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2017 Stellafane Convention Schedule

You will receive a printed Convention Bulletin with the schedule in it when you check in at the gate.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 8:30 am -  5:00 pmHH Workshop: The Search For and Science of Exoplanets
Seminar or WorkshopHartness House Hosted by Tom Spirock Workshop (Separate Registration)

12:00 pm -  4:00 pmLarge RV Permit Holders must arrive
Operating HoursEntry Gate  Please don't arrive before Noon!

 3:00 pm - 10:00 pmEarly Entry Permit Holders can arrive
Operating HoursEntry Gate  Please don't arrive before 3:00!

 6:00 pm -  8:00 pmHH Workshop: The Search For and Science of Exoplanets
Seminar or WorkshopHartness House Hosted by Tom Spirock Dinner (Separate Registration)

Friday, July 21, 2017

 9:00 am - Registration Gate Opens
Operating HoursEntry Gate  Gate Opens

10:00 am -  4:00 pmTelescope Making Demo
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Organized by Glenn Jackson ATM Demo Hours

10:00 am -  6:00 pmShuttle Bus Operates
Operating HoursBus Stops  Bus Stops: Pine Island, Food Tent, Pink Clubhouse

10:00 am - 10:30 amTelescope Making Demo: Intro & Rough Grinding
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Ray Morits Intro & Rough Grinding

10:30 am - 11:00 amTelescope Making Demo: Fine Grinding
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Rick Hunter Fine Grinding

11:00 am - 11:30 amTelescope Making Demo: Making Dental Stone Tools
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Junie Esslinger Making Dental Stone Tools

11:00 am - 12:00 pmImage Stacking Recipe
Advanced TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by James Ahola 

11:00 am - 12:00 pmAstronomy Activities for Children: Pocket Solar System
ChildrenMcGregor Observatory Library Pocket Solar System Ages 5-12; Limited to first 25

11:30 am - 12:00 pmTelescope Making Demo: Making Pitch Laps
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Ray Morits Making Pitch Laps

 1:00 pm -  2:00 pmSolar System Walk
Beginners TopicMeet at M44 (Green Shed) behind Clubhouse   

 1:00 pm -  5:00 pmStellafane Teen Project (Requires Signup)
Teens ages 12-16Bunkhouse Presented by Paul Fucile & James Lee (Teens 12-17)

 1:00 pm -  2:00 pmImaging the Great American Solar Eclipse
Intermediate TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Al Takeda Talk (Demo at 3:00)

 1:00 pm -  2:00 pmBuild Your Own Dome from Scratch
Advanced TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Mark Sproul 

 1:00 pm -  1:45 pmTelescope Making Demo: Polishing & Figuring
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Dave Groski Polishing & Figuring

 2:00 pm -  3:00 pmInternational Space Law
Intermediate TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Stephen Lieber 

 2:00 pm -  3:00 pmMaking Eclipse Viewers
Beginners TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Kris Larsen 

 2:00 pm -  3:00 pmSolar Observing Hour
Solar ObservingObserving Fields  Please set up your Solar Scope and Share

 2:00 pm -  4:00 pmTelescope Making Demo: Testing (Bring your own mirror)
Telescope MakingMirror Lab Room in the Flanders Pavilion Presented by Dave Kelly Testing (Bring your own mirror)

 3:00 pm -  4:00 pmAstronomy Activities for Children: Eclipse Models
ChildrenMcGregor Observatory Library Eclipse Models Ages 5-12; Limited to first 25

 3:00 pm -  4:00 pmThe James Webb Space Telescope
Intermediate TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Rich Nugent 

 3:00 pm -  4:00 pmImaging the Great American Solar Eclipse
Intermediate TopicNear Domed Observatory Presented by Al Takeda Demo (Talk at 1:00)

 4:00 pm -  5:00 pmTelescope Making in South Africa
Intermediate TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Chris Stewart 

 4:00 pm -  5:00 pmIntroduction to Stellafane
Beginners TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Kim & Dennis Cassia 

 5:00 pm -  8:00 pmTelescope Competition Registration
Telescope CompetitionClubhouse  Optical and Mechanical Registration

 5:00 pm -  7:00 pmFree Time
EveryoneRelax or Enjoy Dinner  No on-site talks or demos scheduled

 5:00 pm -  8:00 pmHartness-Porter ATM Museum Open
Museum OpenHartness House Hosted by Bert Willard, Curator 

 6:00 pm -  7:30 pmFriday Evening Videos
EveryoneFlanders Pavilion  Astronomy documentaries for the whole family

 7:30 pm - Friday Evening Informal Talks
Major Convention EventFlanders Pavilion Bruce Beford, MC Short presentations by Convention Attendees

10:00 pm - Telescope Competition Optical Begins
Telescope CompetitionFields around Clubhouse  Optical Competition Begins

10:00 pm - Registration Gate Closes
Operating HoursEntry Gate  Gate Closes

Saturday, July 22, 2017

 7:00 am - Registration Gate Opens
Operating HoursEntry Gate  Gate Opens

 7:00 am - 12:00 pmSwap Tables
Major Convention EventSwap Table Area - North of Main Camping Area  

 8:00 am -  9:30 amTelescope Competition Registration
Telescope CompetitionClubhouse  Mechanical (and Optical if needed) Registration

 9:00 am -  5:00 pmShuttle Bus Operates
Operating HoursBus Stops  Bus Stops: Pine Island, Food Tent, Pink Clubhouse

10:00 am - 11:00 amAstronomy Activities for Children: Star clocks, Sun clocks, and Starfinders
ChildrenMcGregor Observatory Library Star clocks, Sun clocks,
and Starfinders 
Ages 5-12; Limited to first 25

10:00 am -  1:00 pmTelescope Competition Mechanical
Telescope CompetitionFields around Clubhouse  Mechanical Competition

10:00 am - 11:30 amTelescope Field Walk
Beginners TopicMeet at Front of Clubhouse Led by Read Predmore 

10:00 am - 11:00 amA Dipper Full of Stars
Beginners TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Richard Sanderson 

10:00 am -  4:00 pmTelescope Making Demo
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Organized by Glenn Jackson ATM Demo Hours

10:00 am - 10:30 amTelescope Making Demo: Intro & Rough Grinding
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Ray Morits Intro & Rough Grinding

10:30 am - 11:00 amTelescope Making Demo: Fine Grinding
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Rick Hunter Fine Grinding

11:00 am - 11:30 amTelescope Making Demo: Making Dental Stone Tools
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Junie Esslinger Making Dental Stone Tools

11:00 am - 12:30 pmTelescope Making For Teens
Teens ages 12-16Bunkhouse Presented by "Stargazer" Steve Dodson Ages 12-16

11:00 am - 12:00 pmIntroduction to Stellafane
Beginners TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Kim & Dennis Cassia 

11:00 am - 12:00 pmObserving the 'Great American Eclipse' Safely
Beginners TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Mario Motta 

11:30 am - 12:00 pmTelescope Making Demo: Making Pitch Laps
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Phil Rounseville Making Pitch Laps

 1:00 pm -  2:00 pmSolar System Walk
Beginners TopicMeet at M44 (Green Shed) behind Clubhouse   

 1:00 pm -  1:45 pmTelescope Making Demo: Polishing & Figuring
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Dave Groski Polishing & Figuring

 1:00 pm -  2:00 pmAstronomy Activities for Children: The Adventures of BB, the Eclipse Chasing Bunny!
ChildrenMcGregor Observatory Library The Adventures of BB,
the Eclipse Chasing Bunny! 
Ages 5-12; Limited to first 25

 1:00 pm -  2:00 pmThe Foucault Test: Optical Testing in the Computer Age
Advanced TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Alan Ward 

 2:00 pm -  4:00 pmTelescope Making Demo: Dobsonian Basics
Telescope MakingTent north of T-Shirt Sales Presented by Ken Slater Dobsonian Basics

 2:00 pm -  3:00 pmSolar Observing Hour
Solar ObservingObserving Fields  Please set up your Solar Scope and Share

 2:00 pm -  3:00 pmMaking Solar Filters
Intermediate TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Al Takeda 

 2:00 pm -  3:00 pmDevelopment of the Chief Telescope & Jones-Medial Refractor
Advanced TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Ed Jones 

 3:00 pm -  4:00 pmTwenty Phenomena of Total Solar Eclipses
Intermediate TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by John O'Neill 

 3:00 pm -  4:00 pmFirst Steps In Amateur Exoplanet Observing
Advanced TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Brad Vietje 

 4:00 pm -  5:00 pmHow a Telescope Works
Beginners TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Dave Prosper (Night Sky Network) 

 4:00 pm -  5:30 pmAdvanced Observing
Advanced TopicFlanders Pavilion Presented by Larry Mitchell 

 6:00 pm -  7:00 pmFree Time
EveryoneRelax or Enjoy Dinner  No on-site talks or demos scheduled

 7:00 pm - Saturday Evening Program & Keynote Talk
Major Convention EventAmphitheater (Flanders Pavilion if rain)  Includes Keynote, Shadowgram, Raffle & Awards

10:00 pm - Telescope Competition Optical Begins
Telescope CompetitionFields around Clubhouse  Optical Competition (Only if not held Friday)

10:00 pm - Discover and Enjoy the Night Sky (Held regardless of weather)
Beginners TopicMcGregor Observatory Library Presented by Steve Dodson 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

 8:00 am - 12:00 pmConvention Cleanup
EveryonePlease clean up around your campsite  Please put trash in the dumpsters

 9:00 am - 12:00 pmHartness-Porter ATM Museum Open
Museum OpenHartness House Hosted by Bert Willard, Curator 

— Major Convention Events —

 Friday Evening Informal Talks

Fri 07:30 pm - Flanders PavilionBruce Beford, MCShort presentations by Convention Attendees

If you wish to contribute a short talk during this session, please register online. Talks are limited to 10 minutes and 20 slides. The time limit will be strictly enforced! A 35-mm slide projector, overhead projector, VCR, and a digital projector will be available for your use.

 Swap Tables

Sat 07:00 am - 12:00 pmSwap Table Area - North of Main Camping Area

The Swap Tables (located at the northeast edge of the main camping/parking area) are provided to give amateurs an opportunity to trade, buy or sell their surplus astronomical and telescope related items. The Swap Table area will be open from 7:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

 

POLICY OF THE SPRINGFIELD TELESCOPE MAKERS REGARDING COMMERCIALISM
AND THE SWAP TABLES AT THE CONVENTION

The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. has clarified its policy regarding commercialism and Swap Table sales at the Stellafane convention. For the sake of historical continuity, to preserve the uniqueness of the Stellafane convention and to encourage conventioneers to build their own instruments, the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. do not allow commercial sales, of any kind, at the Stellafane convention. All swap table sales must comply, in concept, with the above objective but are also specifically subject to the following criteria:

  1. Only surplus astronomical, telescope and telescope making related items may be sold.
  2. Each person will be allowed 16 square feet of table or ground space.
  3. Items which have the appearance of being specifically purchased or manufactured for sale at the Swap Tables may not be sold.
  4. All sales must take place within the designated Swap Table area only between 7 a.m. and noon, the Saturday of the Stellafane convention.

The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. may choose to grant a limited exception to the above policies to astronomy related organizations for their fundraising. Any request for an exemption must be made, in writing, at least one month prior to the convention. If granted, the President of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. will notify the requesting organization in writing.

Any member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. has the authority to determine whether a party is in compliance with the established regulations. Any person who is found to be in violation of the stated policies will be required to comply. Failing compliance, the offending party will be asked to leave the convention and may be escorted from the premises by convention security.

The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. encourages those with questions regarding this policy to contact the Club
via the Stellafane web page (http://Stellafane.org). During the convention, any questions regarding this policy, the appropriateness of items being displayed, or any information being disseminated, should be directed to a member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc.

 Saturday Evening Program & Keynote Talk

Sat 07:00 pm - Amphitheater (Flanders Pavilion if rain)Includes Keynote, Shadowgram, Raffle & Awards

The evening program will begin at 7:00 p.m. Saturday in the hillside amphitheater. (In case of inclement weather, the program will be held inside the Flanders Pavilion). John Gallagher, of the Springfield Telescope Makers, will be master of ceremonies.

  • Greetings, announcements, children's raffle and raffle drawing
  • Stellafane Shadowgram by Dr. Kristine Larsen: Messier Mania, Aperture Fever, and Eclipse-on-the-Brain: A Guide to Common Astronomical Ailments
  • Presentation of Telescope Competition Awards
  • Stellafane Keynote Talk by Nagin Cox, NASA JPL NASA JPL Curiosity Rover Tactical Mission Lead

— Telescope Competition —

 Telescope Competition

Fri 05:00 pm -  8:00 pmClubhouseOptical and Mechanical Registration
Fri 10:00 pm - Fields around ClubhouseOptical Competition Begins
Sat 08:00 am -  9:30 amClubhouseMechanical (and Optical if needed) Registration
Sat 10:00 am -  1:00 pmFields around ClubhouseMechanical Competition
Sat 10:00 pm - Fields around ClubhouseOptical Competition (Only if not held Friday)

Details are on the Telescope Competition Page

— Telescope Making —

 Telescope Making Demo

Fri 10:00 am -  4:00 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesOrganized by Glenn JacksonATM Demo Hours
Fri 10:00 am - 10:30 amTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Ray MoritsIntro & Rough Grinding
Fri 10:30 am - 11:00 amTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Rick HunterFine Grinding
Fri 11:00 am - 11:30 amTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Junie EsslingerMaking Dental Stone Tools
Fri 11:30 am - 12:00 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Ray MoritsMaking Pitch Laps
Fri 01:00 pm -  1:45 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Dave GroskiPolishing & Figuring
Fri 02:00 pm -  4:00 pmMirror Lab Room in the Flanders PavilionPresented by Dave KellyTesting (Bring your own mirror)
Sat 10:00 am -  4:00 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesOrganized by Glenn JacksonATM Demo Hours
Sat 10:00 am - 10:30 amTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Ray MoritsIntro & Rough Grinding
Sat 10:30 am - 11:00 amTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Rick HunterFine Grinding
Sat 11:00 am - 11:30 amTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Junie EsslingerMaking Dental Stone Tools
Sat 11:30 am - 12:00 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Phil RounsevilleMaking Pitch Laps
Sat 01:00 pm -  1:45 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Dave GroskiPolishing & Figuring
Sat 02:00 pm -  4:00 pmTent north of T-Shirt SalesPresented by Ken SlaterDobsonian Basics

This is a HANDS-ON mirror making demonstration - Gain first-hand experience working on mirrors at every stage of grinding, polishing and testing. Experienced ATMs will help explain each step of the process and answer any questions you may have.

Bring your own mirror for testing between 2:00 and 4:00 PM on Friday.

The 24" mirror we have been working on for several years will be available for grinding - please sign the log book when you work on it.

— Beginners Talks —

 Solar System Walk

Fri 01:00 pm -  2:00 pmMeet at M44 (Green Shed) behind Clubhouse
Sat 01:00 pm -  2:00 pmMeet at M44 (Green Shed) behind Clubhouse

To illustrate the vast size of outer space, the Springfield Telescope Makers have constructed a scale model of the solar system, based on the Sun being 12 inches in diameter. At that scale, the Earth would be approximately 1/10 of an inch in diameter and 107 feet from the Sun. Jupiter would be 1.2 inches in diameter and approximately 560 feet from the Sun.

The “Solar System Walk” begins behind the Pink Clubhouse and proceeds down the road going towards the Stellafane camping area. At the appropriate distance from the scale model of the Sun, there are stations with the appropriate planet, built to scale, and a short description of each planet. The Solar System walk can be taken on your own at any time during the convention. However, a guided walk is available at the times mentioned above, when a docent will provide additional information about the “Solar System Walk” and each particular planet. The walk takes approximately ¾ of an hour, if you walk all the way to the planet Neptune, with a total distance of 3,232 feet or a little over ½ of a mile.

 Making Eclipse Viewers

Fri 02:00 pm -  3:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Kris Larsen

A hands-on introduction to low-tech ways to safely view solar eclipses.

 Introduction to Stellafane

Fri 04:00 pm -  5:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Kim & Dennis Cassia
Sat 11:00 am - 12:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Kim & Dennis Cassia

Are you familiar with these terms: “The Pink”, “Tent Talks” or “The Turret”? If not, if this is your first time attending the Stellafane convention or if you are returning and want to learn more about who the Springfield Telescope Makers are, as well as what is going on during the convention, then this presentation is for you. Topics include, but are not limited to: A short history of Stellafane, a description of our site, including the buildings and landmarks, descriptions of the scheduled talks and activities, services available at Stellafane, local services off site, etc., in addition to answering any questions you may have about the convention.

 Telescope Field Walk

Sat 10:00 am - 11:30 amMeet at Front of ClubhouseLed by Read Predmore

During the “Telescope Field Walk” experienced Amateur Telescope Makers will guide small groups through the fields around the Pink Clubhouse, where the telescopes that will be participating in the mechanical competition will be set up. They will describe the various types of optical designs and mounting configurations that will be on display, point out the subtle details that go into award winning telescopes and be available to answer your questions.

 A Dipper Full of Stars

Sat 10:00 am - 11:00 amFlanders PavilionPresented by Richard Sanderson

Using stunning images of constellations, planets, and celestial objects, Richard Sanderson will lead an interpretive tour of the summer nighttime sky. He will describe how the sky appears to move throughout the night and from season to season, and explain the significance of the North Star. He will speculate about life on other worlds and show many of the prominent summer constellations. The presentation is aimed at beginners of all ages.

 Observing the 'Great American Eclipse' Safely

Sat 11:00 am - 12:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Mario Motta

On August 21 there will be a total solar eclipse that will cross the USA diagonally from Oregon to South Carolina. It is expected that millions of Americans as well as foreign visitors will come to see this spectacular event. Even for those not in the central 71 mile wide totality zone, the entire country will see at least a partial solar eclipse. Mario Motta will describe the particulars of this eclipse, including the best viewing spots predicted based on topography, weather forecasts, and local circumstances, and how to get the most out of your eclipse experience. He will also describe where 140 members of the ATMOB will be located during totality. Finally important eye safety issues and how to observe and photograph safely will be discussed.

Dr. Motta was appointed as an amateur astronomer to the American Astronomical Society’s 10 member eclipse committee. They have been working for the last 2 years with frequent meetings to promote this spectacular 'Great American Eclipse' so as to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy this spectacular event safely.

 How a Telescope Works

Sat 04:00 pm -  5:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Dave Prosper (Night Sky Network)

Dave Prosper (NASA Night Sky Network) will discuss how telescopes work in this engaging discussion for the curious. Find out how both refracting and reflecting telescopes use glass lenses and mirrors to allow us to peer to the edges of space - and check out hands-on demonstrations of how both types of telescopes work!

 Discover and Enjoy the Night Sky (Held regardless of weather)

Sat 10:00 pm - McGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Steve Dodson

Using free Stellarium software, Steve will introduce beginners to observing the sky, including identifying the constellations, the Milky Way, and planets. Weather permitting we shall work outdoors after a brief, fun introduction in the Library.

— Intermediate Talks —

 Imaging the Great American Solar Eclipse

Fri 01:00 pm -  2:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Al TakedaTalk (Demo at 3:00)
Fri 03:00 pm -  4:00 pmNear Domed ObservatoryPresented by Al TakedaDemo (Talk at 1:00)

Learn how to safely image a total solar eclipse. Topics will include type of camera, telescopes and camera lenses, solar filters, camera platforms and sage advice from an eclipse chaser. Al will demonstrate imaging techniques in real time during the daytime on Friday at 3PM. The location will be next to the Domed Observatory.

 International Space Law

Fri 02:00 pm -  3:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Stephen Lieber

The recent growth in commercial launch companies has brought about new interest in space law. There are now a large number of articles and texts that cover this topic. This talk will focus on the five UN treaties that provide the foundation to space law. The presentation will help people to understand that basic concepts and their background.

 The James Webb Space Telescope

Fri 03:00 pm -  4:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Rich Nugent

In October 2018 the James Webb Space Telescope will leave Earth and begin its 5-10+ year mission to explore the infrared universe. The telescope will allow scientists to study not only stars and galaxies near the edge of the observable universe, but also objects in our solar system, exoplanets in the Milky Way, and, because of the telescope’s ability to peer through dust, stellar nurseries. This presentation will not only review the history of space observatories, it will focus on the technologies, orbit, and possible visibility-through backyard telescopes-of the James Webb Space Telescope.

 Telescope Making in South Africa

Fri 04:00 pm -  5:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Chris Stewart

Telescope Making in South Africa - an overview of a small group’s products and techniques. Some interesting developments are highlighted, following over 25 years of experimenting with alternative approaches, thoughtful repurposing, innovation and lateral thinking. Partly driven by the need to produce viable and effective instruments at low cost, various aspects are quite novel, globally applicable and worth adopting where appropriate.

Chris Stewart is an amateur astronomer and telescope maker who has been interested in light, optics and the sky literally since he was born. Chris is a member of Council and director of the Instrumentation Section for ASSA (the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa). Though the telescope making class he started and has run for over 26 years, he encourages people to build their own unique instruments from whatever junk comes to hand. He is co-initiator and co-organizer of the annual ScopeX telescope and astronomy exhibition, which has been successfully held for the last 15 years.

 Making Solar Filters

Sat 02:00 pm -  3:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Al Takeda

Al will demonstrate how you can easily make your own solar filter holders for your telescope, camera lens, and binoculars.

 Twenty Phenomena of Total Solar Eclipses

Sat 03:00 pm -  4:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by John O'Neill

A Total Solar Eclipse has been described as being one of the most the most awe-inspiring events in all of nature. In his talk, veteran eclipse chaser John O'Neill investigates some of the obvious and not so obvious phenomena associated with total solar eclipses. John, with ten total solar eclipses behind him, will also convey a bit of the magic associated with this most spectacular event and hopes to inspire everyone to be in the the umbral shadow of the moon this August.

— Advanced Talks —

 Image Stacking Recipe

Fri 11:00 am - 12:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by James Ahola

Learn how use a planetary camera and image stacking to create composite, sharp photos on laptops and PCs. The speaker will use Jupiter as the subject and use RegiStax 6.1 software. James will discuss how to avoid pitfalls in focusing, use of a flip mirror, mount stability, dealing with atmospheric distortion, image drift, and offer many best practices.

 Build Your Own Dome from Scratch

Fri 01:00 pm -  2:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPresented by Mark Sproul

Astronomy Domes are expensive. You can easily build one out of materials from your local home improvement store. It takes time and dedication, but not much more than grinding a mirror.

 The Foucault Test: Optical Testing in the Computer Age

Sat 01:00 pm -  2:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Alan Ward

For over 100 years amateur & professional telescope makers have relied on this simple but very effective device for evaluating the surface quality of lenses and mirrors. Although highly accurate in its ability to reveal minute imperfections, the Foucault Test requires the user be highly skilled in his/her ability to properly interpret the characteristic 'shadows' it produces. This has always posed a problem in that readings taken by the human eye are subjective and prone to misinterpretation.

Due to these misinterpretations, the test has been limited in its ability to produce repetitive measurements necessary for the production of high quality large aperture mirrors. Alan Ward will present the workings and advantages of his video / computerized testing system which produces consistent readings regardless of who is conducting the test.

 Development of the Chief Telescope & Jones-Medial Refractor

Sat 02:00 pm -  3:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Ed Jones

Catatadioptric Herschelians have a lens or lenses for correcting the tilt aberrations of a tilted primary mirror. The Jones-Herschelian or Chief was accidentally discovered when Ed was looking at correcting lenses for his window (Herschelian) telescope. These correcting lenses can also be used in other telescope designs, which led to Ed’s Jones-Medial refractor design, a design with unsurpassed optical performance. Ed hopes to have both his 7-inch-Medial and his 6-inch Chief at his talk.

 First Steps In Amateur Exoplanet Observing

Sat 03:00 pm -  4:00 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Brad Vietje

Exoplanets are all the rage these days, with new discoveries and confirmations announced weekly. Can amateur astronomers make contributions to exoplanet science? The answer is YES! We'll explore the equipment needed, observational techniques, and analysis process needed to contribute your own original data, and help you shorten the learning curve for this exciting work.

 Advanced Observing

Sat 04:00 pm -  5:30 pmFlanders PavilionPresented by Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell's talk will cover this year's observing program: "Visual Observing - The Hidden Gems of Stellafane - 2017".

Larry will discuss in some detail what these objects are, why they are there, and what they are doing. His emphasis will be on visual observing and what these magnificent objects really look like through a telescope, rather than from a camera image.

— Workshops & Seminars —

 HH Workshop: The Search For and Science of Exoplanets

Thu 08:30 am -  5:00 pmHartness HouseHosted by Tom SpirockWorkshop (Separate Registration)
Thu 06:00 pm -  8:00 pmHartness HouseHosted by Tom SpirockDinner (Separate Registration)

Workshop and Dinner information is here. Separate registration and fees apply.

— Children's Events —

 Astronomy Activities for Children

Fri 11:00 am - 12:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryPocket Solar SystemAges 5-12; Limited to first 25
Fri 03:00 pm -  4:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryEclipse ModelsAges 5-12; Limited to first 25
Sat 10:00 am - 11:00 amMcGregor Observatory LibraryStar clocks, Sun clocks,
and Starfinders
Ages 5-12; Limited to first 25
Sat 01:00 pm -  2:00 pmMcGregor Observatory LibraryThe Adventures of BB,
the Eclipse Chasing Bunny!
Ages 5-12; Limited to first 25

There will be four 1-hour astronomy workshops for children; each session has a different activity. These astronomy workshops have been held at the Stellafane convention since 1995. Led by Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University and a member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, each of the four 1-hour workshops includes several activities geared for children ages 5 - 12.Younger children are welcome but will need help from a parent. Due to space limitations, each workshop is limited to 25 children on a first-come basis. Each workshop has a different astronomical activity as listed above

First-come, first-served and limited to 25 children each session. Late-comers may be turned away.

— Teen Events —

 Stellafane Teen Project

Fri 01:00 pm -  5:00 pmBunkhousePresented by Paul Fucile & James Lee(Teens 12-17)

This year’s Stellafane Teen program participants will learn about the science and technology behind the remarkable Mars Space Laboratory mission and Curiosity Rover. Launched on November 26, 2011, and after a voyage of more than 350 million miles, Curiosity arrived above Gale Crater on August 6, 2012. Lowered to the surface using innovative rocket powered sky crane technology, Curiosity has been busy observing Mars climate and geology to determine if life could have ever been supported on our neighboring planet. Covering to date a distance of nearly 10 miles, thousands of images and measurements have been transmitted back to Earth. Curiosity remains in excellent health and continues to operate on an extended scientific mission.

This will be a hands on class working in teams to construct a Curiosity inspired technology that will be demonstrated at the Convention. Attendance will be first-come first-served. If you are 100% sure your Teen will attend the convention and will want to attend this event, then you’ll need to get them on the list. Please email us directly at robots@stellafane.org. You will receive a manual reply to let you know your status. When space is filled, we will add the next two names to a waiting list. If space is not filled through preregistration we will accept others on a first-come first served basis at the event, until the class is full.

Note: There will be a lot of specialized instruction so you will need to be on time! Since we will be working with tools and other mechanisms, only closed toe shoes will be allowed.

 Telescope Making For Teens

Sat 11:00 am - 12:30 pmBunkhousePresented by "Stargazer" Steve DodsonAges 12-16

Under Steve's guidance, the group will build an 8-inch Dobsonian Newtonian telescope. Teens aged 12-16 who take part in the entire activity (stay the whole 90 minutes) will receive a special raffle ticket. The winner of the telescope will be drawn at the Saturday night program. You must be present to win and must take the telescope home with you (no shipping is available). Limited to the first 12 participants – so arrive early!

— Solar Observing —

 Solar Observing Hour

Fri 02:00 pm -  3:00 pmObserving FieldsPlease set up your Solar Scope and Share
Sat 02:00 pm -  3:00 pmObserving FieldsPlease set up your Solar Scope and Share

All attendees with solar filters or projection set-ups are encouraged to share the sun with other attendees. The McGregor and Porter Turret will be set up for solar observing as well.

— Events for Everyone —

 Free Time

Fri 05:00 pm -  7:00 pmRelax or Enjoy DinnerNo on-site talks or demos scheduled
Sat 06:00 pm -  7:00 pmRelax or Enjoy DinnerNo on-site talks or demos scheduled

We have your days and nights pretty heavily scheduled; this hour is kept free for a bit of relaxation or a leisurely dinner.

 Friday Evening Videos

Fri 06:00 pm -  7:30 pmFlanders PavilionAstronomy documentaries for the whole family

Short astronomy documentaries for the whole family.

 Convention Cleanup

Sun 08:00 am - 12:00 pmPlease clean up around your campsitePlease put trash in the dumpsters

Please clean up around your campsite and parking area. All trash should be deposited in one of the large dumpsters by the Food Tent or Exit Lane. Please make sure there are no obstacles to grass mowing in the fields - any rocks, stakes, or other hazards should be returned to the woods or taken to the dumpsters. If you would like to take down rebar and string, we would appreciate that. Pile rebar and string on the side of the road, where it will be easy for us to find and pick up. Thank you very much for making convention cleanup easier on all of us.

— Museum Open —

 Hartness-Porter ATM Museum Open

Fri 05:00 pm -  8:00 pmHartness HouseHosted by Bert Willard, Curator
Sun 09:00 am - 12:00 pmHartness HouseHosted by Bert Willard, Curator

The Porter-Hartness Museum of Amateur Telescope Making is located in the underground rooms at the Hartness House Inn. Admission is free. Follow the signs in town to the Hartness House at 30 Orchard Street of VT-143 (Map). Many of the items on display are by or about Russell W. Porter, including the Springfield and Garden telescopes. His artwork traces his arctic exploration years to his work on the 200" Palomar telescope, culminating in his famous cutaway drawings. Other items of interest include early telescopes and mirror making parts.  The Hartness turret telescope, with its 10" Brashear objective, may also be inspected.

— Operating Hours —

 Large RV Permit Holders must arrive

Thu 12:00 pm -  4:00 pmEntry GatePlease don't arrive before Noon!

Large RVs have to be pre-registered, and must arrive between Noon and 4PM on Thursday. Do not arrive early. We have large trucks making food deliveries and installing sanitation facilities before then.

 Early Entry Permit Holders can arrive

Thu 03:00 pm - 10:00 pmEntry GatePlease don't arrive before 3:00!

Please do not arrive before 3:00 PM and do not park on Jordan Road. The large RV's come in before you, starting at noon. You will not be admitted before 3:00 PM, and our gate staff is busy getting the RV's safely in place.

 Registration Gate

Fri 09:00 am - Entry GateGate Opens
Fri 10:00 pm - Entry GateGate Closes
Sat 07:00 am - Entry GateGate Opens
The hours of operation of the Registration Gate.

 Shuttle Bus Operates

Fri 10:00 am -  6:00 pmBus StopsBus Stops: Pine Island, Food Tent, Pink Clubhouse
Sat 09:00 am -  5:00 pmBus StopsBus Stops: Pine Island, Food Tent, Pink Clubhouse

The Shuttle Bus makes two stops in Stellafane East, one by the Food Tent and one by the main Camping Area (See Stellafane East Site Map (pdf)). It makes one stop on Breezy Hill near the Clubhouse.

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