The Kopernik Astronomical Society Presents Kopernik AstroFest 2015

Join the KAS In Our 33rd Anniversary of Celebrating the Night Sky
October 16th – 18th, 2015
Kopernik Observatory & Science Center – 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

Important Kopernik AstroFest Links

 Registration Form – Pre-Register prior to 10/1/2015, after that at the door.

2015 Special Guest Speakers
  • Dr. Jeremy Carlo – The Big Bang and the Laws of Physics/The Drake Equation and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

  • Bob Piekiel – Solar Telescopes

  • Dr. Keith Werkman – Future Technology

  • Patrick Manley – Meteorites: The Rocks From Space

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 Display by Patrick Manley
  • …stay tuned for more activities as planning progresses…

Schedule of Events
NOTE: This is preliminary schedule, and planning is still underway for 2015. 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 2015 – Drew Deskur, KOSC Director Astronomy – The Year in Review – KAS Members
8:00 PM Dr. Jeremy Carlo – The Big Bang and the Laws of Physics
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, Exhibits, 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
2:00 – 3:00 PM Dr. Keith Werkman – Future Technology
2:00 – 5:00 PM Kopernik Yard Sale: Telescopes and various items!
AstroFest Swap Meet
3:00– 4:00 PM Patrick Manley – Meteorite: The Rocks From Space
4:00-5:00 PM Bob Piekiel – Solar Telescopes
5:00 –6:00 PM TBD
6:00 –7:30 PM Dinner Break
7:00 PM Raffle and Door Prize Drawings – need not be present to win!
8:00 PM Welcome to AstroFest 2015 – Drew Deskur, Kopernik Society President and George Normandin, KAS President
8:00 PM Dr. Jeremy Carlo – The Drake Equation and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
9:15 PM Movie – TBD
Overnight Observing Field Activities
Kopernik Telescope Domes Open (if clear)
Public Laser Constellation Tour (if clear)
Midnight Lobby Closes (Restrooms remain open all night)

Last Year’s 2014 AstroFest Donors/Sponsors
Our 2014 Donors Are Amazing – Please Support them!

Presented by

Event Details
Hours: Friday, October 16, 2015 – 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 17, 2015 – 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 2015 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 2015 AstroFest event for the dark period in October (16th & 17th). 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, October 16th, and concludes Saturday, October 17th (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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