[2009-Nov-14] At it's annual business meeting, The Springfield Telescope Makers elected it's board of directors for the next 12 months: Jeff Lowe, President; Gary Cislak, Vice President; Dave Tabor, Secretary; Wayne Hilliard, Treasurer; Dave Prowten and Ken Slater, Trustees. The only new board member is Wayne Hilliard, replacing Melinda Callis in the treasurer's position. Since our president continues in his position, John Gallagher remains on the board as Immediate Past President. Melinda Callis was appointed to by the president to chair a finance committee. Pictures of the current board members can be seen here.
Also at the meeting, outgoing Treasurer Melinda Callis reported the club had only $27,000 remaining to pay off our mortgage on the Flanders Pavilion in full. The also club voted in the 2010 meeting calendar which is posted here.
[2009-Sep-26 by Jeff Lowe, President] Although the day looked promising through out the afternoon, it turns out the cloud baiting effect of an announced star party would win the night. At dusk the clouds had thickened till only Vega, Jupiter and the Moon were visible. Wayne Hilliard opened the McGregor observatory for some sucker hole shots of Jupiter and the Moon. Several in attendance did get to see a murky ISS pass, but in general the evening was more given to warm conversations, a crackling fire and good food. Bruce Bedford spent much time in the Porter Turret, sharing details of it's functioning and it's history to a continuously circulating audience. In all we had 42 guests from the area, with some coming from as far away as Boston.
Carl and Cheryl Breuning like to credit the efforts of Ray and Cherie Wilder in putting on the Up All Night open house, but I believe they sell their own vision and leadership short. With the equinox passed and the 17th annual Up All Night finished, Carl and Cheryl now head south for the winter and we will miss them until their return in the spring. Thank you Ray, Cherie, Carl and Cheryl for sharing a most enjoyable evening at Stellafane.
[2009-Sep-19] Many members of the Flanders family joined with many members of the Springfield Telescope Makers this past Saturday to formally dedicate the new pavilion that bears the Flanders family name. Due to a variety of scheduling constraints, this event came after the building had been used for a couple of conventions, but the club wanted to make sure the Flanders family knew of our gratitude for the leadership Fran Flanders showed in helping to bring this large project to fruition. President Jeff Lowe gave the dedication speech. Bert Willard, club historian, paid tribute to club members Fran, Ernest and Ralph Flanders who made significant and lasting contributions to the club over the years. The pavilion is named for them in recognition of their long time efforts. We were pleased to host the Flanders family at this event, and give them the opportunity to see this great new building and overall improvements to the Stellafane site we have made over the years.
[2009-Sep-08] Tele Vue Optics again has been very generous to Stellafane: Al & David Nagler arranged for us to be able to auction off a prototype 21mm Ethos Eyepiece (one of only 3 in existence) in order for us to raise funds to support Stellafane. The auction was held this past week, and bidding was spirited. With an opening bid of $500 and an winning bid of $1,625, there was very clearly strong interest in this item, as the winner will get use it for several months before anyone else can purchase one (production availability is expected near the end of the year). The lucky winner is Greg Galdi of Hauppauge, NY, and when told he would have the Ethos in hand in two days, responded that he was "Very Excited" (Who wouldn't be!). We thank the Naglers for making this possible and all the bidders for their aggressive bidding on this item. [Auction Details]
[2009-Aug-19] Stellafane will host an Open House and Star Party on Saturday, September 26. This event, sometimes know as the "Up All Night Star Party" (You can arrive and leave whenever you want!) has been hosted in the fall for 17 years now. Before dark get tours of the Stellafane National Historic Landmark. After dark, see the moon like never before, and other objects through our observatories and portable telescopes. This event starts at 7:00 PM; there is no charge to attend. For further information call 603-865-5476. For GPS Users, go to N 43∙ 16.672’ W 72∙ 31.160’, or find directions to the Stellafane Clubhouse here (there will be directional signs leading you in from Breezy Hill Road).
[2009-Jul-13] It is my great pleasure to announce that, by unanimous vote of the NERAL Executive Committee, this year's Walter Scott Houston Award of the North East Region of the Astronomical League (NERAL) is being awarded to Meteorologist Joe Rao of Putnam Valley, New York at this year's Stellafane Convention in Springfield, Vermont on Saturday evening, August 15, 2009.
Joe Rao is
best known in the Greater NY Area as the Cablevision Meteorologist
who brings more than the weather to the public. His great knowledge
and love of astronomy are a frequent part of his broadcasts and
special news packages on Solar Physics and Light Pollution. He has
been an Associate and Guest Lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium,
and has made appearances at many astronomy gatherings in the Northeast,
US. He will be a speaker at the upcoming National Convention of
the Astronomical League known as ALCON 2009 (www.alcon2009.
Joe is a past president and now Lifetime Member of the Amateur Observers' Society of New York, which is the group actually hosting the ALCON 2009 Convention. The Walter Scott Houston Award will be shown off at ALCON 2009 on Long Island, and will be 'officially' presented to Mr. Rao at the Stellafane Convention a week later in Springfield, Vermont. Besides being a great speaker, Joe also emulates Scotty Houston as a prolific writer and observer, as exemplified by his many articles, books, star parties and support for astronomy education.
We are very pleased to give this award to this professional meteorologist, who brings the zeal of the amateur astronomer to the public at large through his use of the media.
Chair: NERAL - The North East Region of the Astronomical League
NERAL Regional Representative Paul Valleli
NERAL Vice Chairman: Jack Heinzmann
NERAL Secretary Alan Rifkin
NERAL Treasurer: Richard Roberts
The Springfield Telescope Makers will be participating in a this event:
June 13: An Evening With Stellafane
Founded in Springfield Vermont in the 1920s, Stellafane is the
oldest group of amateurs in the country devoted to building
and using telescopes. Join Stellafane members for a program
about Vermont's role in the history of astronomy; afterwards,
view the night skies with a period telescope. 7:00 PM - 9:30
Where: President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, Plymouth
[2009-May-06] We now have a collection of Historic Convention Programs available online as PDF files. We have complete coverage from 1954 to present, thanks to the efforts of club historian Bert Willard. Prior to 1954 there are a few convention item available on this page. If you have any Stellafane historic items to fill in the gaps, please contact us (use webmaster e-mail in the page footer).
Springfield Tiger Cub Pack 216 visited
Stellafane on Friday evening for a star party at the McGregor Observatory.
The featured object was Saturn, and the Cubs got to view it through
the 13-inch Schupmann as well as smaller scopes set up in front
of the observatory. This was the first time any of the Cubs had
looked through a telescope, and Saturn is always an impressive first
sight. The bright whitish disk with nearly edge-on rings brightly
showed through the very light, high clouds on this warm spring evening.
Each cub received a Stellafane First Time Observers Certificate.
Members Dave, Julie and Samantha Tabor, Alex Vorce and Ken Slater hosted this event.
[2009-Mar-27b] Chroma Technology, an optical filter manufacturer in nearby Rockingham, Vermont, has made multiple donations to Stellafane over the last two months. Major items donated include a Zygo Interferometer, a Vacuum Coating System, and approximately 25 gallons of Polishing Slurry. Both pieces of equipment were fully operational, and much of the polishing slurry was new and unused. The slurry is already being used in Mirror Class and the Zygo Interferometer has already been used to measure diagonal mirror quality in a member's home (Stellafane itself is still not easily accessible, however we expect to move the interferometer up to Stellafane in a few weeks after 'mud season' is over). The vacuum coater will remain at another members house for a few months until we can make a suitable space for it on site.
The Springfield Telescope Makers extend their sincere thanks to Chroma Technology for these donations, which in the case of the equipment have given us capabilities we could not otherwise afford and in the case of the polishing slurry will significantly reduce the costs for many years for our free mirror classes. We would like to especially thank master optician Mark Conca who contacted us to arrange the donations, production manager Rick Holloway and facilities manager Chip Siler who provided training on the vacuum coater and some spare parts for donated equipment. Mark and Chip were also a great help in getting the vacuum coater loaded on our trailer, staying late to help us on a damp night with a large, heavy piece of equipment.
[2009-Mar-20a] Stellafane extends its thanks to Steven A. Simoni for making a major gift in honor of his father, Andrew E. Simoni, to the Flanders Pavilion early this year. Many of you may recognize Andrew Simoni, for the last few years he has been recognized as the oldest conventioneer. What you may not know is that he first attended convention in 1938 or '39 and was honored as the youngest attendee! You can read more about Andrew and the Simoni family on our new Pavilion Major Donors page.
We have added a new area on the web site
where members of the Springfield Telescope Makers can post their
own photos: http://Photos.Stellafane.org/.
Our goal with this area is to have it compliment our site with astroimages
taken by our members with their own equipment, or photos of equipment
that members have built, or photos that document the history of
telescopes and early astronomy. Thanks to Mario Motta for suggesting
this idea; Mario was one of early testers and has posted some
astroimages in his area. John Briggs was also a tester and has
posted historic photographs of the
Telescopes of George Ellery Hale. We expect more quality images
to be posted as our members begin to make use of this new facility.
STM members, please read the
Guidelines page to learn how to apply for an account.
(This feature was removed in December 2012 and many of the photos were integrated into the main site...Webmaster)
[2009-Feb-18] The Stellafane History Pages have undergone a major upgrade. All pages are now in the current web site format, and many have been reformatted from their previous "pink" style. Two areas that received major upgrades were the Porter-Hartness Museum pages and the McGregor-Schupmann pages, both receiving many new photographs and reorganization. Also, articles from Maryann Arrien's previous public relations pages, which had been off-line for a few years, were put back on-line in the appropriate sections. With these changes, the only remaining pink-formatted pages on the site are in the 2000 through 2004 convention section.
[2009-Feb-02] The ATM web pages were first appeared on this site in 1998 in our classic pink format. In 2006 we updated the look of this site to the more modern white page look you are reading now. However, the ATM pages where not updated to this new format until now.
This reformatting included moving to a more consistent physical directory area on our web site, updatingpage names to our current scheme, retouching photos where necessary and correcting numerous typos, layout and link issues. The pages are now HTML 4.01 compliant and use the common CSS style sheet that the rest of the site uses. There are a few issues I know about that will be cleaned up in the next day or two, but please let me know (use the webmaster link at the bottom of this page) if you notice any issues.
After working with the current home page
for about two years now, I've decided to change the layout a bit.
The old news area was too small and narrow for our needs, so I have
added a new full page width news area to the top of the content
area. The former location for news will be used to show the latest
changes to the web site, with dates and links to the new content
Ken Slater, Webmaster
[2009-Jan-01] 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first observations of the night sky with a telescope. Find out about events and activities world wide at the IYA2009 Main Site or the U. S. National Node if you live in or plan to visit the United States.