Astronomy Day 2017: The Great American Eclipse

Richard Bell
29 April 2017
Time: 10:00am until 4:00pm

The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society (KAS), in partnership with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, presents Astronomy Day, “The Great American Eclipse of 2017,” on Saturday, April 29th from 10am to 4pm at the Texas Township Campus.

Astronomy Day will focus on the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse that will cross the United States from coast to coast. It will give tens of millions of people along a 70-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long path from Oregon to South Carolina a chance to see the Sun’s spectacular corona, a sight hidden from view except during a total eclipse. Occurring during the summer vacation season, it holds the potential to be seen by more people than any other eclipse in history. The KAS is excited about spreading awareness of this spectacular event and, more importantly, to educating the public about viewing it safely.

This exciting event, offered free of charge, will be of interest to people of all ages. Daytime activities will include programming for families with school age children, including hands-on activities, two special eclipse talks for kids, and our ever-popular Freebie Table full of great stuff from places like NASA. There will also be informative displays and a solar star party (weather permitting). These activities will all take place in the KVCC cafeteria area.

The KAS is proud to present five outstanding speakers who will share their insight to help participants prepare for the best possible viewing and appreciation of the eclipse. Dr. Tyler Nordgren, from the University of Redlands, will lead off at 11am with his talk entitled Sun Moon Earth: Solar Eclipses from Omens to Awe. He will be followed at 1pm by retired Canadian meteorologist and noted eclipse chaser Jay Anderson who will present, Moonshadow Madness: The Lure of the 2017 Total Eclipse. Then at 3pm, “Mr. Eclipse” Fred Espenak, the most widely recognized name in solar eclipses, will close out the afternoon with his talk Predicting and Chasing Solar Eclipses.   For our kid’s talks we are fortunate to have Patricia Totten Espenak presenting Total Eclipse or Bust! at 12:15 pm and Mike Sinclair will follow at 2:15 pm with Be Safe! Tips for Eclipse Viewing.

The main lectures have been relocated to the KVCC gymnasium. (These lectures had previously been announced for the Dale B. Lake Auditorium and the KAS apologizes for any inconvenience.) The kid’s talks will take place in Rooms 4370/4380 located within the KVCC cafeteria area.

For those interested in capturing their own pictures on August 21st, Fred Espenak, an eclipse photography expert who has shot over 20 eclipses, will also lead a photography workshop in room 8580 at 12:15 pm.

Mr. Anderson, Mr. & Mrs. Espenak, and Dr. Nordgren will also be signing copies of their eclipse-related books throughout the day. Copies of their books will be available for purchase.

The KAS will also have “Eclipse Shades,” one of the easiest ways to safely view the eclipse, available for purchase both in the cafeteria and the book selling area.

We are happy to announce the Cougar Café (KVCC’s cafeteria) will be open from 11am - 2pm on Astronomy Day. They will be featuring items from the grill, plus the deli, salad bar, and grab-and-go snacks (i.e. fruit cups, salads, humus, pita, and more). A vending area is also available.

Astronomy Day concludes with an observing session for the public at the Kalamazoo Nature Center starting at 8pm, weather permitting. Viewing highlights include Jupiter, and spring-time galaxies.

For more details, visit the Kalamazoo Astronomy Society’s website.

Contact Details:

Richard Bell

Disabled Access:


Entry Fee:



Kalamazoo Valley Community College
6767 West O Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49003