"Astronomy" sponsors April's Northeast Astronomy Forum

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, January 20, 2014

Credit: Rockland Astronomy Club
Once again this year, Astronomy magazine will be a proud sponsor of the largest telescope show and amateur astronomy expo in the United States, the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF). This year’s NEAF will be held April 12–13 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, about an hour northwest of New York City. The event features exhibitors showing their telescopes, binoculars, cameras, and accessories, and typically boasts more than 150 manufacturers and retailers. Astronomy magazine will, as usual, have a display booth on hand, and I encourage you to stop by and say hello.

Each year, NEAF is organized and coordinated by members of the Rockland Astronomy Club, including Ed Siemenn and Al Nagler, the latter well-known in the community as president of Tele Vue Optics. The hours will be 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturday the 12th and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday the 13th. Several thousand people are expected to attend.

In addition to more telescopes than you can possibly imagine, NEAF features talks by guest scientists and amateur astronomers. This year’s presentations will include Matthew Greenhouse, project scientist for the Science Instrument Payload on the James Webb Space Telescope, who will update everyone on progress with the next big orbiting observatory; and Rick Fienberg, press officer of the American Astronomical Society, who will describe current collaborations between professional astronomers and amateurs.

I will deliver a talk on comets, describing their physics, history, culture, and current science, and also award the prizes for winning entries in the Comet ISON Photo Contest Astronomy magazine held in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and Discover magazine.

Meteorologist and amateur astronomer Joe Rao will describe the link between Comet 209P/LINEAR and a possible new meteor shower. Solar enthusiast Stephen Ramsden of the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project will describe how amateurs can observe the Sun. Sky & Telescope magazine Web Editor Monica Young will deliver a presentation on black holes.

And there will be many more talks!

In addition to NEAF, a two-day imaging conference, the Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference (NEAIC), precedes the weekend event. This is a serious group of tutorials for astroimagers and will take place Thursday, April 10, and Friday, April 11. This event is also arranged by a group of New York amateur astronomers, including the well-known hobbyist Mike Peoples of Adorama.

This year’s NEAIC lineup includes a who’s-who of speakers: Ken Crawford, Jerry Hubble, Ron Diiulio, Gordon Haynes, Benjamin Mazin, Jim Moronski, Martin Pugh, and others. It will be an essential event for anyone who wants to capture their own images of the sky!

I’ll look forward to seeing many of you at NEAIC and NEAF. It is one of the highlights of an amateur astronomer’s year!

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