[2017-Oct-04] For the ninth consecutive year, club member Ken Slater has hosted a field trip to Stellafane by the Cavendish, VT fifth grade class. Working with teacher Ann Thompson, Ken visited the classroom for two hours the day before and worked with students to learn about the planets, talk about the retrograde motion exhibited by the 'wandering stars' (which we now know are planets) that so puzzled the ancient Greeks, and helped the students construct a scale model of the solar system on their playground. During the Stellafane visit, students learn a bit about our history and enjoying seeing the many historical artifacts in our clubhouse - and they always ask: 'Why is the clubhouse Pink?'. We also talk about the south vertical sundial and why it reads an hour slow (Daylight Savings Time at work). The Porter Turret Telescope and (new this year) the Simoni Observatory are visited too, which let's Ken explain how we know what the stars are made of. We had had a warm (75° F) sunny weather - more like a summer day than fall - but made it quite pleasant to spend time outside on Breezy Hill.
[2017-08-11]Now that convention is over, we start to focus on our Fall Star Parties. The Springfield Telescope Makers are pleased to offer two free public Star Parties this Fall:
| Saint-Gaudens Star Party: Saturday, September 16th at 7:00pm, at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, NH.
[Press Release for More Info]
|Up All Night Star Party: Friday/Saturday, October 13 & 14, Stellafane, Springfield VT.
[View the PDF Version]
[2017-06-27] STM member Dr. Thomas Spirock has published a second article in the Mount Wilson Observatory publication Reflections about
high-resolution imaging of the moon and planets with the 113-year-old Warner and Swasey refractor on Mount Wilson. He discusses techniques used to record sub-arc-second detail
using color filters to overcome the chromatic dispersion of the otherwise excellent doublet objective.
Click HERE to read Thomas' article.
After approximately 25 years since its installation in the 13" Schupmann telescope, at Stellafane, the aluminum coating on the Mangin' mirror needed to be stripped and re-coated. The
Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank Tony Pirera, of Spectrum Thin Films, for generously re-coating the mirror, gratis.
[2017-04-30] Spring has arrived, and so have the 2017 convention pages, which are now live!
If you've ever been interested in the Stellafane convention and never been, perhaps this year's the year. Visit the 2017 Convention Pages and find out how to attend. Please keep in mind that the convention is happening earlier this year due to the 2017 Solar Eclipse.
[2017-03-27] Site users will be happy to know that the Google Custom Search that is used for searching within the website has been upgraded to version 2.0. The new version brings many new features
including returning image search results, useful for perusing our site's wealth of images. You will now notice two tabs: Web and Images. Search can be access at the bottom of most pages.
Also of note is the translate feature, also at the bottom of most pages.
[2017-02-13] At the 2016 Convention, a new Teen Robotics Program was put into play. Lead by Paul Fucile, lucky teens got to learn about NASA's historic New Horizons Project
, its mission and the technology behind it. Then in groups of four, each team built its own robotic space probe and watched as the probes traveled a model solar system set up on the Amphitheatre's lawn.
The project was a resounding success! Alan Stern would no doubt be proud.
To learn more about the program and watch a video of the flyby in action, Click HERE!
[2017-01-17]The Club wishes everyone a Happy New Year!
We hope visions of aperture danced in your heads during
Please note: The current dates on the calendar are tentative. Concrete dates will be voted on at the January meeting, Jan 28th.
Summer a trio of planetary portraits by STM members John
Briggs and Thomas Spirock appeared which were stunning in
their crisp detail and contrast. They used a 102
year-old 6-inch Warner and Swasey Refractor with a
Brashear objective on Mount Wilson to produce cutting-edge
images of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Recently John
published an article in the Mount Wilson Observatory
publication Reflections telling the story behind the
images. John was part of a team which took the historic
refractor out of storage and restored it. Tom used
techniques which he honed on the McGregor Observatory
13-inch Schupmann telescope and captured thousands of
frames, stacking the best of each Planet. The air flow
over the observatory steadied just in time and the
legendary (but fickle) “seeing” at the Mt. Wilson site
delivered extraordinary definition. Tom demonstrated his
techniques to an international group of undergraduate
students attending the Curea program (Consortium of
Undergraduate Research in Education and Astronomy) which
John helped launch at the Observatory.
Click HERE to read John's article.