Stellafane 2016

August 4-7, Springfield, Vermont

By Donna Pursley

Stellafane is the annual convention of the Springfield Telescope Makers (STM). They have optical and mechanical competitions for homemade scopes. You don’t need to have made your scope to go to Stellafane. I think that this is our 7th year. We met about a half a dozen other ASNH members there.

This year they did something new called the Observing Olympics. Larry Mitchell from the Texas Star Party put together an observing program of 30 NGC objects. Anyone who finds 15 or more of the objects during the convention wins a pin commemorating their accomplishment. They said that all objects should be visible in a 4 inch scope under a sky with fairly good seeing and transparency. HA! I must have a different opinion about what fairly good seeing is.  I was able to find 15 objects in my 6” scope by star hopping and I received a pin, but I don’t think I could have found even 1 more object from the list.

STM added a master class to the awards this year. This is for the entrants that have demonstrated excellence in previous Stellafane competitions. Dick Parker won along with his friend Allen Hall. They made twin 6” F15 Alvan Clark Replicas, ¾ Scale. It took them 8 years to make these. The scopes are magnificent! The Clarks were modeled after the 8” Alvan Clark Telescope at the Seagrave Memorial Observatory in North Scituate, RI, which they restored.

The iconic Pink Clubhouse at Stellafane.

The iconic Pink Clubhouse at Stellafane.

Dick Parker with his prize-winning telescope. (Photos by Mike Zarick.)

Dick Parker with his prize-winning telescope. (Photos by Mike Zarick.)

Acadia Night Sky Festival

ASNH member David Noble attended this year’s Acadia Night Sky Festival in the Acadia National Park. As shown below, the ASNH logo was prominently displayed on the program for the event, along with those of other astronomical societies in the area.


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