[2015-Sep-17] Stellafane is pleased to announce our annual Open House & Star Party, this year on Friday and Saturday October 16 and 17. Please come by after 7:00 PM for tours of the Stellafane Observatory National Historic Site, and / or after dark for observing (clouds permitting) through our observatory and portable telescopes.
Please see the poster at right for more details, which also has a phone number to call if you want additional information. We hope to see you, especially our neighbors from the Springfield area, at this event.
[2015-Sep-12] Stellafane was part of the Springfield Steampunk Festival on September 11 and 12. We gave of tours of (the very steampunky) Hartness Turret Telescope and our Amateur Telescope Making Museum in the underground chambers of the Hartness House. The Porter Garden Telescope as a particular favorite of our visitors this weekend. Here are several photos of only a very few of the Steampunkers who visited us this weekend - we were very busy all weekend. Photos and captions by Jay Drew
[2015-Aug-26] For the sixth year, Stellafane will be partnering with the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH to hold a free, public Star Party there on Saturday evening September 5th. The evening will start with an 8:00 PM talk about the history of astronomy in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. Following that, as darkness falls, we will be viewing through many telescopes on the west facing lawn, and members of the Springfield Telescope makers will be available to show you many interesting objects in the night sky and answer your questions about astronomy. Please see this National Park Service Press Release (PDF) for full details and information about rain-out/cloud-out dates. This has been a popular event in past years with good attendance - we look forward to showing you the night sky!
We will also be holding and Open House and Star Party at Stellafane in Springfield, VT on Friday & Saturday October 16-17. Check back here for more details as those dates draw near.
[2015-Aug-13] VPR's Jane Lindholm interviewed long time club member and former secretary Tom Sprirock about Stellafane, the Convnetion and Telescope Making on the opening day of the 2015 Convention. You can listen to this excellent interview on VPR.net.
[2015-Jul-30] Long-time STM member Dennis di Cicco has been honored with the Walter Scott Houston Award, which will be presented at the Stellafane Convention Saturday evening program on August 15.
The NERAL Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday August 15, 2015 at 5:00pm at the Stellafane Convention under the FOOD TENT. The public is welcome!
[2015-May-16] Our president found the ridge board from Porter Turret Telescope blown off on his first visit to the site in 2015, and he scheduled a roof replacement work day after noticing the shingles were rather 'crispy'.
The old shingles were stripped, the old tar impregnated roll roofing underneath was in very good condition and left on. The south side eve boards were getting punky, and they were replaced. White aluminum drip edge was added, as well as new 15 pound tar paper. Premium red cedar shakes were installed on the west side.
Those activities filled the day, and the east side shakes, red cedar ridge boards and painting will be finished up in early June.
Participating in this project were President Dave Tabor and Julie Tabor, Past President Jeff Lowe, Matt Considine, Steven Forbes, VP Ken Slater, Tatyana, Olga and Zhenya Malikowski.
[2014-Dec-20] Stellafane is saddened by the loss of Harry Vandermeer, a life long optical professional. Several club members worked with or for Harry during his long career in the optical industry.
In 1990, he arranged for the donation of high quality optical glass to the Springfield Telescope Makers for the making of the largest Schupmann Telescope in the Western Hemisphere. It's unique optical properties allow very high contrast images of the Moon, stars, and planets. Members also use the telescope to do research on the orbits of double stars. Several of his employees have been members of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston, which meets at Harvard Observatory.
He worked at Diffraction Limited, Inc managing optical programs related to Aerial Reconnaissance. He helped develop Hycon lenses for the SR-71 Blackbird and Laser Altimeters that were flown on Apollo 15, 16, and 17 lunar missions.
Harry worked as an optical physicist for most of his career and formed Optical Systems & Technology, Inc.,at Bedford, MA in 1972. His company specialized in the design and fabrication of large precision telescope systems for NASA and several other government agencies, including the US Navy for submarine optics. Many systems have been flown aboard the Space Shuttle and an ultraviolet spectrometer is approaching the minor planet, Pluto, aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. Arrival is expected in the summer of 2015.