Tag Archives: Tweetup

Stellafane 2014 Report


What a great weekend at Stellafane 2014.  Just four weeks before, I attended a fantastic Cherry Springs Star Party, and was fortunate enough to get 3 solid nights of observing put in.  The forecast for this year’s Stellafane really looked morbid one week before the convention.  It looked like a crockpot of humidity during the days, and then wet rain at night.  Luckily as the calendar approached, that weather forecast improved infinitely.

I arrived with most of my group early on Thursday, and the weather was mostly pleasant.  Upon arriving at 3:20 or so, I immediately picked out my spot for my scope, and began unpacking the car.  Two hours later, my 16” Dob was mostly assembled, my tent was up, and everything mostly settled in. One thing I can say about going to a star party – BE ORGANIZED.  It makes a huge difference, and gets you to that Zen like state much faster.

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Standing with my 16″ f/4 New Moon Telescope. A fantastic Dob, and the best gear I have ever purchased!

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The small tent city we were setup in. My tent is the brown tent, third one in on left side.

Here’s a quick video showing a time lapse of me and my neighbors getting ready for a night of observing.

Of course the best thing about Stellafane is that it isn’t really intended to be a serious star party. There will be headlights, there will be lots of noise, there will be parties here and there.  So it is a very casual and fun environment defined by the jolly go lucky attendees that decide to come.  While observing is a big part of the event, having a relaxing time enjoying the company of amateur astronomers and telescope makers is really the focus.

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Filed in Astronomy & Observing, Kopernik | Comment Now

The STS-132 Space Shuttle Atlantis #NASATweetup – Day L-1

One full week has passed since my return from the Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-132, launch tweetup at Kennedy Space Center.  I think everyone knows what a tweetup is at this point and time, and those who don’t soon will.  Now NASA is not new to the tweetup business, and they have been doing this for just over a year and a half now.  But when they throw a bash, they really know how to do it, and a lot can be learned from their efforts.

So I will do my best to keep my buzz on the activities at hand, and to post some relevant info about the event and its impacts on me.  Not that I have ever taken a simple blog entry and turned it into a novel.

The night before the tweetup, I could barely sleep.  I was about to go and sit in the very spot that the press has been going to cover NASA launches for nearly half a century.  The very spot where the history of human spaceflight had been recorded as our space program had evolved from unmanned orbiters, sending manned missions to the moon, and the era of the space shuttles and the International Space Station.  I would watch the third to last shuttle flight launch from that very historic spot.

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Filed in Space & Science | Comment Now