I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand more times: I'm a total space nerd! That's why I'm so thankful we have groups like the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society (KAS) to help us learn about and observe the wonders of the vast universe.
If you, your kiddos, or anyone you know has even the slightest interest in learning more about space and the stars, you absolutely need to bring them to the KAS observation nights which are free and open to the public. The final dates for 2022 have been announced and here's what you need to know:
When Do Public Viewings Take Place?
The public is invited to join the KAS on Saturday, October 15 to view the "Galaxies of Autumn". You'll also have a chance to view "Jupiter, Saturn, and A Young Moon" on Saturday, October 29. Both sessions kick off at 7:00 p.m., weather permitting. However, these are the final two sessions for the year so if you're unable to make it, you'll have to wait until April 2023 when the KAS observation nights resume.
Where is the Observatory?
The KAS' Owl observatory is located within the Kalamazoo Nature Center, located at 7000 North Westnedge Avenue. Be sure to check the KAS website at 6:00 p.m. the night of the scheduled session for the latest weather notices and cancellations.
What to Expect:
Prior to each public viewing session, the KAS will host a telescope clinic to help new aspiring astronomers learn how to properly set up and use their telescope. Each session will also feature a constellation workshop which includes the basic how-tos of using a "star map", which is provided free of charge. This ensures you're able to locate and identify stars and constellations on your very own!
The observatory also now features a 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope which has been described as, "the ultimate personal telescope for the advanced amateur" -- far out!