The Kopernik Astronomical Society Presents Kopernik AstroFest 2014

Join the KAS In Our 32nd Anniversary of Celebrating the Night Sky October 24th – 25th, 2014 Kopernik Observatory & Science Center – 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

Important Kopernik AstroFest 2014 Links

 Registration Form – Pre-Register prior to 10/18/2014, after that at the door.

 Printable Event Schedule – A printable event schedule.

 Raffle Prize Listing – Thank You To These AMAZING Donors!

    • Chroma Technologies Red/Green/Blue/Luminance Filters ($975 value)

    • SkyWatcher USA 10″ Collapsable Dob (~$699 value)

    • Explore Scientific 20mm 100AFOV Eye Piece ($299 value)

    • Opticron Oregon 4 10×50 Binoculars ($205 value)

    • Edmund Scientifics Mercury Atlas-1 Certified MA-1 Flown Artifact ($199.95 value)

    • Meade Polaris 127mm German-EQ Refractor ($189 value)

    • Starlight Instruments $150 Gift Certificate ($150 value)

    • New Moon Telescopes Tablet Stalk ($148 value)

    • Software Bisque TheSky X Serious Astronomer Edition ($144 value)

    • Televue 2x Barlow ($125 value)

    • Springer Books – Astronomy Series (5 books) ($110 value)

    • Oberwerk Garret 12×60 Binoculars ($99)

    • Meade Infinity 60mm Alt/Az Refractor ($75 value)

    • MyCaseBuilder $50 Gift Certificate ($50 value)

    • StarGuy $50 Gift Certificate ($50 value)

    • Howie Glatter ( Paralyzer ($45 value)

    • Finger Lakes Instruments T-Shirt

 Barlow Bob’s Solar Star Chart – check out the solar star finder chart with RA/DEC information.

Click here to view the Astrofest 2013 Photo Gallery!

2014 Special Guest Speakers
Dr. Luke Keller Ithaca College NASA’s SOFIA Mission Bob Piekiel “Barefoot Bob” The History of Celestron Telescope Collimation brittonProf. Brendan Britton Community College of Rhode Island Physical Questions in Observational Astronomy
Memorial Dedication to Barlow Bob

Please join the Kopernik Astronomical Society in honoring the legendary “Barlow Bob” (Robert Godfrey), who passed away earlier this year.  He was a member of Rockland County, Mohawk Valley, and the Kopernik Astronomical Societies and he was a great friend to many.

To commemorate all Barlow Bob did for the astronomical community and the general public, we will be dedicating a permanent plaque to him located near the Kopernik Observatory Heliostat.

He shared his love of solar astronomy with great enthusiasm to all of central New York and beyond.  Barlow Bob was founder & organizer of the NEAF Solar Star Party.  He also supported numerous public outreach activities and astronomy events, and was host of the KAS AstroFest Solar Star Party for the last 4 years. You can read more about Barlow Bob and see some of his articles at


Rest In Peace Barlow Bob.

Astronomy Packed Three Day Event Featuring:
  • Astronomy workshops
  • Daily solar observing
  • Getting Started discussions for beginners
  • Equipment Discussions
  • Daily Night Sky Observing
  • Kopernik Observatory Tours
  • Guest Speakers and Presentations
  • HAM Radio Demonstration & Discussion
  • Raffles, Raffles and more Raffles
  • …and much…much…more
Special Events:
  • Memorial for the Legendary Barlow Bob
  • Kopernik AstroFest Solar Star Party (KASSP)
  • Galaxy Brewing Company presents their “Kopernik Kolsch” 10/25 6:30PM – ($5/pint)
  • Book Signing and Discussion with Bob Piekiel
  • Amateur Astronomy Club Roundtable Formal Discussion
  • Meteorite Display by Patrick Manley
Schedule of Events
NOTE: Scheduled Activities may change without notice. As soon as changes are made, every effort will be made to update this listing. Please check back often for your planning purposes.

Friday Schedule:



3:00 PM Facility and bathrooms open to overnight campers KAS AstroFest Solar Star Party (if clear)
6:30 PM Doors open to public, facility tours, and observing Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, donuts available in lobby
7:00 PM Welcome to AstroFest 2014 – Drew Deskur, KOSC Director Astronomy – The Year in Review – KAS Members
8:00 PM Dr. Luke Keller, Ithaca College – NASA’s SOFIA Mission
9:15 PM Overnight Observing Field Activities Kopernik Telescope Domes Open (if clear) Public Laser Constellation Tour (if clear)
Midnight Lobby Closes (Restrooms remain open all night)

Saturday Schedule:



7:30 to 10 AM Coffee, tea, hot Chocolate, juice, donuts available in Lobby
9 AM- all day Vendors, Dark Sky Exhibit, and facility tours
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM KAS AstroFest Solar Star Party – Observing Field Heliostat – Physics Lab Herschel Wedge and Daytime Planet Observing – Observatory Domes
Noon – 1:30 PM: Lunch and Astronomy Club Roundtable Discussions
1:30 – 2:00 PM Barlow Bob Memorial Dedication: Unveiling of a plaque honoring Robert Godfrey, the “Legendary Barlow Bob” by our Heliostat. Remarks and statements are welcome
2:00 – 5:00 PM Kopernik Yard Sale: Telescopes and various items! AstroFest Swap Meet
3:00– 4:00 PM The History of Celestron and Tom Johnson’s Development of the Commercial Schmidt-Cassegrain – Robert Piekiel Syracuse Astronomical Society
4:00-4:45 PM Robert Piekiel Book Signing
5:00 –6:00 PM Telescope Collimation – Robert Piekiel
6:00 –7:30 PM Dinner Break and Musical Entertainment by Robert Siegers
7:00 PM Raffle and Door Prize Drawings – need not be present to win!
8:00 PM Welcome to AstroFest 2014 – Irene Siedlarczyk, Kopernik Society President and George Normandin, KAS President
8:00 PM Physical Questions in Observational Astronomy – Prof. Brendan Britton, Community College of Rhode Island
9:15 PM Movie – It Came From Outer Space in 3D Overnight Observing Field Activities Kopernik Telescope Domes Open (if clear) Public Laser Constellation Tour (if clear)
Midnight Lobby Closes (Restrooms remain open all night)
2014 AstroFest Sponsors (View the 2013 Donor List)
Our 2014 Donor and Raffle List is forming quickly, check back here for updates

Presented by
Event Details
Hours: Friday, October 24, 2014 – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Observing all night if clear.  Also the facility will be open from 12:00 noon to receive campers and/or people interested in setting up their observing gear. Saturday, October 25, 2014 – 9:30AM to 9:00PM, Observing all night if clear
Entrance Prices: $5.00/day registration for adults. Under 16 free with parent. Groups of 7 or more, please contact us for group pricing. Register Now with the 2014 Registration Form
Extras: Fantastic raffle prizes, Swap meet, coordinated group take out meals from local restaurants, and snack foods will be sold.
Camping Information $5 a night additional fee for onsite camping.  For RV information, contact (607) 875-4112 (ask for Fibber)
Kopernik Observatory Equipment

6″ AstroPhysics Super Planetary F/12 Refractor Losmandy G11 Mount

20″ Optical Guidance Systems Ritchey-Chretien F/8 14″ Celestron C14 F/11 SCT Celestron CGE Mount
About Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, the KAS, and AstroFest

The KAS is planning our 2014 AstroFest event for the dark period in October (24th & 25th). We are hoping you would consider being a part of our event. At this time talks are targeted for a more advanced group of amateur astronomers from Kopernik, and other astronomy clubs, as well as college professors, graduate and undergraduate students from area Colleges and Universities; as well as interested members of the public. Our AstroFest will begin at 6 PM on Friday, October 24th, and concludes Saturday, October 25th. You can decide how much you would like to participate from one day or both. Camping will be available at the observatory or you can find lodging in Vestal hotels.

We are hoping for clear skies to observe after the talks Friday and Saturday, and sunny skies for solar observing on Saturdayand Sunday mornings. In prior years our solar observing was hosted by KAS Member Barlow Bob of “NEAF Solar Star Party” fame. Unfortunately Barlow Bob recently passed away, and this year we will not only be dedicating our solar observing sessions to his memory, we will also be having a special dedication ceremony in his memory.

At this event, we will support a swap meet if people are interested, and you are welcome to sell your astronomical items or trade with others that participate. We will provide a free spot under our Gazebo or dining canopy to do so (first come, first served). This year we will be featuring the sale of various telescopes and equipment no longer needed by the observatory – most of it donated in years past.

One of the purposes of this year’s event is to get others to visit us and see the jewel we have here in Vestal. Not-for-profit Kopernik Observatory is regionally known as a “Space Education Center”. We also claim to be the best sited, best equipped observatory in the Northeast US which is open to the public. We have three domes, one with a 6” f/12 Astro Physics Planetary Special (the second best of the batch of 25 produced) on a G-11 mount/clock drive and NGC-Max; one with a Celesteron 14” with a CGE computer drive and our flagship, a 20” Ritchey-Chretien with an OGS drive. On occasions we talk with astronauts in space on the ISS, Space Shuttle, and in the past, on Mir via amateur radio station.

Directions to Kopernik Observatory, 698 Underwood Road, Vestal NY: From the E or W – take Route 17 (Southern Tier Expressway – future I-86). Get off at the Vestal Exit 67 S (26 S) and proceed up the hill about 5.5 miles. Just past Vestal Center (alleged to be a 40 mph “speed trap”), turn right at the sign “Observatory 2 Miles” onto Glenwood Road. If you miss the turn, you will hit the Pennsylvania state line in about a mile – just turn around and go back a mile. Take Glenwood road a block to the first left hand turn (about .2 mile). This is Underwood Road. Drive up the hill 1.8 miles. Kopernik Observatory is on the left. From the N or S – take I-81 to Route 17 (Southern Tier Expressway – future I-86). Then follow directions from E or W.

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