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2009 Stellafane Convention General Information

"If an amateur starts out to build a telescope just for fun he will find, before his labors are over, that he has become seriously interested in the wonderful mechanism of our universe. And finally, there is understandably the stimulus of being able to unlock the mysteries of the heavens by a tool fashioned by one's own hand."

Russell W. Porter, Founder of Stellafane, March, 1923

The Ultimate Star Party?

Although the oldest and perhaps best known, the Stellafane Convention is but one of the growing number of astronomy conventions in North America. Our reputation and the fact that publications list the Stellafane Convention along with star parties in their calendars of events causes some people to arrive at the meeting expecting the ultimate observing experience. In truth, the Stellafane Convention began in the 1920's as a meeting of amateur telescope makers. There has always been observing, but it does not have the emphasis that it does at gatherings such as the Texas Star Party or Florida's Winter Star Party. The Convention is on the outskirts of town and minor light pollution is visible in the sky over Stellafane.

Contact Information

Questions that are not answered here can be directed via e-mail to convention@stellafane.com.

Family Service Radios

The convention staff uses family service radio channel 7 to facilitate communications during the convention. Please avoid using this channel when you are at the convention site. Of course, if you have an emergency please contact the staff via channel 7.

Stellafane Lighting Policy

Stellafane does not allow open white lights, on clear nights, except for -hour after the Friday and Saturday evening talks end. Vehicular travel after this time is strongly discouraged and is done only at the risk of the operator. We thank you for your cooperation.

Pet Policy

The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. welcomes you to bring your pets to the Stellafane convention, provided the following rules are followed:

  • Pets must be confined, leashed or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Leashes may not exceed 6 feet in length. Pets that are tethered at the campsite cannot be left unattended for more than 30 minutes. Pets may not be tied to trees, bushes, tables or shelter facilities, even when the owners are present.
  • Pets must be well-behaved at all times. Pets must be confined in the owner's camping unit during quiet hours (11 PM - 8 AM).
  • Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles.
  • Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain at the Convention.

Failure to comply with the above rules will result in you and your pet being asked to leave the convention and may be escorted from the premises by convention security. The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. thanks you in advance for helping to make the Stellafane convention more enjoyable for everyone Enjoy the convention! [PDF Version]

Will Dark-Sky Conditions be Preserved?

We try to preserve the Clubhouse area on Breezy Hill as the dark sky site by limiting the number of cars that go in and out during the night. However, it's not perfect so expect the occasional white light to go by.

Stellafane Endowment Fund

The Endowment Fund will one day guarantee that Stellafane can pay unavoidable costs due to a catastrophic event or if the convention cannot be held. For info please go to the Pink Clubhouse or see the information online here. All contributions to the endowment fund are tax deductible. Thanks!

Online Telescope Registration

If you will be in the telescope competition, you are encouraged to register you telescope on-line here. Note that you must still check in at the Pink Clubhouse before the competition or your telescope will not be judged! Pre-registering your telescope on-line will save both you and us time when you check-in in person at convention.

What should I bring to the Convention?

Whether a day-tripper or a die-hard camper, everyone should bring rain gear for those periodic "Stella-Rains", sturdy shoes for the up-and-down hill walks on rocky terrain (a 2nd pair of shoes and socks is handy in case your feet get wet in the rain!), a cap or visor and sun protection for the sunny days, and bug spray ... (yes, there are bugs, especially at dusk!). Also, no matter how warm the day is, the evening temperatures can plunge, so a jacket (and even gloves) will prove invaluable... campers will obviously need to bring more "stuff". For the protection of yourself and others, just a reminder that camp fires are not allowed... if you are camping and/or cooking on the Stellafane site, you must use approved cooking equipment, i.e. portable grill or camping cook stove, etc. And, always be careful about disposal of cigarette butts.

Is there a public telephone on site?

Yes. It's inside the Bunkhouse's porch next to the t-shirt table. Please see the map of the main camping / parking area, which you'll receive when you arrive, for the location of the t-shirt table.

Cell Phone Service

Be advised that cell phone service is "spotty" in hilly southern Vermont. Good coverage is generally available near interstates and town centers, but gets less reliable as you move off into the countryside. At Stellafane, you might have to move about the site to get a connection, but most carries do have a useable signal at least in some (higher) areas of our site.

Where to Set Up your Telescope

We strongly recommend that you set up your telescope in the fields around the Pink Clubhouse or in the field to the south of the McGregor Observatory. You may not set up your telescope in a designated parking area. Please consult the site map, which you will receive when you arrive, as well as the signs posted throughout the convention site for the designated parking locations.

Can I bring a store purchased telescope?

Of course! Everyone who's interested in any aspect of astronomy is welcome at the convention!

Please Support the Flanders Pavilion

Following the tradition set down by our founder, Russell W. Porter, the Springfield Telescope Makers continually work to improve the Stellafane convention. Our new Flanders Pavilion has been a big hit! However, the Springfield Telescope Makers need your help to raise the funds necessary to pay off the loan that was needed to complete the Pavilion. If you are interested in donating to this project you may do so on the 2009 Convention Online Registration form (using PayPal) when you register or you may do it separately, by mail or online, with our Donation Form. Thanks!

Printed Convention Bulletins

(Not yet published - please check back later)

If you would prefer to read printed information about the convention, you might want to print these PDF files. All of the information in these bulletins are on the web pages, although the web pages actually contain more information as we do not have the space constraints of a printed publication.

  • Convention Bulletin (4 pages, PDF format) which contains Program Information, Optical & Mechanical Competition Information, our Commercialism Policy, and other General Information.
  • Site Map: (1 page, PDF Format) This a the map of the Stellafane East site which shows where the roads, camping and facilities are.

While this is part of what we send to our mailing list for information, it does not contain the registration form needed for mail-in registration. See the registration page for details on how to do a mail-in registration.

Both documents are PDF files, download free Adobe Reader if you need it.

Photos & Convention Reports

We would be pleased to add your photos or convention report to our post-convention pages. Please submit them via email to the webmaster.

Directions & Maps

You can find directions and maps to Stellafane here. The Stellafane East Site Map is available as an image or as a printable PDF file.

Do I have to Walk from the Main Camping/Parking Area to the Pink Clubhouse?

No. There is a shuttle bus that will operate between the main camping/parking area and the Clubhouse from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Friday and 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday.

Is there parking near the Clubhouse?

No. Parking near the Clubhouse is very limited. We try to reserve the few spots that are available for those who are unable to walk up the hill or take the bus. If you must drive up to deliver your telescope we ask that you park your car in the main camping/parking area as soon as possible. Thanks for your cooperation in this area.

Where are Food Services located?

The main food service tent is located just to the south of the t-shirt table. Note: This food service tent is open all night if you need a snack and/or coffee during your observing session. There is also a smaller food service tent or truck next to the Clubhouse which is open during the day.

Food service will be available for Thursday dinner and for Friday breakfast, if you using our new Early Entry Permit option.

Where is the Lost and Found?

The lost and found is at the t-shirt table.  Please see the map of the main camping / parking area, which you'll receive when you arrive, for the location of the t-shirt table.

Volunteer

Would you like to help out at convention? Please see our Volunteer Information.

2010 & 2011 Convention Dates

The 2010 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday, August 5, 2010 through Sunday, August 8, 2010.

The 2001 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday, July 28, 2011 through Sunday, July 31, 2011.

Swap Table / Commercialism Policy

Please see here.

Back to the 2009 Convention Main Page

 
Page last revised on Wednesday, 2009-Aug-12 21:22:59 -0400