Spring Star Party: A Two Part Affair
May 24, 2019
Astronomy presentations followed by stargazing beneath Vermont’s glorious night sky.
We welcome you to join us for one or both!
Part One: Astronomy Presentations: 7:30-8:30pm
Location: Forest Center, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Park
• 7:30-8:00pm – Stellar Evolution by Hayden Hewitt and Aidan Kehough-Vella
• 8:00-8:30pm - Finding Your Way Around Vermont’s Spring Night Sky by Woodstock Union High School Astronomy Club
Note: The presentations at the Forest Center will occur regardless of the weather!
Part Two (if weather permits): Stargazing at The Horizons Observatory (less than two miles down the road from the National Park!)
Location: The Horizons Observatory at The Prosper Valley School
(1071 Pomfret Road, Pomfret, VT) from 9:00-11:00pm
Woodstock, VT: On Friday May 24, 2018, the Horizons Observatory will host a star party in partnership with the Springfield Telescope Makers (STM) of the Stellafane Observatory and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
Beginning at 7:30pm, students from The Prosper Valley School and Woodstock High School will make astronomy presentations. At 9:00 pm, members of the Springfield Telescope Makers will have a variety of telescopes, many of them handmade, set up on the grounds of the Horizons Observatory and will be aiming them at a variety of deep-sky objects such as galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and planets for visitors to explore and enjoy.
Attending a night sky event comes with some etiquette conventions that may be unfamiliar to first-time attendees but which enhance viewing conditions for everyone. Most importantly, bright, white lights are discouraged at night sky viewing events; bright lights ruin your night vision and the night vision of those around you. Attendees are encouraged to bring a red-light flashlight or a flashlight with a red lens or with a red piece of plastic covering the bulb. Even with red lenses, use your light sparingly; on a clear night, your eyes will adjust quickly to the dark conditions. It is also important to remember that telescopes are expensive and that many of the telescopes at this event are hand crafted and difficult to replace. Please follow the instructions of the STM member staffing the scope you are looking through. And finally, ask lots of questions. The amateur astronomers who are bringing their telescopes to this event love the night sky and sharing it with others.
The Horizons Observatory was founded in the summer of 2004 with a vision of creating a small astronomical observatory to serve local schools and the general public as a resource for science education in the greater Woodstock area. To this end, ongoing stargazing events are hosted by the Horizons Observatory throughout the year. To be placed on the Horizons listserve, simply go to www.horizonsobservatory.org, click on “Blog”, type in your email address in the space provided, and click “Submit”.
The Springfield Telescope Makers is a club founded by amateur telescope maker Russell Porter in 1923. The club is devoted to promoting the practice of crafting high-quality telescopes by amateur astronomers. The club owns and maintains the Stellafane Observatory on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont, at which it offers free mirror-grinding workshops in the winter months and hosts the annual Stellafane Convention of amateur telescope builders and night sky enthusiasts in the summer. More information about the Springfield Telescope Makers, the Stellafane Observatory and the Stellafane Convention can be found at www.stellafane.org.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, located in Woodstock, Vermont, is the only unit of the national park system established to tell the story of the history of the conservation movement in America. That story is told through the lives, experiences, and contributions of George Perkins Marsh, Frederick and Julia Billings, and Mary and Laurance Rockefeller, all of who lived and explored the forests and fields that now make up the park. The park is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October. For more information, call 802-457-3368 or visit www.nps.gov/mabi.
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