, the Milky Way, the night-to-night motion of the planets, bright comets, northern lights, and perhaps a meteor all await you.

NOTE: For more information on the entire series and to register please visit the Introduction to Amateur Astronomy webpage. Participants that attend ALL FIVE parts will receive a Certificate of Completion!






Member-Only Observing Session
Saturday, March 25 @ 7:00 pm | Richland Township Park



The work of comet-hunter and nebulae cataloger Charles Messier comes alive in March of each year as amateur astronomers participate in a one night search for all of the objects in his catalog of nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.  By a quirk of fate, we are fortunate that most of the objects Messier and Mechain took 24 years to discover can be observed in one night around the time of the vernal equinox.  Members are encouraged to bring a good pair of binoculars or a telescope and participate in this one night race across the sky.

PLEASE NOTE:  This session is for KAS Members and invited guests only. If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!  Our regular pubic sessions will resume in April.





General Meeting
Friday, April 7 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...






Public Observing Session
Saturday, April 15 @ 8:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a spring evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night include the giant planet Jupiter and its four Galilean moons and the deep sky objects of spring.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






Astronomy Day 2017
Saturday, April 29 @ 10am - 4pm | KVCC Texas Township Campus


The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society will once again bring astronomy to the people by hosting a day of exciting and informative activities at Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Texas Township Campus and the Kalamazoo Nature Center. This free event, aimed at the general public, including families with school age children, is intended to widen knowledge and appreciation of science, particularly of astronomy.
 
Astronomy Day 2017's theme is Solar Eclipses. On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the United States from coast to coast. It will give tens of millions of people in a 70-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long path from Oregon to South Carolina a chance to see the spectacular solar corona, a sight hidden from view except during totality. The continental United States is the only land mass along the eclipse path. Occurring during the summer vacation season, this eclipse holds the potential to be seen by more people than any other event of its kind in history.

This year we are pleased to feature presentations by the esteemed author and astronomer Dr. Tyler Nordgren, and world-renowned eclipse chasers Jay Anderson and Fred Espenak:


KVCC will host our daytime activities from 10am - 4pm. These include a solar star party, educational and informative displays, hands-on activities, and eclipse talks for children. The KAS will also have Eclipse Shades available for purchase, so you can safely view the eclipse on August 21st.

Astronomy Day concludes with an observing session for the public at the Kalamazoo Nature Center starting at 8pm (see below). Please be sure to visit our special Astronomy Day website for complete details.
 
 
Astronomy Day 2017 Official Website | Astronomy Day 2017 Schedule Sheet




Public Observing Session
Saturday, April 29 @ 8:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center


In the fading light of a spring evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are Jupiter and the Galaxies of the Virgo Cluster.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Friday, May 5 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center


The region beyond Neptune contains thousands of small, icy worlds that bear witness to the processes that shaped our Solar System. While the first trans-Neptunian object, Pluto, was discovered nearly 80 years ago, only in the last few decades have we begun to explore this region systematically and understand its rich structure. My colleagues and I are using the 4-meter Blanco telescope in Chile, and its 570 megapixel wide-field camera, DECam, to search for new trans-Neptunian objects to about 24th magnitude over 1/8 of the sky. I will describe our discovery of a possible dwarf planet ("DeeDee") at more than three times Neptune's distance from the Sun. I will also explain how the orbital dynamics of the longest-period trans-Neptunian objects, some of which were discovered by our group, suggest the existence of a very distant new planet with a mass of around 10 times that of the earth. I'll describe the hunt for this "Planet 9" and the prospects for discovering it in our current data.

About the Speaker:
David Gerdes grew up as an avid amateur astronomer. He got his undergraduate degree at Carleton College, and earned his Ph.D. in experimental high-energy physics at the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1998. After working on large particle physics experiments for many years, he returned to his interests in astrophysics and cosmology. His research now uses large astronomical surveys for two different purposes: to study the role of dark energy in shaping the growth and evolution of large-scale structure in the universe, and to understand the dynamics of the most distant members of the Solar System.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 13 @ 9:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a spring evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are the Moon, Jupiter, and the Double Stars of Spring.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 27 @ 9:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center


In the fading light of a spring evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are the Moon, Jupiter, and the Double Stars of Spring.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Friday, June 2 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...






Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 10 @ 9:30 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a spring evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are the Moon, Jupiter, and the Saturn.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 24 @ 9:30 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a summer evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are JupiterSaturn, and globular clusters.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, July 15 @ 9:30 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a summer evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are Saturn and Super Summer Nebulae.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






General Meeting
Saturday, July 29 @ 6:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center


Mark your calendar. Pray for good weather. It's time for the big social event of the summer for the KAS. So get ready to party!  Here are the details:
 
The KAS will provide the hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers (by order).  You will be required to bring your own beverages, table service, lawn chairs, bug spray, and a dish to pass. Condiments will be provided by the KAS.

While dinner is cooking we will have solar observing available through the 12" LX200 in Owl Observatory and other KAS member telescopes (weather permitting).

Feel free to bring any type of outdoor games or toys to pass the time while we wait for dinner. KAS members are also encourage trot out the results of their latest brainstorming as part of Gadget Night.

Stargazers should be prepared to observe the Moon, Saturn, deep sky objects of summer, and maybe even some really early Perseid meteors. This gathering will take place rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way!

PLEASE NOTE: The picnic is for KAS members and invited guests only. If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!  The observing session following the picnic is open to the public.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, July 29 @ 9:30 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a summer evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are craters and mountains on the Moon and Saturn with its majestic rings.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





PLEASE NOTE: The KAS will be on hiatus in August. No meetings or observing sessions will be held until September. Members will be spread throughout the country to witness the Great American Eclipse on August 21st. Good luck!



General Meeting
Friday, September 8 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...






Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 16 @ 8:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of a summer evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are Saturn & deep sky objects inside The Summer Triangle; an asterism make up of the bright stars Vega, Deneb and Altair.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 30 @ 8:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of an autumn evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are The Moon, Uranus & Neptune.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Friday, October 6 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...






Public Observing Session
Saturday, October 14 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of an autumn evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are The Galaxies of Autumn.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, October 28 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

In the fading light of an autumn evening, we watch the stars appear one by one. Before too long, twilight's window gives way to the starry curtain, signaling the beginning of a night of stargazing. The KAS invites you to a pleasant evening under nature's grandest spectacle - the universe itself.
 
Highlights of the night are The Moon, Uranus & Neptune.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 6:00 pm on the day of the session. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Friday, November 3 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...





Annual Meeting
Friday, December 1 @ 6:30 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center




It's time for the annual KAS Holiday Party!  As usual we will be celebrating at our annual meeting on December 1st.  We are planning on starting at 6:30 pm, one half hour earlier than usual. The evening will begin with the party featuring several rousing rounds of BINGO with exciting prizes. Then there will be a short business meeting featuring the election of the 2018 KAS officers and at-large board members.

As in past years, we will have a potluck hors d'oeuvre and dessert extravaganza. The KAS will provide beverages consisting of soft drinks and hot wassail. So, bring your favorite goodie to share and join your fellow KAS members for an evening of friendship and fun. If you are a new member this will be a wonderful opportunity to meet other club members, get acquainted with this year's KAS board, help elect the new officers and board for 2018, and find out what the KAS is all about. Hope to see you there!

PLEASE NOTE:  This event is for KAS Members and invited guests only.  If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!


General Meeting Page | Directions to KAMSC




Member-Only Observing Session
Wednesday, December 13 @ 7:00 pm | TBA


Most meteor showers occur when Earth passes through a stream of particles left behind by a rouge comet, but the Geminids are different.  This is the only major shower known to be associated with an asteroid (3200 Phaethon).  An observer may see 80 meteors/hour under moonless, rural skies.

PLEASE NOTE:  This event is for KAS Members and invited guests only.  If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!