Wabash Valley Astronomical Society, Inc.
Wabash Valley Astronomical Society (WVAS) is a non-profit organization that promotes the science and hobby of astronomy. We've been in the Greater Lafayette, Indiana, area since 1971 and our current membership includes people with many different backgrounds and with ages from high school through retirees. People join WVAS because they have an interest in planetary and deep sky observing, locating constellations, astrophotography, telescope making, cosmology, or they just "want to see what's out there". We are affiliated with the Astronomical League, a nationwide federation of astronomy clubs. We are available for group educational presentations and observing sessions. Additionally, we are members in the JPL Night Sky Network, a NASA group to encourage astronomy outreach. WVAS is a supporting organization of the International Dark Sky Association in their pursuit of reduced light pollution through better lighting practices.
Our base of operations is the West Lafayette Observatory at 600 Cumberland Avenue. (Directions to WLO) The observatory is owned by the West Lafayette School Corporation and is operated by the Purdue University Physics Department and is used for teaching and research. The observatory's exact location is 86º 54.39'W, 40º 27.68'N, 216m.
The observatory has a 20 seat classroom and houses a computerized 16" diameter Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, a 10" Newtonian, an 8" binocular telescope, and an 8" Orion Deep Space Explorer Newtonian. The 10" Newtonian and 8" binocular telescopes were built by WVAS members. The Deep Space Explorer telescope can be signed out by WVAS members and by community organizations. Our dark site observing location is at the Prairie Grass Observatory located within Camp Cullom.
We at WVAS have seen our share of telescopes given as gifts to inspire our young and sadly there are several things that can make this gift turn into a fail: Hard to assemble/use. Unsteady while being used. Optics that should never have left the factory.
We believe even an inexpensive telescope can lead to a lifetimes enjoyment IF you purchase wisely. We’ve put together explanations of some of the baffling terminology and suggestions of what to look for. We’ve also gathered a list of telescopes that we have personal experience with. Prices range from under $100 to $500 (but often less when on sale). Care to learn more? Just click here!
Due to construction around the West Lafayette Observatory, we are NOT meeting there. As this construction will be happening for quite a while, we will be meeting at other locations. To check the location for this month, please check our Facebook page.