Wabash Valley Astronomical Society
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.
The Wabash Valley Astronomical Society is hosting a free public stargazing activity from 8:30-10:00 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the West Lafayette Observatory, 600 Cumberland Ave. Astronomical telescopes will be used to view celestial objects such as planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies if possible. Mars and Saturn will be our featured objects and a presentation about these planets will be given. Constellation-finding will also be an activity for those wanting to learn their way around the sky. Parking is available in front of Cumberland Elementary School. The event is canceled if mostly cloudy. Call 765-427-9064 if you have questions about this activity. Please watch the Facebook and Twitter feeds below for any last-minute changes.