A Visit to Stellafane

Stellafane, An Extraordinary Event for Telescope lovers

If you are really in love with telescopes, you can join this event.

This event has been organized annually in Springfield Vermont from the year 1926. Here people come to share their ideas on telescopes, and the telescopes they have made by themselves. Some visit there to learn how to make telescopes from the experts or experienced. They also arrange some other events like mirror grinding courses, tours to the solar system, a walk of the different observatories, and so on. You also can try looking through all the telescopes there for the whole night. To know more about this amazing event, keep an eye on their website: Stellafane.org. 

Image by Will Kalif

Fig 1: A visitor looking through the telescopes in Stellafane.

They gather some telescopes of various types of telescopes ranging from even 4 inch Dobsonian to the huge 32 inch Spicaeyes Dobsonian so that the visitors can experience amazing views from there. 

However, there are not many bought telescopes as the purpose of the convention was mainly to make telescopes. There are a lot of telescope accessories including forks, equatorials and so on available for the visitors who want to make a telescope by themselves. You will find the unique and most popular handmade telescope ever made named ‘Porter Turret’. 

Image by Will Kalif

Fig 2: Porter Turret Telescope

Porter Turret Telescope is a handmade telescope made in 1930. The special feature of this telescope is that the primary objective mirror is located at the end of the metal boom (shown in the lower right of the photo) that makes it unique. The observer can easily have a seat inside the dome. The main part of the telescope is inside the dome to be well-protected and warm without damaging the view of the telescope.

Image by Will Kalif

Fig 3: The Primary mirror at the end of the objective in Porter Turret Telescope

Image by Will Kalif

Fig 4: View of inside the dome where the observer can sit and observe comfortably.

Stellafane is a fantastic event for astronomers, star gazers and telescope lovers of any age. It is full of parts of telescopes, accessories and tools to make hand-made telescopes. The most interesting event here is the Swap Meet. There are a lot of people there with various equipment, books and telescope parts on their table. You will find tubes, mirrors, eyepieces, mirrors and different rare parts in their collection.

There are multiple observing sites in their huge observing grounds. They also arrange a lot of camping nearby and it is cheaper (costs around 70 dollars). There is also a spacious car parking area so you don’t have anything to worry about. If you want you can spend the nights in nearby hotels and motels near the event though camping is always the best option as you can easily pass the whole night observing the sky. And obviously, you can collect the pictures of the objects you see through the telescope.

If you really want to enjoy the event, stay tuned with the updates on the website Stellafane.org. You will find everything there that you need to do to join the event. You can see plenty of pictures of the event too.