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2017 Stellafane Convention

The 82nd Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont, the 2017 Stellafane Convention, will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 20-23, 2017.The 2017 Convention is dedicated to club member Allen Tinker.

2017 Convention Program Highlights

Nagin Cox giving a TED talk
Keynote Speaker and New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern at the launch pad.
Keynote Speaker Nagin Cox giving a TED talk in 2016

Keynote Speaker: Nagin Cox
NASA JPL Martian Rover Operations

Nagin is currently a Tactical Mission Lead on the Mars Curiosity Rover. She has worked on numerous robotic spacecraft including Galileo (Jupiter Mission), the Mars Exploration Rovers, and the Kepler Mission (Exoplanet Hunter).

Asteroid 14061 was named for her in 2015.

Join us Sturday evening for an exciting talk about her experiences in working with robotic spacecraft.

Shadowgram by Dr. Kristine Larsen:
Messier Mania, Aperture Fever, and Eclipse-on-the-Brain: A Guide to Common Astronomical Ailments  

The Hartness House Workshop on The Search For and Science of Exoplanets will be held on Thursday, July 20. Advances in both camera and computer technology have brought the discovery and study of Exoplanets into the realm of the serious amateur astronomer. Requires separate registration and fees. More...

2017 Observing Olympics Pin

First Homemade Telescope Certificates will be given to people who bring their first homemade telescope for display on Breezy Hill, and they will be recognized at the Saturday Evening program. More...

2017 Observing Olympics: Complete the observing list, get this pin! More...

Bring your Solar Scope - we will have designated times and places to set up for solar observing, and by having all the scopes in one area, conventioneers will be able to compare various solar viewing options.

A Hands-on Teen Program: We offered this project for the last few years and it has been very popular and successful. The program will teach attendees about how space based instruments work by building functional scientific instruments. This year's mission is still under development and will be announced at a later date.  Requires signup in advance.  Please read the detailed requirements in the Program and then sign up if you can meet them and are interested. More Details & Signup...

Reserve your Friday Eveing Lobster & Steamer Dinner here...

Wondering if you should come to convention?
Take a look at this Informational Brochure (pdf) to see all we offer!


A great selection of speakers, workshops, demonstrations and events for every level: children, teens, beginners, intermediate and advanced amateur astronomers. Click on the link above to see everything going on during convention.

Our Saturday Evening Program will feature keynote speaker Nagin Cox, NASA JPL Tactical Mission Lead on the Mars Curiosity Rover (See highlight box above). Kris Larsen will deliver the Shadowgram address on Messier Mania, Aperture Fever, and Eclipse-on-the-Brain: A Guide to Common Astronomical Ailments.

Hartness House Workshop on Exoplanets

The search for and study of Exoplanets is a relatively new and very exciting field of astronomy. Once beyond the detection limits of even the most sophisticated professional telescopes, advances in both camera and computer technology have brought the discovery and study of Exoplanets into the realm of the serious amateur astronomer. Join us at Springfield’s historic Hartness House, home of the Hartness Turret Telescope and the Hartness-Porter Museum of Amateur Telescope Making, for a day discussing a wide variety of Exoplanet projects, at both the amateur and professional levels. Meals are included. (Separate Registration Required) Workshop attendees may set up at Stellafane on Wednesday July 19th from 12pm to 6pm without additional charge.

Registration for the Hartness House Workshop has been added to the main convention registration system. Please use the Convention Registration Link immediately below to register for either or both the workshop and the convention.

Convention Registration

Register to attend the 2017 Convention and/or The Hartness House Workshop. We urge you to register now; it will save you money (as opposed to paying when you arrive) and it makes our planning much easier. (You must register for the Hartness House Workshop in advance). You can register online with a credit card (through PayPal, no account needed) or by e-check (PayPal account required). This is our preferred registration method, which we have improved this year to send you an instant confirmation e-mail when your payment completes. You may also register by postal mail (less than 55 did so in 2014, and we are hoping to see this decrease further).
Register to Attend Convention and/or The Hartness House Workshop

Allen Hall & Dick parker
Allen Hall & Dick Parker with two Identical 6-inch f/15 Alvan Clark Reproduction Refractors. They won several master class awards in 2016.
Allen Hall & Dick Parker with
two Identical 6-inch f/15 Alvan Clark Reproduction Refractors. They won
several master class awards in 2016.

Friday Informal Talks

The Friday Informal Talks are always a lot of fun, and any convention attendee can sign up to make a short presentation, serious or not. Show off what you just built, show off your great astro-images, tell us about a new technique you are using when observing.
Sign Up to Give an Informal Talk

Telescope Competition

If you plan to enter a telescope in the Optical and/or Mechanical Competition, this page will provide the information you need and allow you to register your telescope.
Enter Your Telescope

Observing Olympics

A challenge to observe at least 15 deep sky objects, accessible in small to large amateur telescopes, has been developed for us by Larry Mitchell, who is in charge of the Texas Star Party Advanced Observing Program. Try your observing skills and earn a pin for your efforts.
Observing Olympics Details

Teen Program

A hands on class working in teams to construct Curiosity Rover inspired technology that will be demonstrated at the Convention. Attendance will be first-come first-served. If you are 100% sure your Teen (age 12-17) will attend the convention and will want to attend this event, then you’ll need to get them on the list.
Sign up for Teen Program

General Information

This page contains important information about the convention, including lighting policies, pet policies, food service, on-site bus service and where to set up your telescope. Check this page for answers to any questions you may have.

Lodging & Campgrounds

If you are not camping at Stellafane, you will need some place to stay. Here is a listing of Motels, Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and Campgrounds in the area.

Directions & Maps

Need to know how to get to Stellafane? Here are written directions and a map for after you get off the Interstate. We also have a site map of the convention area. See also Local Airport Information.

Lobster Dinner Poster
Click to Enlage

Friday Lobster Dinner

Our new food vendor, Jim Ferguson, is back and expanding service. In addition to the Saturday Chicken Barbeque, he is offering a Friday evening Lobster & Steamer dinner.

See poster at right for details. This dinner must be pre-ordered by July 18 at or call 802-376-9033.

A large selection of other food items will be available at the food tent throughout convention - only this special dinner needs to be ordered in advance.

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