Join us at 7:00 p.m. on April 10th in the planetarium at Macatawa Bay School

The Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association will host the Chaffee Planetarium’s David DeBruyn, who will give a fascinating talk on the planet Mars.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of West Michigan’s leading authorities describe the history and observations of the Red Planet.


Mars in 2014 – It’s Ever Changing Face.   Every two years, the mysterious planet Mars draws close enough to earth for astronomers to see detail on its surface, and since 1877, they have been drawing ever more accurate conclusions about the nature of this neighboring world.   Early observations led to fanciful theories about life, even intelligent life, on the red planet.  When the first robot spacecraft flew past Mars in 1965, it sent back a less romantic message, a desolate crater covered surface.  Now, almost four decades later, an armada of successor spacecraft have revealed Mars as early observers would never have believed possible.  Among the varied features are those that tell us  water once flowed in abundance on Mars, and where there is water,  there may have been life.
During the presentation, we will also look to what observations are possible and recommended techniques during the latest approach of Mars occurring April of 2014.
The Speaker:     For four decades beginning in 1964,  Dave DeBruyn was Chief Curator of the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. During the past ten years as Curator Emeritus, he has continued to work on special projects for the Planetarium and to write his regular astronomy column for the Grand Rapids Press West Michigan Skies, now in its 50th year. For the past five years, he has served as President of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, so he remains involved significantly in astronomy outreach in the Grand Rapids area and in operation of the Association’s James C. Veen Observatory in Lowell Township. 


Outreach Events

Free and open to the public.  See event calendar for details.

Date Time Location Event
January 25 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Winter/Spring Constellations
February 22 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Stellar Evolution
March 22 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Supernovae and Black Holes
April 26 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings The Moon
May 24 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Summer/Fall Constellations
June 28 7 – 11 pm Hemlock Crossings Star Gazing
July 26 7 – 11 pm Hemlock Crossings Star Gazing
August 23 7 – 11 pm Hemlock Crossings Star Gazing
September 27 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Famous Spacecraft
October 25 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Space Telescopes
November 22 7:00 pm Hemlock Crossings Meteor Showers

Curtis Center Park is located downtown Holland on the corner of 8th Street and College Ave next to JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar
Hemlock Crossings is an Ottawa County park located at 8115 West Olive Road, in Port Sheldon Township


Meeting Schedule

SAAA meetings occur monthly throughout the school year, starting in September and ending in June.  Meeting time is 7pm on the second Thursday of the month.  The location is Macatawa Bay School in the planetarium.  Our meetings are open to the public.  See event calendar for details.


Looking for New Members

Wanted – astronomy enthusiasts.  The SAAA wants to grow the astronomy community in West Michigan.  If you have an interest in astronomy, telescopes or just curious about the cosmos, we’d like to hear from you.



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