Sharing the night sky from April through October during Public Observing Sessions at the Kalamazoo Nature Center has been a long-standing tradition for the KAS. Seeing the Moon, planets, star clusters, and distant galaxies through the eyepiece of a telescope is an experience like no other. However, persistent cloud cover and frigid temperatures make sharing the sky quite challenging during the winter months. The KAS is now pleased to offer “Online Viewing Sessions” that will run once a month from November through February. Admission is FREE!

Online Viewing Sessions will utilize the KAS Remote Telescope located under the dark desert skies of southeastern Arizona. Attendees will view images of deep-sky objects captured with the system’s CCD cameras in Arizona, transmitted to participant’s computer, tablet, and smart phone screens. Once the session has concluded, attendees will be provided with a link to download the images captured that night to share with friends and keep as mementos.

Here are a few sample images taken during past sessions:

Lagoon Nebula (M8)
[NGC 1977]
Running Man Nebula (NGC 1977)
[NGC 7000]
North America Nebula (NGC 7000)

Each session will be hosted by a knowledgeable KAS member. The host will introduce each deep sky target to be imaged and provide background information and interesting scientific tidbits while the exposure is in progress. They will also be available to answer questions about the Remote Telescope and general astronomical inquiries.

Location & Registration

Online Viewing Sessions are not limited to a single location. Participants can join from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. We use Zoom, the video conferencing service, to bring the sessions directly to you. Download an app or plugin for nearly any device or browser from Zoom's download page. Those interested in attending one or more of the sessions can register using the links provided in the schedule below or on our Schedule of Events page. Once you register you will receive a link and passcode.

KAS members will receive reminders about the sessions by email. If you are not a KAS member but would like to also receive reminders about the sessions, please use our contact page to be added to the Online Viewing Session email list. In case we reach the Zoom participant limit, the sessions will also be streamed live on our YouTube Channel.

Postponement or Cancellation

If weather conditions necessitate a cancellation there will be a second “cloud date” scheduled (with the exception of the first session) the following Saturday. Postponement or cancellation information will be posted on the KAS website and social media accounts.