West Jersey Astronomical Society  www.wasociety.us

Welcome to the Official Home Page of the West Jersey Astronomical Society (formerly known as the Willingboro Astronomical Society). Our club is in its 51st year of serving both the public and the amateur astronomers of the Delaware Valley. We have a long history of public education, star parties, interesting meetings, in-depth training and experienced leadership. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Click here for membership information (dues can now be paid through PayPal).



Vice President:



 Roger Cowley

Steve Kutoroff

Paul Bender

Wade Evans


Announcements   Last Update: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Nov 16 Informal Meeting, 7:30 pm at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ. As always, guests are welcome and no astronomical experience is necessary. Use the Main Entrance and check with the security guard who will direct you to the conference room. Nominations for 2019 officers will be taken. Here are the minutes from the November 2 meeting.

Alan Daroff will be taking final orders for the RASC 2019 Observer's Handbook and the 2019 Calendar to make a discounted group purchase ($27 and $23 each respectively, cash). This will be the last opportunity to order.
Nov 20 Astrophotography Meeting, 7:00 pm at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ. Dave Neunheuser will make a presentation on Narrowband Imaging in Light Polluted Areas.
Nov 23 Full Moon at 12:39 am EST in western Taurus.
Dec 7 New Moon at 2:20 am EST in southern Ophiuchus.
Dec 7 Formal Meeting, 7:30 pm at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ. Elections for the 2019 officers will be held.
Dec 8 Member Star Watch at Atsion. Check back the day of the event for the weather call.
Dec 15 Holiday Party for members, family and their guests only, at the Virtua Center. It will begin at 6:00 pm.

In Memoriam   September, 2018

Bernie Kosher, a longtime member of the Willingboro and then West Jersey Astronomical Society, passed on September 4, 2018. He was a highly valued member of the club and a good friend of all the members who knew him. He will be very much missed. The Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association has established The Bernie Kosher Scholarship Fund for accepting donations.

Bernie at Atsion, July 20118Bernie joined the club in 1998 and quickly became respected for his contributions to the meetings and other activities. One of his strengths was his practical skill in optics. He ground his own mirrors and was happy to teach others how to do so. There are many telescopes in use in the club with mirrors ground either by Bernie or by other club members working in his basement. He also tackled the more demanding design and construction of a refracting telescope, grinding the lenses himself.

He was himself a keen observer, particularly of the planets. At meetings he would often describe his observations and point out to the rest of us the importance of viewing for a long time to take advantage of the brief moments when turbulence in the atmosphere died away. His photographs of auroras taken from his home near Trenton were also amazing.

At club meetings he made many contributions and enjoyed dreaming up questions, particularly about slightly obscure features of the solar system, that we all felt we should have known about but had never clearly thought through! At other times he would share with us some well-researched aspect of the night sky. He served terms as vice-president and secretary of the club, and always made new members welcome.

Bernie was a friend to all who walked into our meetings and our star sessions. He made every stranger feel welcome; he was a natural teacher and added his astronomical knowledge to every WAS meeting. He could give an interesting talk with little or no preparation just with his broad experience and knowledge, and often did. He complimented members who brought in pictures and he offered advice when someone was having difficulties in any area of astronomy. His general knowledge was very wide ranging and he was also interested and talented in photo microscopy. He was a true renaissance man. While the club will be poorer for his loss, yet we have lost a valued dear friend and we will never forget him.

Roger Cowley, President, West Jersey Astronomical Society.


The picture above shows Bernie at Atsion in July 2018. Some more pictures below...

Bernie made some inexpensive, low-power, wide-angle binoculars, circa 2015 (he did have a sense of humor!).

Bernie demonstrating how to grind a mirror, 2008.
Bernie's basement optical lab, 2008.
Bernie discusses a pitch lap at a meeting, circa 2000 at the Willingboro municipal building.
Bernie and friends at Hickory Run, 2000.
Bernie making adjustments at Hickory Run, 2000.



Click here for the previous home page image.


Click to contact the . Members are encouraged to submit their astronomical images to the webmaster for inclusion on the WAS Home Page. Be sure to include a description, date and time, as well as equipment and photo data.

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