July 10-12, 2015

NORTHFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS


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2015 WRAP-UP

Photos by Phil Harrington

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Photos by Richard Sanderson

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Photos by Tim Connelly

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connolly1.JPG (635395 bytes) connelly2.jpeg (792849 bytes) This image of M51 was taken with the pictured 8-inch Celestron SCT on a CGEM mount. The scope is fitted with a Starizona f2 Hyperstar lens attached to a Starlight Xpress H694 color CCD camera. The secondary mirror has been replaced with Camera assembly on front of the scope. Note the power cord & camera wire running out the front end of the dew shield.  It's a strange looking imaging system capturing images from the front end of the scope! 

This setup allows a 3 degree wide field and focal length estimated about 700mm at f2. 

The picture itself is the combined result of ten captured images, 5 minute exposures each using Maxim DL software. After removing imperfections (dust, dirt, camera noise, and vignetting), the images were stacked using Maxim DL to increase image details and reduce noise.

 

Photos by Steve Hubbard

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PROGRAM

Saturday morning program

10:00 AM - 11:30 PM

"THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO CHAPLE" by Jack Megas, planetarium educator and founder of "The Conjunction." Megas interviewed Glenn Chaple, author of Exploring With a Telescope (1988) and Outer Planets (2009) as well as the popular "Observing Basics" column for "Astronomy" magazine. An expert observer, Chaple has over 80,000 variable star observations to his credit.


Saturday afternoon program

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

"BUILDING YOUR OWN ANTIQUE TELESCOPE" by Dick Parker, expert telescope maker and member of the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford, the Springfield (VT) Telescope Makers and Skyscrapers.  Parker showed images that traced the creation of a working scale model of the Alvan Clark refractor installed in Seagrave Memorial Observatory, as well as the refurbishment of the Seagrave scope.

"HUMANS OR ROBOTS: THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION" featured presentations by Ed Faits, president of the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center in Cummington, MA, and Richard Sanderson, Curator of Physical Science at the Springfield Science Museum. Faits and Sanderson are both members of the Springfield (MA) Stars Club. Following a debate-style format, the two argued the pros and cons of manned versus unmanned space exploration.

"DANCE OF THE POLAR LIGHTS" by Steve Hubbard, member of the Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island (Skyscrapers) and accomplished astrophotographer.  Hubbard showed a photo travelogue of his recent trip to Alaska to see the aurora borealis.


Saturday evening address

7:30 PM

  • "ENCOUNTER WITH PLUTO" by J. Kelly Beatty.

A Senior Editor for "Sky & Telescope" magazine, J. Kelly Beatty joined the staff of Sky Publishing in 1974 and also served as Editor of "Night Sky." He teaches astronomy at the Dexter-Southfield School in Brookline, Massachusetts. Beatty specializes in planetary science and space exploration, so the timing couldn't be better as he discussed New Horizons' historic close encounter with Pluto, which took place only three days after the Conjunction.


Download the 2015 program flyer (PDF)

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