[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  |


Public Observing Session
Saturday, April 26 @ 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 the Mars, Jupiter, and 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 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.


Public Observing Session Page | Directions to the Nature Center



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


A globular cluster can contain a million stars but those stars are very old.  Some of these stars have already become white dwarfs, with the mass of a sun compacted into the size of the Earth. Others have become neutron stars, with a mass of more than the Sun packed into the size of a city. But do globular clusters contain the ultimate compact mass -- black holes?  New observations say that some of them do.  Globular clusters and the search for their elusive black holes are the topic of this talk.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Jay Strader is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. From 2007 - 2012 he was a Hubble Fellow and Menzel Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He earned his BS in Physics and Mathematics at Duke University, and his PhD at the University of California-Santa Cruz.


General Meeting Page | Directions to KAMSC




Astronomy Day 2014
Saturday, May 10
10am - 4pm
 @ 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 our very special guest will be Michael Bakich, a seasoned amateur astronomer and Senior Editor at Astronomy magazine (the best-selling astronomy magazine in the world). In honor of Mr. Bakich's visit the theme for this year's Astronomy Day is The Night Sky.

The Portage District Library will host our daytime activities from 10am - 4pm. These include solar observing, educational and informative displays, hands-on activities for children, our Ask the Astronomer booth, and special presentations on the Night Sky.

Evening activities will be held at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Mr. Bakich's keynote presentation is entitled How Big is the Universe. Please be sure to visit our special Astronomy Day website for complete details.





Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 10 @ 8:30 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 Waxing Gibbous Moon, Red Planet Mars, Jupiter with its four Galilean moons, and the magnificent ringed planet Saturn.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.




Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 24 @ 8:30 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 Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Grand Globular Clusters.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Friday, June 6 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center




Imagery from multiple spacecraft (including early fly-by and more recent orbiter missions) indicate the likely presence of abundant water early in the geologic history of Mars. Minerals that commonly form by mineral-water interactions (e.g., carbonates, sulfates) occur in Mars meteorites, including those with the youngest crystallization ages, indicating the presence of at least small quantities of liquid water, at least for brief episodes, until quite recently in the geologic history of Mars, an inference strongly supported by recently acquired high-resolution orbiter imagery. Recent and ongoing Mars surface missions allow more complete characterization of aqueous alteration features and mineral assemblages at a few places on Mars. This presentation reviews the operations and findings of recent semi-autonomous ("robotic") landers and rovers that add to the variety of evidence about the occurrence of water on Mars in the past and at the present.

About the Speaker:
Michael Anthony Velbel (Ph.D., Yale University, 1984) is Professor of Geological Sciences at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.  He studies regolith geoscience, and the rates and mechanisms of mineral-water interactions during rock and mineral weathering. His research investigates the geological, mineralogical, geochemical, and geomorphic factors which control mineral alterations at the Earth's surface and the migration of chemical elements through the landscape, emphasizing small-watershed geochemistry. Related areas of research include terrestrial weathering of Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites; rock-, mineral-, and chemical-weathering on Mars and in Martian meteorites; recognition of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration on other meteorite parent bodies from mineralogical investigations of meteorites; and preservation of sample integrity for past and future sample-return missions.

He was a member of the Mineralogy-Petrology subteam of the NASA Stardust mission Preliminary Examination Team (2006).  In addition to MSU, Prof. Velbel has held visiting appointments at the University of Cincinnati, the Faculté des Sciences-St Jérôme of the Université Paul Cézanne (Université d'Aix-Marseilles III), the Australian National University and the (Australian) Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Evolution and Mineral Exploration (CRC-LEME).  He held NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowships at the NASA Johnson Space Center in 1987 and 1999; and was a Smithsonian Senior Fellow at the Division of Meteorites, Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 2012-2013.  He is currently President of The Clay Minerals Society.





Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 7 @ 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, Mars, Saturn, and Delightful Double Stars.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 21 @ 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 Mars, 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 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.


Public Observing Session Page | Directions to the Nature Center



General Meeting
Friday, July 11 @ 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 19 @ 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 Saturn and Pleasant Planetary Nebulae.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





Public Observing Session
Saturday, July 26 @ 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 Saturn and deep sky delights inside the Summer Triangle - an asterism made from 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 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Saturday, August 16 @ 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.  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 left over Perseid meteors. This gathering will take place rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way!

Please Note:  This event is for KAS Members and guests only.  If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!  The observing session that follows the picnic is open to the public.


General Meeting Page | Directions to the Nature Center



Public Observing Session
Saturday, August 16 @ 8:30 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 the Overwhelming Open Clusters of Summer.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.


Public Observing Session Page | Directions to the Nature Center



Public Observing Session
Saturday, August 30 @ 8:30 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 the Deep Sky Delights along the Milky Way.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.


Public Observing Session Page | Directions to the Nature Center



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

Details coming soon...





Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 13 @ 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 distant planets Uranus and Neptune.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.




Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 27 @ 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, and 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 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.





General Meeting
Friday, October 3 @ 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!


General Meeting Page | Directions to KAMSC



Public Observing Session
Saturday, October 4 @ 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, and Neptune.

Sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast. For cancellation information, please check this website starting at 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.


Public Observing Session Page | Directions to the Nature Center



Special Observing Event
Thursday, October 23 @ 5:00 pm | Warren Dunes State Park




Details coming soon...





Public Observing Session
Saturday, October 25 @ 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.
 
Highlight of the night is 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 3:00 pm on the day of the session or call the Nature Center at (269) 381-1574. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.


Public Observing Session Page | Directions to the Nature Center



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

Details coming soon...


General Meeting Page | Directions to KAMSC



Annual Meeting
Friday, December 5 @ 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 5th.  We are planning on starting at 6:30 pm, one half hour earlier than usual. The evening will begin with the party featuring a rousing round of BINGO with exciting prizes. Then there will be a short business meeting featuring the election of the 2015 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 2015, 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!