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2007 Convention Schedule, Activities & Events

This page contains an Overall Schedule of Events, and details about the following Activities and Events:

ATM Mirror Grinding Demo Saturday Technical Talks Children's Activities
ATM Short Talks Beginner Talks Horseshoe Pitching Contest
Double Star Imaging Workshop Solar System Walk Jeanne Krzywicki Library
Friday Evening Informal Talks Saturday Evening Program Museum of Telescope Making
Swap Tables Raffle  

Overall Schedule of Events

Clink links to go to details about the selected event.

Thursday, August 9th
3 pm-10 pm: Early Entry (with Early Entry Permit)

Friday, August 10th

9 am: Registration Gate Opens (normal entry)
10 am-6 pm: Shuttle Bus operates
Noon-6 pm: Mirror Grinding Demo [Pavilion]
1 pm: ATM Short Talk [Pavilion]
1 pm: Double Star Observing Workshop [McGregor]
1:30 pm: Horseshoe Pitching Contest [McGregor]
2 pm: ATM Short Talk [Pavilion]
3 pm: Astronomy Activities for Kids [McGregor]
3 pm: ATM Short Talk [Pavilion]
4 pm: ATM Short Talk [Pavilion]

4:30 pm: Solar System Walk [behind Clubhouse]
5 pm: Stellafane for Beginners [McGregor]
5 pm-8 pm: Hartness House Museum open
5 pm-8 pm: Registration for Optical Competition [near Clubhouse]
8:30 pm: Informal Talks begin [Pavilion]
10 pm: Discover & Enjoy the Sky [McGregor]
10 pm: Optical Competition Begins [near Clubhouse]
10 pm: Registration Gate Closes
Saturday, August 11th
7 am: Registration Gate Opens
7 am-5 pm: Swap Tables open
8 am-9:30 am: Registration for Telescope Mechanical Competition [near Clubhouse]
9 am-5 pm: Shuttle Bus operates
9:30 am - 1 pm: Mirror Grinding Demo [Pavilion]
10 am- 1pm: Telescope Mechanical Competition [near Clubhouse]
11 am: Telescope Field Walk [meet at Clubhouse]
11 am: Astronomy Activities for Kids [McGregor]
12:30 pm: Solar System Walk [behind Clubhouse]
2 pm- 5pm: Technical Talks [Pavilion]
3 pm: Astronomy Activities for Kids [McGregor]
5 pm: Using a Telescope with your Child [McGregor]
5 pm-8 pm: Registration for Optical Competition* [near clubhouse]
7 pm: Evening Program in the Amphitheater
10 pm: Discover & Enjoy the Sky [McGregor]
10 pm: Optical Competition Begins* [near Clubhouse]

Sunday, August 12th

8 am-Noon: Convention Cleanup
9 am-Noon: Hartness House Museum open
New to Astronomy Event
New Telescope Maker Event
Advanced Telescope Maker Event
Children's Event
Telescope Competition

* Only if the Optical Competition is clouded out on Friday.

[McGregor] In or near the McGregor Observatory, Stellafane East.

[Pavilion] In the Flanders Pavilion, Stellafane East.

[Clubhouse] In or near the Pink Clubhouse on Breezy Hill.

Summary of Talks

A summary of the many Talks given at convention, including an explanation of each type of talk, categorized by level (kids, beginner, intermediate and advanced). This is a good place to see all the talks offered at convention, including a wide selection for beginners, and to select the talks that will be most beneficial to you.

Amateur Telescope making - Mirror Grinding Demonstration

There will be a HANDS ON mirror making demonstration Friday from Noon until 6 pm in the Flanders Pavilion. Gain first-hand experience working on mirrors at every stage of grinding, polishing and testing. Experienced ATMs will help explain each step of the process. The demonstration will continue Saturday 9:30 a.m. until 1 pm

ATM Short Talks

There will be a series of short talks on various ATM topics Friday in the Flanders Pavilion, every hour on the hour, during the ATM demo starting at 1 p.m. The purpose of these talks will be to describe, in detail, the procedures that will be demonstrated during the ATM demo and to introduce beginner ATMs various introductory subjects. Please check back later for the titles of the talks as the convention approaches.

These talks are in the Flanders Pavilion and typically last about 30 minutes.

1:00 pm ATM Short Talk #1: To be announced

2:00 pm ATM Short Talk #2: To be announced

3:00 pm ATM Short Talk #3: To be announced

4:00 pm ATM Short Talk #4: To be announced

Double Star Imaging Workshop  [CCD Astronomy]

An informal meeting of amateur double star observers, where current programs, results and special instrumentation are discussed, will be held in the library room of the McGregor Observatory from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10th. Topics, for instance, will include: CCD scale calibration, new techniques to measure high delta m pairs, delta m photometry and publishing results. If you are interested in getting started measuring doubles, please attend. Moderated by Jim Daley of the Springfield Telescope Makers.

Saturday Technical Talk Schedule

The purpose of the Saturday afternoon “technical talks” is to provide relatively advanced amateurs a forum to discuss various projects that other relatively advanced amateurs are currently working on. While everyone is welcome, of course, please do not be surprised to hear a lot of astronomical jargon, hear about some very complex technical issues and maybe even see a few confusing equations. If you have a suggestion for a subject for a technical during an upcoming convention please click here.

The Saturday afternoon program begins in the Flanders Pavilion at 2 p.m. Wayne Zuhl, of the Springfield Telescope Makers, will be Master of Ceremonies.

2:00 – 2:45 Richard Parker: “Mirror Quality, Part II”.

This talk will initially summarize Part I (10 min) given last year at Stellafane. Part I discussed quality standards from the mirror makers perspective. In Part II various standards for quality that are used to characterize mirrors that a person might purchase or sell will be discussed. The topics covered include: surface v.s. wave front accuracy, Root Mean Square (RMS), Strehl Ratio, Encircled Energy Ratio, etc. This will not be a complicated mathematical discussion, but a practical discussion of what these terms mean, their strengths, and weaknesses. The discussion will relate these terms to the Rayleigh Criteria and/or the Danjon and Couder criteria as appropriate with sample mirrors shown by Milles - Lacroix plots.

2:45 – 3:30 Jan Wojcik: “New Light: Restoring an Historical Amateur Telescope".

Amateur astronomers in the Adirondacks spent last winter restoring a telescope made by Wally Everest, an inventor, engineer, friend of Russell Porter, and considered by his peers to be the premier amateur mirror maker of the early 20th century. Their model for restoring missing parts was a photograph taken of the telescope on Breezy Hill in the 1920's. Remarkably, modern college students on the team, many engineering majors, found the technology fascinating.

3:30 – 4:15 Clif Ashcraft: “Planetary Photography with a Webcam” [CCD Astronomy]

This talk will describe how to calculate the digital sampling frequency of a CCD based web-cam and how to use the digital sampling theorem to determine the optimum focal ratio to avoid aliasing effects. It will also provide practical optical solutions for coupling a telescope to a web-cam and will show how to achieve the high magnifications needed for proper digital sampling. It is illustrated with a selection of the speaker's planetary and lunar images, including images of Ganymede, showing surface detail.

4:15 – 5:00 Jim Burnell: “Creating Astronomically Accurate Color Images” [CCD Astronomy]

The colors in astronomical objects are caused by quite different processes that the color in most terrestrial objects. Understanding the difference is important when choosing filters for visual observing or astronomical imaging. This talk will discuss blackbody radiation, emission line colors and the physics of how they are generated. It will also discuss how we see color, how cameras see color and why some astronomical objects look the way they do. A discussion of filters will follow, detailing their selection and use. Finally, the process of calibrating filters and using them to create color images of astronomical objects will be demonstrated.

Beginner Talks

There will be several ~45 minute talks during the convention which will be geared for people who are new to amateur astronomy and the Stellafane convention:

  • Fri 5 pm: Stellafane for Beginners in the McGregor Observatory
  • Fri 10 pm: Discover & Enjoy the Sky in the McGregor Observatory
  • Sat 11 am: Telescope Field Walk,  meet at the Pink Clubhouse
  • Sat 5 pm: Using a Telescope with your Child in the McGregor Observatory
  • Sat 10 pm: Discover & Enjoy the Sky in the McGregor Observatory

In addition, beginner may be interested in the Solar System Walks.

Solar System Walk

There will be two ~½ hour walks of our scale model of the Solar System which are geared for those just beginning in astronomy. Meet behind the Pink Clubhouse. Friday at 4:30 pm and Saturday at 12:30 pm.

Children's Activities

There are several astronomy related classes for children ages 5 to 12 which will take place in the McGregor Observatory: Friday at 3 pm, Saturday at 11 am and 3 pm.

Horseshoe Pitching Contest

The 10th-Annual Stellafane horseshoe pitching contest is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday near the McGregor Observatory. There will be adult and kid’s competitions. “Astro” prizes will be awarded.

Jeanne Krzywicki Library

The Jeanne Krzywicki Library, in the McGregor Observatory, will be open throughout the convention, unless the room is otherwise occupied by convention events.

Friday Evening Informal Talks

Friday evening, August 10th, at 8:30 p.m. Bob Morse, of the Springfield Telescope Makers, will conduct the informal talks in the Flanders Pavilion. If you wish to contribute a short talk during this session, you must submit a brief description of your planned presentation with your registration payment or by e-mail here.. Talks are limited to 10 minutes and 20 slides. The time limit will be strictly enforced! A 35-mm slide projector, overhead projector, VCR and a digital projector will be available for your use. Note that if you plan to use the digital projector you must bring your own laptop.

The Famous Stellafane Raffle

Help support the convention and have fun by participating in our raffle. Thousands of dollars in prizes, including books from Willman-Bell and eyepieces from Televue, are provided yearly by gracious contributors. Tickets are available at the T-shirt table and from designated STM members roaming the grounds. Your dollar goes a long way!

Saturday Evening Program

The evening program will begin at 7:00 p.m. Saturday in the hillside amphitheater. Bob Morse, of the Springfield Telescope Makers, will be master of ceremonies.

  • Greetings, announcements and raffle drawing.
  • Stellafane Shadowgram: by Maryann Arrien, film maker and first woman president of the Springfield Telescope Makers.
  • Presentation of telescope competition awards.
  • Stellafane Keynote Talk: “Mapping Landing Sites and Planning Rover Traverses with High Resolution Images from Mars Orbit” by Tim Parker. Tim Parker, member of the Science Teams on the Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Science Laboratory missions at JPL, will talk about his experiences in selecting and mapping landing sites for Mars Pathfinder, MER, Phoenix and the Mars Science Laboratory missions.

The Porter/Hartness Museum of Amateur Telescope Making

The Porter/Hartness Museum of Amateur Telescope Making is located in the underground rooms at the Hartness House Inn. Visit the museum on Friday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm or Sunday from 9:00 am to Noon. Admission is free. Map & Directions. Many of the items on display are by or about Russell W. Porter, including the Springfield and Garden telescopes. His artwork traces his arctic exploration years to his work on the 200" Palomar telescope, culminating in his famous cutaway drawings. Other items of interest include early 'scopes and mirror making parts. The Hartness turret telescope, with its 10" Brashear objective may also be inspected.

Swap Tables

The Swap Tables (located at the NORTHEAST edge of the main camping/parking area) are provided to give amateurs an opportunity to trade, buy or sell their surplus astronomical and telescope related items. They operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 11th.


At the January, 2005 meeting, the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. clarified its policy regarding commercialism and Swap Table sales at the Stellafane convention. For the sake of historical continuity, to preserve the uniqueness of the Stellafane convention and to encourage conventioneers to build their own instruments, the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. do not allow commercial exhibits or sales, of any kind, at the Stellafane convention. All sales must comply, in concept, with the above objective but are also specifically subject to the following criteria:

  1.  Only surplus astronomical, telescope and telescope making related items may be sold.
  2.  Each person will be allowed 16 square feet of table or ground space.
  3.  Items which have the appearance of being specifically purchased or manufactured for sale at the Swap Tables may not be sold.
  4.  All sales must take place within the designated Swap Table area only between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., the Saturday of the Stellafane convention.

The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. may choose to grant a limited exception to the above policies to astronomy related organizations for their fundraising. Any request for an exemption must be made, in writing, at least one month prior to the convention. If granted, the President of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. will notify the requesting organization in writing.

Any member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. has the authority to determine whether a party is in compliance with the established regulations. Any person who is found to be in violation of the stated policies will be required to comply. Failing compliance, the offending party will be asked to leave the convention and may be escorted from the premises by convention security.

The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. encourages those with questions regarding this policy to contact the Club via e-mail to the Convention Mailbox. During the convention, any questions regarding this policy, the appropriateness of items being displayed, or any information being disseminated should be directed to a member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc.

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Page last revised on Thursday, 2017-Sep-07 10:13:00 -0400