[2016-11-21] On November 18th, members Steve & Patrick Dodson attended a meeting of the Kitchener RASC in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. While there, they gave some talks. In particular, Patrick presented the history of Stellafane's early beginnings and Porter's influence on the ATM world. Steve followed it up with a talk about John Dobson and how he influenced telescope building in Ontario with two visits he had made there in the 80's.
[2016-11-21] At the annual business meeting, the Springfield Telescope Makers held their election. All the Officers remain in their positions except for one . We'd like to congratulate Jay Drew to his appointment to the position of Secretary and thank Carl Malikowski for his service.
[2016-10-15] On October 15th, the Springfield Telescope Makerss hosted a star party with Cub Scouts from several local Packs. There were about 20 Scouts, plus their families and leaders. The evening started off with a short presentation from STM President Dave Tabor who explained how a telescope works and what objects the Cubs would be able to see that evening. After the presentation, the Cubs joined the STMs at the telescopes, looking through several homemade telescopes and the club's Schupmann Telescope in the McGregor Observatory. The Cubs were able to try their hand at using one of the scopes to view the Moon, while the STMs showed off the Moon, Saturn, Mars, Venus and a few deep sky objects. Saturn was definitely the showpiece with the most interest. We're looking forward to another event next spring with the local packs, and hoping to see a lot more!
[August 8, 2016] The Springfield Telescope Makers are pleased to offer two free public star parties this fall:
(Rain Date Sunday, September 4th)
Solar Viewing: 2:00-4:00 PM with regular site admission fee.
Star Party: 8:00 PM, free admission
Star Party Poster (It's Beautiful)
There was a large turnout last year in this beautiful setting - come see the stunning night sky with us. Viewing will begin when it is dark, there will be a short presentation on the history of astronomy in the area at 8:00 PM.
[2016-10-09]This year, our fall star party stretched over two nights. Friday was clear with decent seeing and a large group of guests stayed up most of the night observing fall favorites through a variety of telescopes, including the Porter Turret Telescope. Saturday night was clouded out due to weather associated with Hurricate Matthew, but the Clubhouse was still warm and inviting. The Bruening/Wilder Family again cooked up a delicious meal both nights and gave tours of the National Historic Observatory. Thanks to all who attended and pitched in to help. See you next autumn!
[2016-09-23] Stellafane once again opened the Hartness-Porter Museum of Amateur Telescope Making to the creative people who fly in on dirigibles to attend the annual Springfield Steampunk Festival. Here are several photos of the Steampunkers who visited us this weekend - we were very busy all weekend. Looking forward to next year!
[2016-10-03] The dates for the 2018 and 2019 Conventions have been announced. August 9-12, 2018 and August 1-4, 2019. Please add them to your calendar!.
[2016-08-31] The topic for our Hartness House Workshop during the 2017 Convention has been announced. Dr. Tom Spirock will be coordinating a group of professional and amateur experts in the field of Exo-Planets. Please plan on joining us!.
[2016-02-23] Springfield Telescope Maker Kristine Larsen PhD, Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University, is awarded the Astronomical League's 2015 Special Service Award for her "outstanding service, dedication, attention to detail, and performance in her role as volunteer Assistant Editor of the magazine Reflector."
Kris is well known to the Stellafane community as the driving force creating and presenting our popular Kids Programs. She works tirelessly to put up the slide show for the Saturday Evening Program and is an accompished telescope maker.
Besides her work at CCSU, Kris is the current President of the AAVSO, the American Association of Variable Star Observers, and has a special interest in our own nearby variable star, the Sun. She and her students are avid solar observers and post data to the AAVSO most clear days.
Kris' Curriculum Vitae makes impressive reading, and her personal blog at Musings from Melenrond is both fun and thought provoking. Give Kris a thumb's up when you see her at Convention: we predict she will advance to Editor of Reflector Magazine by then.
[2016-01-22] At the invitation of the National Park Service, the Springfield Telescope Makers were asked to participate in events honoring the NPS Centennial in the Vermont Statehouse.
In the morning we gathered in the house chamber to hear a joint resolution being read in honor of the National Park Service and its excellent stewardship of historic, cultural and natural resources in Vermont. Vermont is home to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park and a section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. After the joint resolution passed unanimously, the Representatives and Senators rose and gave the NPS staff that were present a long round of applause.
Additionally, the NPS oversees the National Historic Landmark program, and we were there to represent the Stellafane Observatory National Historic Landmark. There are 17 NHL's in Vermont, and that list includes the Statehouse. Club president Dave Tabor prepared a very nice display of historic photos and descriptions and brought his homemade telescope; Mike Patterson created a one-page handout that provided a brief history of Stellafane; and Matt Considine brought a replica of a Porter Casting, the 'Arctic Explorer' book and an original ATM book.
From 11 to 1 a reception was held for the Legislators and Statehouse staff. NPS provided a light lunch, and we were quite busy with many people stopping by to find out more about Stellafane, our history, and what we are doing today.
Rick Kendall, the NPS Superintendent of both Marsh-Billings National Park and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, as well as Superintendent of the NPS Stewardship Institute, and who organized the event, gave a few brief remarks. Representatives of U.S. Senators Leahy and Sanders also read congratulatory messages to NPS on reaching their one hundredth anniversary.
Representing the club were President Dave Tabor and his wife Julie Tabor, Vice President Ken Slater, and Historian Matt Considine. NPS Superintendent Kendall, a great supporter of the NPS Night Skies program, has successfully made a mirror in the Stellafane mirror class, and we partner with him in the fall to hold the Saint-Gaudens Star Party.
Overall, this was a wonderful event to be a part of, and we thank Superintendent Kendall and the National Park Service for inviting us to their 100 Year Celebration. We wish the NPS good luck in their second century of conservation and protection of our shared history and natural resources.
[2015-Nov-25] We are grateful for a donation of precision annealed molded primary blanks this month from United Lens Company of Southbridge, MA. This donation will lower the costs for our annual mirror class for us and our students, directly supporting our mission of preserving amateur telescope optics fabrication.
United Lens is celebrating it's 100th anniversary in 2016, now in it's fourth generation of a family owned business. They have a long history of being generous to amateur telescope makers, so it is no surprise this is not the first donation we have received from them.
We appreciate their support, and wish them all the best in their anniversary year and in the future!