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[2002-Oct-7] The 2002 mirror making class has checked in full. Unfortunately, we have simply run out of space for people to work in our mirror making workshop this session. Therefore, we cannot accept any additional people in the class. If you would like us to put your name on the waiting list for the class which is scheduled to begin in October 2003 please let us know.
[2002-Sep-11] The dates for the 2004 convention have been set for August 13th
(The dates for the 2003 convention had been previously set to be August 1st and 2nd.)
[2002-Sep-9] In the evening on September 7, 2002 there was a spectacular auroral display at Stellafane! Click on the links below for larger images. If you have any photos of this display, or of any other astronomically related subject, please contact us and we will be happy to post them on the Astrophotos pages.
[2002-Sep-6] This season's All Night star party at Stellafane has been scheduled for the nights of October 11th and 12th. Come and set up your telescopes to observe the Fall skies under the crisp clear skies at Stellafane. Both the Porter Turret and the Schupmann telescopes will also be available for use. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. And, hope for Clear skies!
[2002-Aug-22] David and Wendee Levy and Mike Terenzoni talk about this past Stellafane convention on David Levy's show "Let's Talk Stars". Click here to listen. Clear skies!
[2002-Aug-20] The 2002 Stellafane convention is history and was one of the best yet! The skies cleared long enough Friday night to allow the completion of the optical competition for the first time in four years and Saturday night yielded spectacular skies all night. Many home-made telescopes and lectures on various subjects provided ample opportunity for the conventioneers to learn about telescope making and, of course, there was the meeting of old friends and the making of new. Please check below for details as to the goings on at this past convention. Click to go to the 2002 post convention web pages. Clear skies!
[2002-Jul27] In the fall of 2001 members of the Springfield Telescope Makers decided to embark on a comprehensive review of both the mechanical and optical telescope judging process here at Stellafane. We wished to examine our current procedures in the belief that our judging process might be improved, and therefore that the experience of entering a telescope for judging at Stellafane might be enhanced. With this goal in mind, a group composed of current and former mechanical and optical judges as well as other experienced and interested individuals met regularly over the course of this last year to discuss current judging issues and policies and develop a plan for the future.
These meetings generated a great deal of intense and thoughtful discourse and resulted in many excellent ideas, ranging from practical details such as how best to design the forms that judges use, to complex and revolutionary ways to make the best and most efficient use of our human resources -- the judges themselves.
Our hope is that this process of self-examination has resulted in our improved ability to conduct a first-rate telescope making competition, and that this will in turn enhance the unique and rewarding experience of entering a telescope in competition here at Stellafane. See you on the hill, and good luck!
Iliana Filby, Telescope Judging Planning Committee Chair
2002-Apr-7] The registration information for the 2002 Stellafane convention is in the mail! If you are on the convention mailing list you should be receiving the info shortly. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to receive the mailing please click here.
[2002-Apr-7] Good News! The State of Vermont has agreed to do an extremely clever low-level, full cutoff prison lighting plan drafted by Stellafane's favorite lighting designer, Nancy Clanton of Clanton Engineering, Boulder Colorado. (member IALD; IESNA; IDA). This type of lighting strategy for the correctional facility, which will be finished in 2003, may become the model for how prisons will be illuminated in the future.
In addition to this excellent plan, the State has graciously consented to offset the indirect "bounce" of light from the prison by eliminating at least 150,000 lumens of off-site stray light which is presently hindering Stellafane's skies. These sites even include some private sector businesses who have agreed to let the State improve or replace their fixtures at no cost. This is an extremely happy ending for Stellafane, since this means that the prison project less the off-site mitigation will produce no net gain to stray light over Springfield.
In addition to this good news, the Town of Springfield has also helped Stellafane by choosing new lighting fixtures for Main Street that are of the so-called new "Acorn Substitute" variety, which house the bulb deep under a solid top, greatly diminishing glare and uplight. THANK YOU SPRINGFIELD!!
Maryann Arrien, Chair: Stellafane Light Pollution Committee
[2002-Apr-23] At their March meeting, the Springfield Telescope Makers decide to dedicate this year's convention to youth in astronomy. To that end, several youth related activities have been planed for the 2002 convention.
First, there will be the usual one hour sessions about general astronomy for children. These classes will take place in the McGregor Observatory and will be help at 3 p.m. on the Friday of the convention and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the Saturday of the convention. The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to offer a special thanks to Kris Larsen for taking time out of the convention to spearhead these classes every year starting in 1995!
Second, all children are invited to take part in the children's horse shoe pitching contest which is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on the Friday of the convention just to the south of the McGregor Observatory. There will be several prizes awarded and the first place winner will receive a telescope kit from "Stargazer" Steve Dodson. The winner will then have an opportunity to build the telescope Saturday morning with Steve. The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to extend thanks to "Stargazer" Steve for donating the first place award for the children's horse shoe pitching contest for the last few years!
Third, Ray Hannahoe, of the Youth Activities Committee of the Astronomical League, will be giving a report on the latest goings on with that committee at 2 p.m. on Saturday under the big tent in the main camping/parking area.
Fourth, as an additional event this year, young astronomers, 17 years of age and under, are invited to a special photo session in the Pink Clubhouse between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday of the convention. Youngsters who bring their telescope will receive their photo taken with and autographed by Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy, free! If you haven't yet brought your child to Stellafane this would be an excellent year to start!
Of course, all children are invited to the mirror making demo which is help all day under the big tent on the Friday of the convention. Come get your hands dirty as you practice grinding mirrors at all stages and of all sizes! The experience you gain at this event will help tart you on your way to making your own telescope mirror. If you have any questions regarding the children's activities scheduled for this summer's convention please e-mail us.
[2002-Apr-16] Please note: The optical judging during the Stellafane convention has been scheduled for the Friday night of the convention at 10pm! There will be no optical judging Saturday night unless Friday is completely clouded out or early clouds force a suspension of judging that has already started! This change has been made because it provides an additional night for optical judging. We will have a better chance of holding the optical judging if there are two nights instead of just one. Please pass this information on to anyone you think may need to know! If you have questions or comments regarding this schedule change please let us know. Thanks! The STMs.