[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  |



Full Moon Theater
Saturday, January 31 @ 7:00 pm | WMU Rood Hall - Room 1110

Looking for a little free astronomical entertainment? Then join us for the next installment of Full Moon Theater. The KAS will provide the popcorn and soft drinks, but feel free to bring some snacks to share with members and guests.  Just be sure to show up and have a great time!
 
Our feature presentation...
 


This is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking's life. Told for the first time in Hawking's own words and with unique access to his home and public life, this is a personal journey through Hawking's world. The audience joins him at home, under the care of his nursing team; in San Jose as he "wows" a packed theatre audience; in Silicon Valley as he meets a team of technicians who hope to speed up his communication system; and as he throws a party for family and friends.  HAWKING also carefully tells Hawking's life journey, from boyhood under-achiever to PhD genius, and from a healthy coxswain on the Oxford rowing team to diagnosis of motor neuron disease, given just two years to live - yet surviving several close brushes with death.  The film also highlights his greatest scientific discoveries and plots his rise to fame and superstardom.





General Meeting
Friday, February 13 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center



Does science drive science fiction or does science fiction drive science? We'll look at the close interplay between science (particularly physics and astronomy) and science fiction over the past 200 years, starting with Johannes Kepler and weaving through Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, up to Andy Weir. We will also examine science fiction television and movies, with a focus on the new Golden Age of science fiction film with the release of Interstellar this past year.

About the Speaker:
Mike Sinclair teaches astronomy, physics, geology, and calculus at the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center (KAMSC) and is a past president of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society. In 2013, Mike was named one of six teachers nationwide as a Kennedy Center / Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher awardee and was the 2006 Michigan High School Science Teacher of the Year.






Member-Only Observing Session
Saturday, February 21 @ 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 their 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 6 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...





Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, March 21 @ 2:00 pm | Portage District Library

The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is happy to present a five-part lecture series that will help you become a star-hopping skymaster!



For a long time, the stars were merely pinpoints of light on the black backdrop of the heavens. Before massive mountaintop telescopes came along, all we could observe were the Sun, Moon, planets, their satellites, and the occasional comet. Today we know that those pinpoints of light are distant suns and that we live in a remote corner of one galaxy amongst billions. For our first presentation, we'll travel through our solar system, explore the star clusters and nebulae of our Milky Way Galaxy, and the countless other galaxies in this vast, infinite universe.

Please Note: Admission is FREE, but we ask that all participants register for the lecture series to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!






Member-Only Observing Session
Saturday, March 21 @ 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.





Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, April 4 @ 2:00 pm | Portage District Library

The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is happy to present a five-part lecture series that will help you become a star-hopping skymaster!



Is that a bright star or a planet? Where's the constellation Orion? Your first task as an amateur astronomer is to learn your way around the night sky. Learn how to find any star or constellation in the night sky with the use of a simple star map. We'll also look at several of the best books geared toward the novice stargazer and the many sophisticated planetarium programs for your home computer.

Please Note: Admission is FREE, but we ask that all participants register for the lecture series to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!





General Meeting
Friday, April 10 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center


The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has taken the astronomy world by storm. This new observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile is a 66-antenna interferometer taking images of the sky in millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The telescope has amazing resolving power and could see a penny from 110 miles away. This capability has already resulted in amazing new discoveries and with new ones being announced every month. This talk will explore ALMA and its most recent discoveries including, but not limited to, images of protoplanetary disks, molecule distribution in Titan’s atmosphere, and black hole jets.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Shannon Schmoll is the director of the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. Prior to coming to MSU, she worked as the STEM education specialist at the Field Museum in Chicago. She did her graduate work at the University of Michigan studying supermassive black holes and planetarium education.





Public Observing Session
Saturday, April 11 @ 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 evening star, Venus, giant Jupiter with its Galilean moons, and the deep sky delights of spring.

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.






Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, April 18 @ 2:00 pm | Portage District Library

The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is happy to present a five-part lecture series that will help you become a star-hopping skymaster!



Every amateur astronomer, novice or advanced, should own at least one good pair of binoculars.  They make an ideal first "telescope" because of their wide field of view, ease of use, portability, versatility, and low cost.  Several types of binoculars are available, but which ones are best for astronomy?  You’ll be amazed at what you can see!

Please Note: Admission is FREE, but we ask that all participants register for the lecture series to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!


Intro. to Amateur Astronomy Page | Portage District Library Directions




Public Observing Session
Saturday, April 25 @ 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 First Quarter Moon, elusive Mercury, brilliant Venus, and giant Jupiter with its Galilean moons.

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, May 1 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...





Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, May 2 @ 2:00 pm | Portage District Library

The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is happy to present a five-part lecture series that will help you become a star-hopping skymaster!



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.

Please Note: Admission is FREE, but we ask that all participants register for the lecture series to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!






Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 9 @ 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 include brilliant Venus, ringed-world Saturn, and giant Jupiter with its Galilean moons.

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.






Introduction to Amateur Astronomy
Saturday, May 16 @ 2:00 pm | Portage District Library

The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is happy to present a five-part lecture series that will help you become a star-hopping skymaster!



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.

Please Note: Admission is FREE, but we ask that all participants register for the lecture series to ensure we have enough materials for everyone!






Public Observing Session
Saturday, May 23 @ 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 include the crescent Moon near Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, 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 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 5 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center

Details coming soon...





Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 13 @ 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 include brilliant Venus, giant Jupiter, ringed Saturn, and some 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.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, June 27 @ 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 include craters and mountains on the Moon, brilliant Venus, giant Jupiter, and ringed 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.





General Meeting
Friday, July 10 @ 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 11 @ 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 include Venus and Jupiter together in the western sky, the ringed planet Saturn, and some 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
Saturday, July 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 include craters and mountains on the Moon, ringed Saturn, and delightful double stars 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.






General Meeting
Saturday, August 8 @ 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 early Perseid meteors. This gathering will take place rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way!

Please Note:  This activity is for KAS Members and invited guests only.  If you'd like to attend then JOIN the KAS today!






Public Observing Session
Saturday, August 8 @ 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 include ringed planet Saturn and deep sky delights around 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.






Public Observing Session
Saturday, August 22 @ 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 include the Moon and Saturn grouped together in the southwestern sky and 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.





General Meeting
Friday, September 11 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...





Public Observing Session
Saturday, September 12 @ 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 include distant planets Uranus and Neptune, plus some 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, September 19 @ 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 include the crescent Moon, plus 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.





General Meeting
Friday, October 2 @ 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 3 @ 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 include distant planets Uranus and Neptune, plus deep sky objects around 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
Saturday, October 17 @ 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 include the Galaxies of Autumn  - including the Great Galaxy in Andromeda (M31).

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, November 6 @ 7:00 pm | Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Details coming soon...




Annual Meeting
Friday, December 4 @ 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 4th.  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 2016 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 2016, 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!





Member-Only Observing Session
Sunday, December 13 @ 8:00 pm | Kalamazoo Nature Center



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. Dress warm, grab your reclining lawn chair, and join your fellow members if skies are clear.

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