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General Astronomy => Beginners Forum => Topic started by: Junee Hunt on December 29, 2017, 03:20:18 PM

Title: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Junee Hunt on December 29, 2017, 03:20:18 PM
What is a must go to at least once in a lifetime AA event? One in the US and one out of the country? Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Sean Schaefer on December 31, 2017, 03:44:06 AM
Rocky Mountain Star Stare is the place to be. Of course, I'm a bit biased since our club hosts the annual event each June. It is a great time and normally we have amazing skies. The weather this year wasn't cooperative for observing, but we had outstanding speakers and still had a great time. Guaranteed to have amazing skies again in 2017!

http://www.rmss.org/ (http://www.rmss.org/)

Jim
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Todd Kue on December 31, 2017, 05:37:16 AM
Stellafane!
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: kondcongrese on December 31, 2017, 10:45:11 AM
Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Paul Woodrow on January 04, 2018, 03:43:23 PM
Definitely Stellafane and the August 2017 total solar eclipse and, since you're from NYC, NEAF is not far away at all.https://stellafane.org/ (https://stellafane.org/)http://www.eclipse20...ough_the_US.htm (http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/path_through_the_US.htm)http://www.rocklanda...y.com/neaf.html (http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html)Dave Mitsky
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: otdaebreathat on January 04, 2018, 09:12:24 PM
Oh and going to Chile to one of their high altitude dark sky preserves to view the Southern sky.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: clicpostreta on January 08, 2018, 12:41:25 PM
Quote
Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.
All else pales. It's the most beautiful sight in nature.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: grountentaybrig on January 11, 2018, 08:36:16 AM
Two other star parties that are legendary in stature are the TSP and the WSP.https://texasstarparty.org/ (https://texasstarparty.org/)http://scas.org/winter-star-party/ (http://scas.org/winter-star-party/)As far as amateur astronomy events taking place abroad, here are three to consider:http://ozsky.org/ (http://ozsky.org/)http://www.skyandtel...targazing-tour/ (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-travel/chile-astronomy-tour/2017-chile-astronomy-stargazing-tour/)http://www.starmus.com/ (http://www.starmus.com/)Dave Mitsky
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Coco Moten on January 11, 2018, 02:31:03 PM
Quote
Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.

Your joking right? LOL
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: aftilicomp on January 11, 2018, 04:37:51 PM
Quote
Two other star parties that are legendary in stature are the TSP and the WSP.https://texasstarparty.org/ (https://texasstarparty.org/)http://scas.org/winter-star-party/ (http://scas.org/winter-star-party/)
As far as amateur astronomy events taking place abroad, here are three to consider:http://ozsky.org/ (http://ozsky.org/)http://www.skyandtel...targazing-tour/ (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-travel/chile-astronomy-tour/2017-chile-astronomy-stargazing-tour/)http://www.starmus.com/ (http://www.starmus.com/)
Dave Mitsky

I have heard about the Texas Star Party when i was heavy into AA in my teens....i will look into that one thanks
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: David Patel on January 12, 2018, 06:08:30 PM
Quote
Quote

Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.

Your joking right? LOL
Not at all. Price gouging is already underway in many places.

http://www.cloudynig...ng#entry7591377 (http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/559455-2017-eclipse-price-gouging/page-2?hl=%2Bprice+%2Bgouging#entry7591377)

Dave Mitsky
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Trendsetters Branch on January 13, 2018, 06:38:13 AM
NEAF and Stellafane.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: middbankrecra on January 13, 2018, 11:50:31 PM
As an ASH member and a resident of Pennsylvania, I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the Cherry Springs Star Party and the Black Forest Star Party.http://www.cherrysprings.org (http://www.cherrysprings.org)

http://bfsp.org (http://bfsp.org)

Dave Mitsky
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: calbeyrefrows on January 15, 2018, 03:30:56 PM
Brklyn, much would honestly depend on your personal hobby interests in selecting the "ultimate" amateur event to attend.

If you are looking strictly for observing, then I'd say that TSP (West Texas) would be about the best within the continental U.S. There you would meet many of the countries top visual observers, see and have the opportunity to view through some really large amateur scopes and do so under truly great skies (or at least they were the last time I attended back a few years). There are also opportunities to visit McDonald Observatory while there, since it's only a few miles away. Being normally a typical Dude Ranch diversions anticipated at such a venue are (were?) available during the daytime...which some attendees enjoy.

If you want a well rounded meeting that includes the chance to observe under ptetty good skies at night, a chance to converse with a broad range of other observers with highly varied interests and during the day hear lectures on various astronomical topics, then likely the RTMC (Southern CA) meet would best fit your tastes. It is also heavily attended by the hobby's manufacturers, who display a wide range of scopes.

Closer two home are two additional top flight gatherings. Stellafane (my personal favorite) meets annually in southern Vermont. The oldest annual amateur convention in America, it is held on a small mountain top and if weather is favorable one can see 7th magnitude with the naked eye at zenith there. Daytime sees a telescope makers competition involving a wide range of typical to highly unusual telescopes and instruments. Throughout the weekend lectures ranging from telescope making, through astronomical imaging, visual observing, and even electronics associated with telescopes and observing, are presented. Evenings bring a Friday evening slide show by attendees on many diverse topics with the met culminating in a huge Saturday evening raffle worth often in excess of ten grand, plus a keynote speaker who is typically a professional astronomer, or astronomical historian.

And finally, right next door for you, is NEAF in southern Rockland County, NY. Its focus is around equipment and informative lectures often present by top NASA types, or renowned amateurs. A huge gymnasium-like building serves as a manufacturers' exhibit hall with a vast array of stuff on display with company reps on hand to explain everything....and even sell to you! Because of its proximity to NYC, observing is mainly a daytime solar endeavor, although a modest star party is held off-site a ways to the north in more rural territory.

The first three meets are more-or-less camping situations with on-site meals available (the best I found were at TSP!) at each. Camping as well as off-site motels and B&B's are alternatives for Stellafane. Local hotels are easily found close to NEAF.

I would add that there are also a number of other highly interesting annual meets around the country that have a lot to offer, but I regard the four above as the premier "you-gotta-see-this-at-least-once" type of events.

BrooksObs
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: tersrhythopes on January 15, 2018, 11:55:24 PM
Quote
Brklyn, much would honestly depend on your personal hobby interests in selecting the "ultimate" amateur event to attend.

If you are looking strictly for observing, then I'd say that TSP (West Texas) would be about the best within the continental U.S. There you would meet many of the countries top visual observers, see and have the opportunity to view through some really large amateur scopes and do so under truly great skies (or at least they were the last time I attended back a few years). There are also opportunities to visit McDonald Observatory while there, since it's only a few miles away. Being normally a typical Dude Ranch diversions anticipated at such a venue are (were?) available during the daytime...which some attendees enjoy.

If you want a well rounded meeting that includes the chance to observe under ptetty good skies at night, a chance to converse with a broad range of other observers with highly varied interests and during the day hear lectures on various astronomical topics, then likely the RTMC (Southern CA) meet would best fit your tastes. It is also heavily attended by the hobby's manufacturers, who display a wide range of scopes.

Closer two home are two additional top flight gatherings. Stellafane (my personal favorite) meets annually in southern Vermont. The oldest annual amateur convention in America, it is held on a small mountain top and if weather is favorable one can see 7th magnitude with the naked eye at zenith there. Daytime sees a telescope makers competition involving a wide range of typical to highly unusual telescopes and instruments. Throughout the weekend lectures ranging from telescope making, through astronomical imaging, visual observing, and even electronics associated with telescopes and observing, are presented. Evenings bring a Friday evening slide show by attendees on many diverse topics with the met culminating in a huge Saturday evening raffle worth often in excess of ten grand, plus a keynote speaker who is typically a professional astronomer, or astronomical historian.

And finally, right next door for you, is NEAF in southern Westchester, NY. Its focus is around equipment and informative lectures often present by top NASA types, or renowned amateurs. A huge gymnasium-like building serves as a manufacturers' exhibit hall with a vast array of stuff on display with company reps on hand to explain everything....and even sell to you! Because of its proximity to NYC, observing is mainly a daytime solar endeavor, although a modest star party is held off-site a ways to the north in more rural territory.

The first three meets are more-or-less camping situations with on-site meals available (the best I found were at TSP!) at each. Camping as well as off-site motels and B&B's are alternatives for Stellafane. Local hotels are easily found close to NEAF.

I would add that there are also a number of other highly interesting annual meets around the country that have a lot to offer, but I regard the four above as the premier "you-gotta-see-this-at-least-once" type of events.

BrooksObs

Ahhhhhh, now the California event sounds promising. Thank you!!
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: unmoharib on January 21, 2018, 08:46:40 AM
One thing to keep in mind about theRiverside Telescope Makers Conference (RTMC) is that it always takes place at the end of May so the Moon phase can be a consideration if you're interested primarily in DSO observing. The Moon won't be a problem next year at that time.

There's a description of the event posted athttp://ephemeris.sjaa.net/0207/c.html (http://ephemeris.sjaa.net/0207/c.html)

Dave Mitsky
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Alex Loftus on January 22, 2018, 08:04:19 PM
Quote
As an ASH member and resident of Pennsylvania, I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the Cherry Springs Star Party and the Black Forrest Star Party.http://www.cherrysprings.org (http://www.cherrysprings.org)

http://bfsp.org (http://bfsp.org)

Dave Mitsky

Cherry Springs isn't all that terribly far from you and the skies are pretty dark.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Zachary Patterson on January 22, 2018, 10:02:08 PM
Quote
Quote
Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.
Your joking right? LOL
Actually no, I am not. There are only a select number of spots that you will be able to see the whole enchilada and are projected to have good weather so you can see it. The surrounding hotels and such are booking up fast if not already sold out.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Antonio Garrity on January 23, 2018, 03:19:00 AM
Okie-Tex starparty.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: praccelreber on January 23, 2018, 04:37:01 AM
Quote
Quote
Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.

All else pales. It's the most beautiful sight in nature.

the GrandCanyonStarParty comes close,
but be aware this is more outreach

out of US-definately Southern Hemisphere
(Africa, Chile, New Zealand, Australia)

edj
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: nostcharmacon on January 23, 2018, 04:54:56 AM
Close to you is NEAF and cherry springs, and both of those are great.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Andre Stubblefield on January 23, 2018, 10:31:33 AM
Quote
Close to you is NEAF and cherry springs, and both of those are great.

Thanks NEAF is a given...it is so close.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: keylozelbou on January 23, 2018, 05:04:59 PM
Quote
If you want a well rounded meeting that includes the chance to observe under ptetty good skies at night, a chance to converse with a broad range of other observers with highly varied interests and during the day hear lectures on various astronomical topics, then likely the RTMC (Southern CA) meet would best fit your tastes. It is also heavily attended by the hobby's manufacturers, who display a wide range of scopes.
I have always enjoyed RTMC. Regulars who go there tell me that it is a shadow of its former self, with barely one quarter the attendees that it had at its height. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, frankly ... both Stellafane and RTMC at their peaks sound far too crowded for comfort.

But unless you have something else calling you to Southern California at that time of year, 2500 miles is a very long way for an Easterner to travel to end up observing in what is, when all is said and done, inside the SoCal suburbs. The sky there is nowhere near as dark as it is at Stellafane, which is in turn nowhere near to truly dark.

Having said that, this mountain resort area is quite lovely in its own right -- majestic, even -- despite being surrounded by suburbs on all sides. The mountains that ring Los Angeles are some of the most impressive anywhere in the Lower 48. Expect snow at higher elevations in May if it has been a normal snow year. It sometimes snows at RTMC, but it can also be quite hot.

A major star party that hasn't been mentioned is the Oregon Star Party. Very dark skies, and often very good seeing as well. Dusty -- but so are all the good star parties. Lots of clear skies correlates strongly with lots of dust.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Ralph Gleason on January 25, 2018, 08:22:39 PM
I've been to a bunch of star parties in Australia, and observed around different parts of the world. As an astronomy event, I've never had as much fun as the week I spent at the Winter Star Party. A great collection of equipment and people. I spent hours talking to some of the nicest people you will ever meet in astronomy. Walking around in the dark, just me and Al Nagler for hours, testing the new Delites was one of the best experiences I've had in astronomy.

Out of the USA obviously has to be to the Southern Hemisphere. It's quite nice down here.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: unexaric on January 25, 2018, 08:53:25 PM
>>>>>The sky there is nowhere near as dark [at RTMC] as it is at Stellafane, which is in turn nowhere near to truly dark.

I've been to both. I do not see the justification for that statement. Especially at meridian, and to the east, the RTMC skies are better than Stellafane. And if the marine layer comes in to block the lights of Los Angeles, it is okayeven to the west (towards Los Angeles). I have collected many Herschel 400 and other dimobjects up there.Having said that, RTMC is held on Memorial Day weekend. This means it is sometimes full moon. Thoseyears, well, yeah, the skies are not so hot fordeep space observing. I would characterize neither RTMC nor Stellafane as "Observing" star parties.

But, nothing touches Stellafane for history. And nothing (in the way of "star parties" that I have seen) touches RTMC for the depth of program. (And nothing tops Texas for food (yeah, the skies are pretty good), or Winter for steadiness of the skies (and snorkeling),or Grand Canyon for the crowd, or Nightfall for luxury of the accommodations......)

Every star party I have been to has its strengths and special attractions. One should go to them all!!!! Three or four times each. At least.

Alex
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Rick Perrigo on January 31, 2018, 02:10:42 AM
Quote
I've been to a bunch of star parties in Australia, and observed around different parts of the world. As an astronomy event, I've never had as much fun as the week I spent at the Winter Star Party. A great collection of equipment and people. I spent hours talking to some of the nicest people you will ever meet in astronomy. Walking around in the dark, just me and Al Nagler for hours, testing the new Delites was one of the best experiences I've had in astronomy.

Out of the USA obviously has to be to the Southern Hemisphere. It's quite nice down here.

Asutralia now that sounds like an awesome place to visit! Thanks
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: carewemi on January 31, 2018, 08:25:05 AM
Well, there is camping at Stellafane.

And it is possible to camp on other weekends.

Alex
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Ricky Mondal on January 31, 2018, 08:47:35 AM
Quote
I have really Really REALLY wanted to go to Stellafane for years but, it's the same week as our stupid yearly camping trip. Shhhhh don't tell my wife I said that.

This made me LOL
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Nathan Mayienda on January 31, 2018, 10:56:06 AM
The Nebraska Star Party should be included in the list of major US star parties.

https://www.nebraskastarparty.org/ (https://www.nebraskastarparty.org/)

Dave Mitsky
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Pablo Abreu on February 02, 2018, 03:13:01 PM
Quote
I have really Really REALLY wanted to go to Stellafane for years but, it's the same week as our stupid yearly camping trip. Shhhhh don't tell my wife I said that.

You can camp at Stellafane....
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Roger Dixon on February 02, 2018, 07:40:12 PM
While Stellafane doesn't bill itself as a star party in the traditional sense, I've been able to do quite a bit of worthwhile observing there over the years, both during the day and the night. My first successful sighting of one of the most difficult targets on the Herschel 400 list, NGC 6118 (the Blinking Galaxy), was at Stellafane.

https://www.eso.org/...ages/potw1022a/ (https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1022a/)

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.


https://stellafane.o.../2016-info.html (https://stellafane.org/convention/2016/2016-info.html)

This year an observing program designed by Larry Mitchell was added.

https://stellafane.o...-observing.html (https://stellafane.org/convention/2016/2016-observing.html)

Dave Mitsky

1) an afocal H-alpha solar image that I took at Stellafane on 8/12/12

2) my Stellafane 2016 Observing Olympics pinAttached Thumbnails
(https://s9.postimg.org/kcigks9gr/31_attachment_01.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/kcigks9gr/)
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: David Pee on February 02, 2018, 09:17:18 PM
Quote
Quote

Quote

Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.

Your joking right? LOL
Not at all. Price gouging is already underway in many places.

http://www.cloudynig...ng#entry7591377 (http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/559455-2017-eclipse-price-gouging/page-2?hl=%2Bprice+%2Bgouging#entry7591377)

Dave Mitsky
I have the remarkably good fortune of having my home dead center of totality. Finally got SOMETHING right...
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: hluhsubshoona on February 04, 2018, 12:02:01 PM
I have the remarkably good fortune of having my home dead center of totality. Finally got SOMETHING right...

What do you mean Finally-----it happens every 400 years or so for any place on earth!!!!

It's not fortune, its patience!!!

Alex
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: tiocartratca on February 08, 2018, 05:29:17 PM
Quote
I have the remarkably good fortune of having my home dead center of totality. Finally got SOMETHING right...

What do you mean Finally-----it happens every 400 years or so for any place on earth!!!!

It's not fortune, its patience!!!

Alex

Dang it. So I STILL haven't gotten something right... it was just good timing...
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: cytiwitqua on February 08, 2018, 10:28:19 PM
Quote
>>>>>The sky there is nowhere near as dark [at RTMC] as it is at Stellafane, which is in turn nowhere near to truly dark.

I've been to both. I do not see the justification for that statement. Especially at meridian, and to the east, the RTMC skies are better than Stellafane. And if the marine layer comes in to block the lights of Los Angeles, it is okayeven to the west (towards Los Angeles). I have collected many Herschel 400 and other dimobjects up there.

I still maintain that Stellafane's skies are better to the south than RTMC's. But frankly, that's quibbling -- my statement about "nowhere near as dark" is clearly untrue. RTMC and Stellafane are both in the same category, namely way better than any suburban backyard, but way worse than a truly dark site. And it's certainly possible to do plenty of serious deep-sky observing from both.

I guess the way RTMC really suffers is in comparison to the rest of the West -- not in comparison to the East. If I were traveling 3,000 miles to find dark skies in California, I certainly wouldn't pick the site of RTMC -- not with some genuinely superb sites to choose from, such as the White Mountains or Mount Lassen.

Likewise, much if not most of Vermont is darker than Stellafane, though not by such a huge margin.

But if you've gone to Stellafane or RTMC for the party, the skies won't disappoint -- not if you have realistic expectations.
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: Sean Lee on February 09, 2018, 01:48:19 AM
Quote
Quote

Going to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse. But you need to get reservations now.

Your joking right? LOL
Not at all. Price gouging is already underway in many places.

http://www.cloudynig...ng#entry7591377 (http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/559455-2017-eclipse-price-gouging/page-2?hl=%2Bprice+%2Bgouging#entry7591377)

Dave Mitsky[/quote]
I have the remarkably good fortune of having my home dead center of totality. Finally got SOMETHING right...[/quote]
Awsome did everyone hear that....star party atKF4DAO 's house!
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: luseatcidood on February 09, 2018, 08:07:13 AM
hi Brooklyn
all the star parties are amazing
But if u want to start small..... NEAF is more of a trade show ,,, but IMO its like being a kid in a candy store
plus it is a close drive::::depending how fast u drive"""""" to u
ive been to a couple of them ,when I lived in NY
Title: Re: Must Go To Amature Astronomy Event
Post by: grountentaybrig on February 09, 2018, 10:54:26 AM
Quote
Well, there is camping at Stellafane.

And it is possible to camp on other weekends.

Alex

Perfect........as we pull in I can be all "wow hunny look at all the campers who brought their telescopes"