Updates and Twitter

March 20, 2009

Hello all readers.

I know it’s been months since an update, but I promise to “get back on the horse” and maintin this site more faithfully. With this being the International Year of Astronomy, there is much going on.

In the meantime, I want to make everyone aware that the astronomy club now has a Twitter feed. With that, we will be giving more up-to-date reports in addition to our website and this blog.We believe it will especially come in handy during our public night season, as we make “go/no-go” decisions in case of “iffy” weather conditions.

So if you would like to check us out on Twitter, please follow the link below, or on the side menu.

GRAAA on Twitter


Veen Observatory Public Night – April 26

April 24, 2008

If the skies are clear Saturday night, the James C. Veen Observatory – located south of Lowell, MI – will be open for public tours and telescopic observations, weather permitting. Here are the particulars:

Time: 9.00pm – Midnight
Admission: $3 – Adults, $2 – kids 17 and under, under 5 free

If you are not sure whether we will be open or not, there are a couple of ways to check. First, you can call 616.897.7065 after 6.30pm where a recorded message will be updated with the latest information, or you can visit the club’s website, which will be updated at that time as well.

Full information on Public Nights can be found on the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association website – graaa.org. Just click on the Public Night link in the menu.

There you will find a map showing directions to the observatory, and a FAQ about visitors’ nights. On the main page of the site, click on the OPEN sign, and you will be taken to a page with particulars about the specific night detailing what objects will be featured through the telescopes.

The main feature will be the planet Saturn. Views through the telescope will show its rings, and several of its moons. Along with Saturn, we will show off some of the finest objects of deep space as well, including nebulas and star clusters. And who knows what else. The sky’s the limit.

If you go out to the observatory, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the experience. You can leave comments here, or drop an email to graaa @ graaa.org


Hey! Want to Visit an Observatory?

April 17, 2008

In just a little over a week, the 2008 Public Night Season will begin at the James C. Veen Observatory, located south of Lowell, Michigan. If you haven’t been there before, or it has been a while, you are in for a great experience and a fun time.

Twice a month (if the skies are clear) – beginning at the end of April and continuing through the end of October – the members of the local astronomy club (Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, or GRAAA) open the facilities to the public for tours, A/V presentations, and the opportunity to look at some of the wonders of the night sky. Some of the objects including the Moon and the planets, and even things further out into space: galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae full of gas and dust.

Listed below are the dates of the 2008 Public Observing Sessions, along with the times the observatory will be open…

April 26 – 9:00pm until 12:00am
May 10 – 9:00pm until 12:00am
May 31 – 9:00pm until 12:00am
June 14 – 9:30pm until 12:00am
June 28 – 9:30pm until 12:00am
July 12 – 9:30pm until 12:00am
July 26 – 9:30pm until 12:00am
August 9 – 9:00pm until 12:00am
August 30 – 9:00pm until 12:00am
September 13 – 8:00pm until 11:00pm
September 27 – 8:00pm until 11:00pm
October 11 – 7:30pm until 10:30pm
October 25 – 7:30pm until 10:30pm

Although we have these dates listed as being open, we will be open if the sky is clear only. Really, you can’t see much through a telescope if it’s raining.

So if you are interested in coming out on one of these nights, your best bet is to visit the club’s website (listed on the right) on the night you wish, and see if we are open. If you’re not near a computer, you can call us at 616.897.7065 and a recorded message will tell you if we are open or not.

The Public Night page on the website has a full schedule, plus some of the featured objects for each session. You will also find detailed information on the Public Nights, plus a FAQ.

It’s a fun time for the whole family. We hope to see you at the observatory this year.