July 10-12, 2015


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The Conjunction will kick off again with dinner at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, a family restaurant Route 2 in Gill, MA at 6:30 PM.  If you wish, you can meet us at the Barton Cove parking lot at 6:15 PM, or at the restaurant itself at 6:30.

  • Address: 39 French King Highway Rte. 2, Gill, MA 01354

    Phone: (413) 863-8210

A field trip to a local private observatory featuring a 12.5-inch telescope will follow dinner. The observatory tour will be conducted by Hughes Pack and Peter Talmage.




Bring your telescope for the observing sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings at our "Fuller's Pasture" dark-sky viewing site near the Environmental Center, conducted by Kevin Collins, president of the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomers Association. Please note that the Environmental Center will not be open on Friday evening.


Latitude: N42 36.950'

Longitude:  W72 28.151'


Astronomical twilight ends


10 July 8:30 PM 10:41 PM 1:54 AM (11 July)

11 July 8:29 PM 10:40 PM 2:37 AM (12 July)






Saturday morning program

9 AM

The morning kicks off with a welcome over coffee and donuts at the Northfield Mountain Environmental Center.  The Conjunction's Swap Table, where astronomical goodies are bought and sold all day long also opens at 9.



10:00 AM

  • "THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO CHAPLE" by Jack Megas, planetarium educator and founder of "The Conjunction." Jack will interview 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.

All Day: Conjunction "Barlow Bob" Memorial Solar Star Party

Named in honor of "Barlow" Bob Godfrey, a well known and highly enthusiastic popularizer of solar observing, our solar star party will feature spectacular close-up views of our nearest star through specially-filtered telescopes provided by Sue and Alan French, who are both highly accomplished observers and writers and are members of the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers in New York. Sue is the "Deep Sky Wonders" columnist for "Sky & Telescope" magazine and the author of Celestial Sampler and Deep-Sky Wonders.

If you have a solar scope, please bring it along to share Bob's star with others.

Saturday afternoon program

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • "DANCE OF THE POLAR LIGHTS" by Steve Hubbard, member of the Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island (Skyscrapers) and accomplished astrophotographer.
  • "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.
  • "Humans or Robots: The Future of Space Exploration" will feature 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 will argue the pros and cons of manned versus unmanned space exploration. Order will be maintained by moderator Ron Woodland, Conjunction coordinator and expert astronomy educator. Comments and discussion from the audience will be encouraged.

OUTDOOR DINNER - Hot and cold buffet-style gourmet dinners will be available beginning at approximately 6 pm. Deadline for dinners is Thursday, July 9. Last-minute registrants must contact Dave Gallup at (413) 525-4697.

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 discusses New Horizons' historic close encounter with Pluto, which will take place only three days after the Conjunction. He conceived and edited The New Solar System (1981) and is the author of Exploring the Solar System: Other Worlds (2001). Beatty has received awards from the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical League and the American Geophysical Union. He also is active in the International Dark-Sky Association.

Have questions?  E-mail them here.

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