The Kopernik Astronomical Society Presents Kopernik AstroFest 2013

Join the KAS In Our 31st Anniversary of Celebrating the Night Sky
October 4th – 6th, 2013
Kopernik Observatory & Science Education Center – 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

Important Kopernik AstroFest 2013 Links

 Registration Form – Pre-Register prior to 10/3/2013, after that at the door.

 Informational Flyer – Handout style flyer with info on the event.

 Raffle Prize Listing – Great Raffle Prizes for you to win

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

NOTE: Due to the in process government shutdown, we are unable to have Dr. Stefanie Milam present at AstroFest. We have been able to secure subject matter experts to provide similar lectures. Thank you for your understanding of this situation.
2013 Special Guest Speakers
Bob Berman
Astronomy Magazine
Boncho Bonev (Comet ISON)
Geronimo Villanueva (Astrobiology)
Catholic University of America
(remote SKYPE sessions)
Carolyn_porcoDr. Carolyn Porco
Cassini Mission Imaging Lead
Space Science Institute
(remote SKYPE session)
Bob Piekiel
Telescope Optics Testing
“Barefoot Bob”
David Bishop Barlow Bob
Solar Observing Enthusiast
Solar Astronomy Outreach
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
  • Family and Student Workshops
  • Raffles, Raffles and more Raffles
  • …and much…much…more
Special Events:
  • Skype Virtual Interview with Carolyn Porco – includes Q&A session
  • The Legendary Barlow Bob and the Kopernik AstroFest Solar Star Party (KASSP)
  • Amateur Astronomy Club Roundtable Formal Discussion
  • Damian G. Allis Ph.D. – Central NY Observers & Observing astronomy and science outreach exhibit (
  • Meteorite Display by Patrick Manley
  • Marty Pepe’s Itty Bitty Telescope(IBT) – a radio telescope for solar astronomy
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 – Doors Open to the public. Solar Observing.
5:00 PM – 7:15 PM – Facility Tours, Telescope Observing, Exhibits, Refreshments
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Dinner Break
6:45 PM – 7:00 PM – Welcome To AstroFest 2013
7:05 PM – 7:25 PM – George P. Normandin: “Astronomy The Year In Review”
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Boncho Bonev: “Diversity in the World of Comets: from L4/PanSTARRS to ISON”
8:30 PM – Dawn – Night Sky Viewing if clear
If not clear 9:00 PM – Amateur Astronomy Roundtable Discussion – Part 1

Saturday Schedule:

8:30 AM – Doors Open, Facility Tours, Exhibits, Refreshments, donuts/danish, Solar Observing
9:00 AM – 2:30 PM – Swap Meet, Kopernik Astrofest Solar Star Party w/Barlow Bob
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM – Demonstrations & Kids Activities
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Patrick Manley: “Meteorites – Rocks From Space”
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch Break
11:15 AM – 1:15 PM – Amateur Astronomy Club Round Table Forum
1:30 PM – 2:15 PM – David Bishop: “A Super Nova Web Page”
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – An Interview with Carolyn Porco
4:15 PM – 5:00 PM – Bob Piekiel: “Optical Quality Testing of Telescopes for Everyone”
5:00 PM – 6:15 PM – Dinner Break
6:15 PM – 7:15 PM – Bob Berman: “Color and Light in the Universe: The Big Surprises”
7:45 PM – 9:00 PM – Geronimo Villanueva: “An Astrobiological Journey: From the Big Bang to Mars and Beyond”
9:00 PM – 9:30 PM – Raffle Prize Drawings
9:00 PM – Dawn – Night Sky Viewing if clear

Sunday Schedule:

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Doors Open, Refreshments, Donuts/Danish, Exhibits, Solar Observing
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – KAS Presentation – or open forum
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch Break
2:00 PM – KAS Cleanup

Schedule of Family and Children’s Workshops
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:

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Solar Center – Things to Know About Our Nearest Star An opportunity for solar viewing.   Held at the Kopernik Gazebo, and, in case of poor weather, in the Earth Science Lab.
6:30 PM – 7:15 PM – Constellations Workshop – Stories, history, make your own glow-in-the-dark sky map, and more, in the Earth Science Lab.  Followed by a green laser tour of the constellations outside.

Saturday Schedule:

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Make a Star Wall Hanging  Craft activity for kids of all ages in the Earth Science Lab!
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Solar Center – Things to Know About Our Nearest Star
2:15 PM – 3:00 PM – There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars What we should all know about light pollution and ways we can help mitigate the problem.
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Make a Star Wall Hanging and Constellations Workshop  Stories, history, make your own glow-in-the-dark sky map or a wall hanging in the Earth Science Lab.
9:30 PM – 11:00 PM – Movie if skies not clear

Sponsored By These Fantastic Vendors – See their generous donations here

Presented by

Event Details
Hours: Friday, October 4, 2013 – 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 5, 2013 – 9:30AM to 9:00PM, Observing all night if clear
Sunday, October 6, 2013 – 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
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 2013 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 a group of volunteers interested in astronomy. We volunteer our services on behalf of Kopernik Observatory & Science Center. The Observatory is perched atop a 1720 foothill in Vestal, 13 miles Southwest of Binghamton, NY. We have calculated a Sky Quality Meter (SQM) reading of 21.00 (naked-eye limit of 6.12 magnitude) with a light dome in the NE. Operating for over 35 years, the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center was New York State’s first science laboratory facility designed for K-12 teachers, students, and their families. Today, our regional science center is also dedicated to public programming and to teaching students from Kindergarten to the Graduate level.

We are planning our AstroFest event for this fall. 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 4th, and concludes Sunday afternoon, October 6th. You can decide how much you would like to participate from one day to all three. 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 with Barlow Bob and “company” on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

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). 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.

Comments are closed.