The Ultimate Star Party?
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 answered here can be directed via e-mail to
Family Service Radios
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 7.
Stellafane Lighting Policy
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 your cooperation.
The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. welcomes you to bring your pets to the Stellafane convention,
provided the following rules are followed:
- Pets must be confined, leashed or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times.
Leashes may not exceed 6 feet in length. Pets that are tethered at the campsite cannot be left unattended
for more than 30 minutes. Pets may not be tied to trees, bushes, tables or shelter facilities, even
when the owners are present.
- Pets must be well-behaved at all times. Pets must be confined in the owner's camping unit during
quiet hours (11 PM - 8 AM).
- Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings
in trash receptacles.
- Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain
at the Convention.
Failure to comply with the above rules will result in you and your pet being asked to leave the convention
and may be escorted from the premises by convention security. The Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc.
thanks you in advance for helping to make the Stellafane convention more enjoyable for everyone Enjoy
the convention! [PDF Version]
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.
Stellafane Endowment Fund
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 Clubhouse or 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.
What should I bring to the 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.
Is there a public telephone on site?
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.
Cell Phone Service
Be advised that cell phone service is "spotty" in hilly southern Vermont.
Good coverage is generally available near interstates and town centers, but gets less reliable as
you move off into the countryside. At Stellafane, you might have to move about the site to get a
connection, but most carries do have a useable signal at least in some (higher) areas of our site.
Where to Set Up your Telescope
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!
Please Support the Flanders Pavilion
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 2009 Convention Online Registration form (using
PayPal) when you register or you may do it separately, by mail or online, with our
Donation Form. Thanks!
Printed Convention Bulletins
(Not yet published - please check back later)
If you would prefer to read printed information about the convention, you might want to print these
PDF files. 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 the space
constraints of a printed publication.
- Convention Bulletin (4 pages, PDF format) which contains Program Information, Optical & Mechanical Competition
Information, our Commercialism Policy, and other General Information.
- Site Map: (1 page, PDF Format) This a
the map of the Stellafane East site which shows where the roads, camping and facilities are.
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.
Photos & Convention Reports
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 here. The
Stellafane East Site Map is available as an image or as a
printable PDF file.
Do I have to Walk from the Main Camping/Parking Area to the Pink Clubhouse?
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.
Is there parking near the Clubhouse?
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.
Where are Food Services located?
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 Permit option.
Where is the Lost and Found?
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 Volunteer
2010 & 2011 Convention Dates
The 2010 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday, August 5, 2010 through Sunday, August
The 2001 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday, July 28, 2011 through Sunday,
July 31, 2011.
Swap Table / Commercialism Policy
Please see here.