What we're about

"Amateur" is not an insult.

An amateur astronomer is anybody who learns the skies. Anybody who may learn how to observe or photograph the incomprehensibly distant and huge objects out there. Anybody who may learn about spaceflight, or space in popular culture, or scientific history, or cosmology. Especially anybody who shares this knowledge with others - not because it's a paid occupation, not for recognition or praise, but because they love it.

The Warren Astronomical Society ( http://www.warrenastro.org ) meets twice monthly indoors to share presentations about astronomy: observations, science, culture, and history.

Of course, we also get together underneath the stars: one to two public open houses per month and many informal members-only observing nights at our observatory, Stargate. Whether you're an experienced stargazer or need help learning your telescope, you're sure to find somebody to talk to.

Members have the opportunity to check out telescopes and other equipment with a minimal deposit. If you're interested in getting into astronomy but don't know what sort of telescope you'd like, a risk-free trial can be a great help. Attend an event and find out just how much a committed amateur can do.

Upcoming events (5+)

Stargate Observatory Open House

Stargate Observatory @ Camp Rotary in Wolcott Mill Metropark

It's our mostly-monthly public open house: you get to use our equipment and our volunteers' knowledge to see what's out there in the sky tonight. These event times are guidelines; we meet later during the summer and earlier during the winter. Please call the Stargate Committee if you want to check if we're out: http://warrenastro.org/was/contact-us/ We usually stay as long as the skies are clear and there are interested observers - usually around midnight, but on nice nights even later. You don't have to stay the whole time - though we ask that you aim your headlights away from the observing field in case you have to leave early. Feel free to email us (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/contactUs.aspx) if you have any questions. We only require a few things for your safety and enjoyment: Please plan to be at the observatory before dark. Be careful with headlights on your way in, especially after sundown. Make sure to turn the dome lights off if possible, and park your car facing away from the observing field if you have running lights. The park prefers that all vehicles park along the road but you may see some vehicles parked near the observatory. They are usually club members with large telescopes set up for you to look through. Please don't use white light flashlights when others are observing. Others will have flashlights, but if you'd like to bring your own, you can easily make a red-light flashlight that will help you get around in the dark and is safe for night vision. You can read ideas here (http://cs.astronomy.com/asycs/forums/t/10521.aspx). No alcoholic beverages are permitted. Other advice to help you make the most of your evening: Weather, especially in Michigan, is unpredictable. We are always (some might say irrationally) hopeful, but if there's a solid chance of an extended downpour we are not likely to do any observing! If you're not sure about the weather, call Joseph Tocco, Jeff MacLeod, or Jonathan Kade (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/officers.aspx) to check if the open house has been canceled. Observing is an outside activity, so dress accordingly - a little warmer than the temperature would indicate. Even in the summer, it can get surprisingly chilly at night. Like any other activity, the key to lasting is layers, layers, layers! In the wintertime and early spring, plan to wear at least two layers of every garment: socks, pants, and a shirt. Core temperature is important too, so pay extra attention to keeping your torso warm - an insulated vest can work wonders. Importantly, the Camp Rotary grounds have full-service public restrooms, with warm running water and other modern conveniences. If there's something specific you'd like to see, we'll do our best to make it happen. We have safe, filtered solar telescopes to look at the sun in amazing detail (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/astro_photos/detail.aspx?id=25501605@N07&photo=2402535178) before it gets dark; if you're interested in seeing our local star, let us know and we'll try to make a telescope available. ________________________________ We accept donations via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3MHHRBMAK5WFA) to help us educate and inspire the general public. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible public charity, and we would be happy to send you a donation receipt for your tax purposes.

Meeting, ELECTIONS!, and Talk: "The photograph that changed gravity"

Cranbrook Institute of Science

At the Warren Astronomical Society's Cranbrook meetings, we spend the first hour or so of the meeting on club business and observing reports, then have two presentations, one short and one full-length. In November, though, we have our annual elections instead of the short talk! If you're a member in good standing, or would like to join, please come and VOTE! Main Talk: "The photograph that changed gravity" by Professor W.J. Llope, Wayne State University Two days short of one hundred years ago today, the results from a conceptually-simple experiment performed earlier that year were announced. All one had to do in this experiment was take photographs at a specific time and place and then measure some positions off of them with a ruler. This conceptual simplicity, however, was balanced by complications. Travel to the site required months, and there was no guarantee of good weather at the required time and place. The photographs had to be precise, because the effect of interest is very very small. The physicists on the two sides of any good experiment - the experimentalists and theorists - were in this case also on opposing sides of a World War. While the experimental concept was simple, and the execution fraught with roadblocks (and later, some controversy), the goal was to test a new and quite radical theory about the most mysterious of the four fundamental forces - gravity. As you can probably guess, the experiment was successful, and showed that the Newtonian theory of gravity, which had been solid for ~230 years, was incomplete. This talk is intended for a general audience and will discuss the experimental expeditions that set out from England to Sobral, Brazil and to the island of Principe that managed to photograph the star field behind the total eclipse of the sun on May 29, 1919. These photographs forever changed our view of gravity, and made the theorist that suggested the radical new theory a household name the world around. His name, you can probably also guess. W.J. ("bill") Llope, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Physics & Astronomy Department of Wayne State University. His research concentrates on the experimental study of the quark-gluon plasma and the dynamics of relativistic heavy-ion collisions, and the design and fabrication of large detector systems to measure these collisions. He has no significant expertise in astrophysics or gravitational theory, the physical foundation of this talk, but was drawn to a number of fascinating historical and experimental details when reading this paper: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rsta.1920.0009 --- After each Cranbrook meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society, a number of Club members go to the Redcoat Tavern (31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48073) for a snack and/or a drink and informal chat. Guests are also invited to join us there. We leave from the Cranbrook meeting when it ends around 10 PM and meet at the restaurant a few minutes later. We order food and beverages, eat and sit around and chat, and leave the restaurant by midnight. Directions: Head south on Woodward. The Redcoat will be on your left, on the east side of Woodward, two blocks north of 13 Mile and just north of Burger King. Make a Michigan left and find parking either in front or the large back lot. --- If you would like to present either a short talk (10-15 minutes) or a full-length talk (45-60 minutes) at a future meeting, please email Jonathan Kade at [masked]. --- The views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent, and should not be attributed to, the Warren Astronomical Society. --- We accept donations via PayPal (goo.gl/BwYFGp) to help us educate and inspire the general public. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible public charity, and we would be happy to send you a donation receipt for your tax purposes.

Mtg & Talk: Neutron Stars

Macomb Community College - South Campus - Library

The Warren Astronomical Society meets monthly on the third Thursday in a room in the library (Building J) at Macomb Community College's South Campus. We meet in Room 221, just to the left of the main desk. We do a bit of club business early on, then have a major presentation usually put together by one of our members. Main presentation: "Neutron Stars" by Dave Bailey Dave Bailey will explore the physics of neutron stars, using the whiteboard and visual accompaniment by Ken Bertin. Astronomy has always been a major part of Dave Bailey's life - his parents met at Yerkes Observatory! Dave is in the minority in the club; he is more of a theoretician than an observationalist. He doesn't own a major telescope. As an optical engineer, he has worked on several different kinds of spy equipment (details classified). He has done laser isotope separation (NOT on uranium). He has worked with laser weapons, both offensive and defensive, and nerve gas detectors (details not classified). Living up to his reputation as the club's resident Einstein, Dave's presentations to the club regularly expand our minds and challenge our preconceptions. They also generally use whiteboards instead of computers, and come with multi-page handouts. If you're looking for some mental exercise, don't miss his presentations! Illustration by Casey Reed - Penn State University. --- After each WAS Macomb meeting, some club members get together to continue to the discussion in a more free-form way at the National Coney Island on Van Dyke just north of 12 Mile. This is a opportunity to further discuss astronomy in an informal environment for about an hour or so. All members and guests are invited to join us there. We leave from the meeting around 9:30 PM and meet at the restaurant a few minutes later. You can order food from the menu if you like, but not everyone does. We eat and discuss astronomy and related topics for an hour or so. Most leave the restaurant by 11PM. --- If you would like to present a short talk (5-15 minutes) or a long talk (40-60 minutes) at a future meeting, please email Jonathan Kade at [masked]. --- The views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent, and should not be attributed to, the Warren Astronomical Society.

Stargate Observatory Open House

Stargate Observatory @ Camp Rotary in Wolcott Mill Metropark

It's our mostly-monthly public open house: you get to use our equipment and our volunteers' knowledge to see what's out there in the sky tonight. These event times are guidelines; we meet later during the summer and earlier during the winter. Please call the Stargate Committee if you want to check if we're out: http://warrenastro.org/was/contact-us/ We usually stay as long as the skies are clear and there are interested observers - usually around midnight, but on nice nights even later. You don't have to stay the whole time - though we ask that you aim your headlights away from the observing field in case you have to leave early. Feel free to email us (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/contactUs.aspx) if you have any questions. We only require a few things for your safety and enjoyment: Please plan to be at the observatory before dark. Be careful with headlights on your way in, especially after sundown. Make sure to turn the dome lights off if possible, and park your car facing away from the observing field if you have running lights. The park prefers that all vehicles park along the road but you may see some vehicles parked near the observatory. They are usually club members with large telescopes set up for you to look through. Please don't use white light flashlights when others are observing. Others will have flashlights, but if you'd like to bring your own, you can easily make a red-light flashlight that will help you get around in the dark and is safe for night vision. You can read ideas here (http://cs.astronomy.com/asycs/forums/t/10521.aspx). No alcoholic beverages are permitted. Other advice to help you make the most of your evening: Weather, especially in Michigan, is unpredictable. We are always (some might say irrationally) hopeful, but if there's a solid chance of an extended downpour we are not likely to do any observing! If you're not sure about the weather, call Joseph Tocco, Jeff MacLeod, or Jonathan Kade (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/officers.aspx) to check if the open house has been canceled. Observing is an outside activity, so dress accordingly - a little warmer than the temperature would indicate. Even in the summer, it can get surprisingly chilly at night. Like any other activity, the key to lasting is layers, layers, layers! In the wintertime and early spring, plan to wear at least two layers of every garment: socks, pants, and a shirt. Core temperature is important too, so pay extra attention to keeping your torso warm - an insulated vest can work wonders. Importantly, the Camp Rotary grounds have full-service public restrooms, with warm running water and other modern conveniences. If there's something specific you'd like to see, we'll do our best to make it happen. We have safe, filtered solar telescopes to look at the sun in amazing detail (http://www.warrenastro.org/was/astro_photos/detail.aspx?id=25501605@N07&photo=2402535178) before it gets dark; if you're interested in seeing our local star, let us know and we'll try to make a telescope available. ________________________________ We accept donations via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3MHHRBMAK5WFA) to help us educate and inspire the general public. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible public charity, and we would be happy to send you a donation receipt for your tax purposes.

Past events (531)

Mtg & Talk: "Stargate at 50: Thinking Back and Looking Forward"

Macomb Community College - South Campus - Library

Photos (528)