[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  |


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




In February of 1836, the astronomer John Herschel wrote a letter to the geologist Charles Lyell where he alluded to the origin of species as "that mystery of mysteries." Herschel at the time resided at the Cape of Good Hope where he was cataloging the constellations of the southern skies. Four months later HMS Beagle sailed into the South Africa port. Its young naturalist Charles Darwin used the opportunity to meet Herschel. Five years earlier, as a Cambridge undergraduate, Darwin had been mesmerized by Herschel's Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy. He considered it a stroke of the greatest luck to be able to dine with a man whose book taught him the fundamental principles of scientific research. Herschel's influence on Darwin grew as the younger scientist began speculating on the "mystery of mysteries" upon his return to England. The relationship between the naturalist and the astronomer reveals the hidden history of the deep connection between the study of the heavens and the study of life on Earth.

About the Speaker:
Richard Bellon teaches the history of science and science policy at Michigan State University as an associate professor jointly appointed in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of History. His research concentrates on Victorian Britain. In 2013 his article "Inspiration in the Harness of Daily Labor: Darwin, Botany and the Triumph of Evolution, 1859-1868" won the History of Science Society's Derek Price/Rod Webster Prize for excellence in a research article published in its flagship journal Isis.






Astronomy Day 2016
Saturday, May 14
11am @ Portage District Library | 7pm @ Kalamazoo Nature Center


The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society will once again bring astronomy to the people by hosting a day of exciting and informative activities at the Portage District Library and 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.
 
This year's theme is Galaxies, vast collections of stars, star clusters, nebulae, black holes, and much more. Our very special guest will be Dean Regas, an astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory and co-host of the PBS syndicated television program Star Gazers.

The Portage District Library will host our daytime activities from 11am - 4pm. These include solar observing, educational and informative displays, hands-on activities for children, our Ask the Astronomer booth, and special presentations on galaxies and our new robotic telescope.

Evening activities will be held at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Mr. Regas' keynote presentation is entitled Tour of the Universe: You Are Here. Please be sure to visit our special Astronomy Day website for complete details.
 
 




Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 14 @ 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 and Jupiter.

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 28 @ 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 red planet Mars, giant Jupiter & ringed 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.





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


Launched in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will enter Jupiter’s orbit in July 2016. Juno’s instruments are designed to address such fundamental questions as: how did Jupiter form, how did its atmosphere come about, and how it evolved. Juno’s observations will allow scientists to constrain the models of the origin and evolution of Jupiter by making measurements of the planet’s water abundance, interior structure, auroras, and extended charged particle environment. Considering that Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, the Juno data will also be important for understanding the origin and evolution of the solar system itself, and will provide valuable insights into the workings of the extrasolar systems. In this talk, Professor Atreya will give a tour of the Juno mission and anticipated science results.

About the Speaker:
Sushil Atreya is Professor of Climate and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has played a key role on many planetary exploration missions including Mars Science Laboratory – Curiosity Rover, Juno Jupiter Polar Orbiter, Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system, Venus Express, Galileo entry probe and orbiter at Jupiter and the Voyager missions to the four giant planets. His research addresses crosscutting themes of the origin and evolution of planetary and satellite atmospheres, planetary habitability and the extrasolar systems. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed research papers, two books and twenty book chapters. He has given more than 200 invited talks, plenary lectures and keynote speeches at various international conferences. Sushil Atreya is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, full Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and recipient of the David Bates Medal awarded by of the European Geosciences Union for Exceptional Contributions to Planetary and Solar System Sciences.

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting was originally scheduled to be held at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, but will now be held at our regular meeting site, the Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 11 @ 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, red planet Mars, giant Jupiter & ringed 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 25 @ 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 Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Grand 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.





General Meeting
Friday, July 8 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center


Today the astronomical marketplace is flooded with telescopes and accessories of all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. However, even with the wealth of goods now available, there are some gadgets that can only be hand crafted. It just goes to show that necessity really is the mother of invention and thankfully amateur astronomers are an ingenious lot.


For our next meeting we invite KAS members to trot out the results of their latest brainstorming. Please feel free to bring along any interesting astronomically themed doodads, doohickeys, and devices you’ve purchased as well. You won't want to miss this fun and entertaining evening.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, July 9 @ 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 Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & 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.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, July 23 @ 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 Mars, Jupiter, 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.






General Meeting
Saturday, August 6 @ 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.

Stargazers should be prepared to observe the deep sky delights of the summer Milky Way and maybe even a few 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, August 6 @ 9:00 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 Jupiter, Saturn & Pleasant Planetary 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.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, August 13 @ 9:00 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 The Moon, Mars & 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.





General Meeting
Friday, September 9 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center



Alan takes you on a photographic tour of the most amazing sights the sky has to offer...

The sky provides us with an endless show filled with beautiful sights and wondrous objects, many visible with just unaided eyes or binoculars. Alan tours us through our amazing sky using images and time-lapse movies he has taken, both from home in Canada and from far-off lands in pursuit of foreign skies and spectacular eclipses.

About the Speaker:
Alan Dyer is one of Canada’s best-known astronomy authors and astrophotographers. He currently serves as associate editor of SkyNews magazine, and as a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope. He has co-authored several best selling guidebooks for amateur astronomers, including The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, and most recently the ebook How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses, available through the Apple iBookstore. He recently retired from 40 years of producing programs for planetariums, most recently for the Digital Dome at the TELUS Spark science centre in Calgary. As an amateur astronomer Alan takes the opportunity as often as possible to visit southern latitudes in pursue of fabulous southern skies. His other obsession, eclipse chasing, has taken him to every continent, chalking up 15 total solar eclipses. Asteroid 78434 is named for him.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 10 @ 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 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.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 24 @ 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 Uranus, Neptune & Overwhelming Open 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.





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


The tradition continues!  Every October the general meeting of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is devoted to astrophotography, the art of photographing the night sky. Over the years, KAS shutterbugs have traveled to exotic places, ascended to dizzying heights, or just hung out at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and other locales, working the graveyard shift with their impressive array of camera gear. Now they are ready to show their artistic wares. So come on out for what always proves to be one of our best meetings of the year!






Public Observing Session
Saturday, October 8 @ 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 & The Great Square; an asterism made from stars in the constellations Pegasus and Andromeda.

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 22 @ 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.





General Meeting
Friday, November 4 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center


Light pollution, simply put, is any unnecessary or excessive outdoor illumination. Sadly, it’s become a pervasive and ugly consequence of modern 24/7 society. Light pollution robs us of the night sky’s beauty, negatively affects the ecosystem, and creates an in-your-face waste of energy. But a new mindset and new technology are poised to slow — and perhaps reverse — this bane of modern life.

About the Speaker:
Kelly Beatty has been explaining the science and wonder of astronomy to the public since 1974. An award-winning writer and communicator, he specializes in planetary science and space exploration as a Senior Editor for Sky & Telescope magazine. Beatty also spent six years on the astronomy faculty at the Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelors degree from the California Institute of Technology and a Master's degree in science journalism from Boston University.

Kelly has been active in efforts to reduce light pollution for more than 20 years. He chairs the New England Light Pollution Advisory Group and is on the Board of Directors for the International Dark-sky Association.





Annual Meeting
Friday, December 2 @ 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 2nd.  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 2017 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 2017, 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!