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The Kopernik Astronomical Society Presents Kopernik AstroFest 2021

Join the KAS In Our 39th Anniversary of Celebrating the Night Sky
September 10th  – 11th, 2021.

 
COVID19 Guidance: Kopernik Observatory & Science Center (KOSC) as of 9/9/2021 requires all patrons of Kopernik Observatory must wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not when indoors. Further Kopernik Astronomical Society & Astrofest will also adhere to whatever guidance KOSC may deem appropriate.
 
If CDC, New York State or KOSC guidance changes before or during Astrofest, we will change our rules to follow that guidance.
 

Kopernik Observatory & Science Center – 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

Register Now


Past – 2020 – Replay Stream of AstroFest
2021 Special Guest Speakers
 
Bob Piekiel
“TELESCOPE RESOLUTION”
 

Zane Landers
“A New Generation Updates the Classic Dob”

 

Zoe Learner Ponterio
“Where are the Aliens?”

 

Dr. Keith Werkman
“Life On Icy Ocean Worlds”

 

Lew Hecht
“Report on July 2019 trip to the Green Bank National
Radio Astronomy Observatory”

 

Patrick Manley
“Meteorites – The Rocks from Space”
“Planning for Astrophotography”

 


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:
  • Kopernik AstroFest Solar Star Party (KASSP)
  • Amateur Astronomy Club Roundtable Formal Discussion
  • Meteorite Lobby Discussion/Show and Tell by Patrick Manley
  • Astrophotography Demonstrations – Using the ZWO Ecosystem – Patrick Manley
  • …stay tuned for more activities as planning progresses…

Schedule of Events
NOTE: This is preliminary schedule, and planning is still underway .  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:

Time

Activity

2:00 PM Facility open to campers for setup, bathrooms open
Viewing in yard, both solar and astronomical
7:00 PM Doors open to public, facility tours, and observing
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, donuts available in lobby
7:30 PM Welcome to AstroFest 2021– Drew Deskur, Executive Director Kopernik Observatory & Science Center
George’s Best Images, a Video Slide Show – most captured right here at Kopernik Observatory! – George Normandin, KAS President
8:30 PM Metoerites – The Rocks From Space – presented by Patrick Manley
9:15 PM Night Sky Viewing – in the Domes and in the Yard, Night Sky Laser Tours, “Learner’s Land” – come out to the yard and learn how to operate a telescope. The KAS will provide hands-on lessons or bring your own scope and get help setting it up and operating it with help from the KAS and Kopernik staff, hot beverages and snacks available, bathrooms and domes open all night, Lobby closes at Midnight

 

If cloudy skies – Patrick Manley will host a demonstration and discussion with meteorites.  Demonstration includes hands on interaction with select meteorites.

Midnight Lobby Closes (Restrooms remain open all night)

Saturday Schedule:

Time

Activity

7:30 to 10 AM Coffee, tea, hot Chocolate, juice, donuts available in Lobby
9 AM- all day Vendors in Physics Lab, Dark Sky Exhibit, JPL Moon Rock exhibit, and Facility Tours
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Solar Viewing in the Yard (H-Alpha and white light), in the Domes (Herschel Wedge on 6” Astro Physics Refractor, and with the Heliostat, Refractor, dedicated to the memory of the “Legendary Barlow Bob”, Godfrey in 2014, in the Physics Lab)
10:00 AM – 10:55 AM Show and Tell Meteorites – Patrick Manley
11:00 – 11:55 AM A New Generation Updates the Classic Dob – Zane Landers
12:00 – 12:55 PM Life On Icy Ocean Worlds – Presented by Keith Werkman
1:00 – 2:00 PM Lunch and Astronomy Clubs Roundtable Discussions. Musical Entertainment by Robert Siegers
2:00 – 5:00 PM Swap Meet – buy and sell your treasurers (in vendor’s area), used equipment for sale to raise funds for new scope
2:15 – 3:15 PM Telescope Resolution – Bob Piekiel
3:30– 4:45 PM Where are the Aliens? – Zoe Learner Ponterio, Manager, SPIF (Spacecraft Planetary Image Facility) Cornell University
5:00 –5:45 PM July 2019 trip to the Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)  Presented by Lew Hecht
5:50 – 7:00 PM Dinner Break and Musical Entertainment by Robert Siegers
7:30 Raffle Prizes
7:30 PM Welcome to AstroFest 2021 – George Normandin, KAS President
8:00 PM Planning for Astrophotography – Presented by Patrick Manley
9:00 PM Night Sky Viewing – in the Domes and in the Yard, Imaging Demo of FLI Camera on 20” OGS RC, Night Sky Laser Tours, hot beverages and snacks available, bathrooms and domes open all night.
Sci-Fi movie in Space Science, Lobby closes MidnightIf cloudy skies – Patrick Manley will host a demonstration and discussion related to the ZWO Astrophotography Ecosystem.
Midnight Lobby Closes (Restrooms remain open all night)

AstroFest Donors/Sponsors
Our AstroFest Donors (Past and Present) Are Amazing – Please Support them!
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Presented by

Event Details
Hours: Friday, September 10, 2021 – 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, September 11th,  2021 – 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. 
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.

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
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 celebration will begin at 6 PM on Friday, September 10th, and concludes Saturday, September 11th (of course observing overnight if skies are clear). 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 Saturday and Sunday mornings.  This will be our 6th annual KAS Solar Star Party that was founded by the late and great Barlow Bob (RIP).
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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