Although the oldest and perhaps best known, the Stellafane
Convention is but one of the growing number of astronomy conventions
in North America. Our reputation and the fact that publications
list the Stellafane Convention along with star parties in their
calendars of events causes some people to arrive at the meeting
expecting the ultimate observing experience. In truth, the Stellafane
Convention began in the 1920's as a meeting of amateur telescope
makers. There has always been observing, but it does not have
the emphasis that it does at gatherings such as the Texas Star
Party or Florida's Winter Star Party. The Convention is on the
outskirts of town and minor light pollution is visible in the
sky over Stellafane.
Questions that are not answer here can be directed via e-mail
The convention staff uses family service radio channel 7
to facilitate communications during the convention. Please avoid
using this channel when you are at the convention site. Of course,
if you have an emergency please contact the staff via channel
Stellafane does not allow open white lights, on clear nights,
except for ½ hour after the Friday and Saturday evening talks
end. Vehicular travel after this time is strongly discouraged
and is done only at the risk of the operator. We thank you for
Will dark-sky conditions be preserved?
We try to preserve the Clubhouse area on Breezy Hill as
the dark sky site by limiting the number of cars that go in
and out during the night. However, it's not perfect so
expect the occasional white light to go by.
The Endowment Fund will one day guarantee that Stellafane
can pay unavoidable costs due to a catastrophic event or if
the convention cannot be held. For info please go to the Pink
see the information online
here. All contributions to the endowment fund are tax
Online Telescope Registration
If you will be in the telescope competition, you are encouraged
to register you telescope on-line
here. Note that you must still
check in at the Pink Clubhouse before the competition or your
telescope will not be judged! Pre-registering your telescope
on-line will save both you and us time when you check-in in
person at convention.
Whether a day-tripper or a die-hard camper, everyone should bring rain gear for those periodic "Stella-Rains", sturdy shoes for the up-and-down hill walks on rocky terrain (a 2nd pair of shoes and socks is handy in case your feet get wet in the rain!), a cap or visor and sun protection for the sunny days, and bug spray ... (yes, there are bugs, especially at dusk!). Also, no matter how warm the day is, the evening temperatures can plunge, so a jacket (and even gloves) will prove invaluable... campers will obviously need to bring more "stuff". For the protection of yourself and others, just a reminder that
camp fires are not allowed... if you are camping and/or cooking on the Stellafane site, you must use approved cooking equipment, i.e. portable grill or camping cook stove, etc. And, always be careful about disposal of cigarette butts.
Yes. It's inside the Bunkhouse's porch next to the t-shirt table. Please see the
map of the main camping / parking
area, which you'll receive when you arrive, for the location of the t-shirt table.
The lost and found is at the t-shirt table. Please see the map of the main camping / parking area, which you'll receive
when you arrive, for the location of the t-shirt table.
Would you like to help out at convention? Please see our
We strongly recommend that you set up your telescope in the
fields around the Pink Clubhouse or in the field to the south
of the McGregor Observatory. You may not set up your telescope
in a designated parking area. Please consult the site map, which
you will receive when you arrive, as well as the signs posted
throughout the convention site for the designated parking locations.
Can I bring a store purchased telescope?
Of course! Everyone who's interested in any aspect of
astronomy is welcome at the convention!
Following the tradition set down by our founder, Russell
W. Porter, the Springfield Telescope Makers continually
work to improve the Stellafane convention. Our new Flanders
Pavilion has been a big hit! However, the Springfield Telescope
Makers need your help to raise the funds necessary to
pay off the loan that was needed to complete the Pavilion.
If you are interested in donating to this project you may do
so on the Online Registration
form (using PayPal) or you may mail us a donation - see info
If you would prefer to read printed information about the
convention, you might want to print these PDF files which is
what we send to our postal registrants. All of the information
in these bulletins are on the web pages, although the web pages
actually contain more information as we do not have space constraints.
- Convention Bulletin
(4 pages) which contains Program Information, Optical &
Mechanical Competition Information, our Commercialism Policy,
and other General Information.
- Registration Supplement
(2 pages) that contains Registration Information, Fee Schedule,
Lodging & Campground Listings, Large Camper Rules, Entrance
Policy, A Note to First-Timers, and Directions to the Convention.
While this is part of what we send to our mailing list for
information, it does not contain the registration form needed
for mail-in registration. See the registration
page for details on how to do a mail-in registration.
Both documents are PDF files, download free
Adobe Reader if you need it.
We would be pleased to add your photos or convention report
to our post-convention pages. Please
submit them via email to the
Directions & Maps
You can find directions and maps to Stellafane
No. There is a shuttle bus that will operate between the main camping/parking area and the Clubhouse from 10:00am to
6:00pm on Friday and 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday.
No. Parking near the Clubhouse is very limited. We try to reserve the few spots that are available for those who are
unable to walk up the hill or take the bus. If you must drive up to deliver your telescope we ask that you park your car
in the main camping/parking area as soon as possible. Thanks for your cooperation in this area.
The main food-service tent is located just to the south of the t-shirt table. Note: This food-service tent is open
all night if you need a snack and/or coffee during your observing session. There is also a smaller food-service tent or
truck next to the Clubhouse which is open during the day.
Food service will be available for Thursday dinner
and for Friday breakfast, if you using our new Early Entry
The 2008 Stellafane Convention will be held
Thurs-day, July 31
through Sunday, August 3. The new moon is on Friday, August