Another astronomy Christmas?

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Sheboygan Astronomical Society’s mission is “To promote the pleasures and science of astronomy among our members and the community at large.” On March 24, buying and selling astronomical equipment will be the club’s highlight. // courtesy of SAS
If you didn’t get the telescope, eyepiece, camera, or other astronomical accessory you went to sleep dreaming about on Christmas Eve, you now have another chance.

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, the Sheboygan Astronomical Society is hosting its eleventh annual Swap-n-Sell. This year’s event, like the previous ones, will take place at the Aviation Heritage Center of the Sheboygan Airport in Wisconsin from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For those of you who own a GPS or like to use Google Maps or MapQuest, the address is N6191 Resource Drive, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin 53085.

Maybe you have some astronomy stuff you no longer use. If so, this event offers a great opportunity for you to sell or swap your items with other amateur astronomers. And if you’re searching for certain unusual or not-often-seen items, I can assure you that the dealers at the Swap-n-Sell offer plenty of them.

Most visitors, however, stop by to see what kind of deals they can find on more popular new or used equipment. I’ll say that for a relatively small event, the pickings usually are pretty good. If you do drop in, be sure to stay awhile to chat with me and other like-minded individuals. The terms are cash, check, swap, and some sellers even accept charge cards. Oh, and don’t be afraid to haggle a little.

In addition to the Swap ’N’ Sell, you’ll also have the opportunity to sit in on talks by two guest speakers. Well, one guest and me. The talk at 10 a.m. is by Regan Haulotte, NASA Solar System Ambassador. His topic is “Upcoming NASA Space Science Missions.” That sounds like a great time to find out what NASA’s new budget will cover, which missions are still a go, and what’s been cut.

Then I’ll present a program titled, “Astronomy’s Stranger Things.” Have you ever wondered what we do in our spare time at Astronomy magazine? No??? That hurts my feelings. Well, I’m going to tell you anyway! We all enjoy the science and the images most, of course, but numbers and trivia are close behind. I love having one of the other editors pop into my office and say, “Hey, check this out.” I’ll share some of the numbers that rattle around in our heads as we produce the world’s best-selling astro mag.

This year, Wisconsin Astronomy has once again donated a pair of door prizes — nice ones, too! One of the items will be Oberwerk 9x60 LW Binoculars. This unit, which features lenses nearly 2.4 inches across, is a great way to get started scanning the Moon, star clusters, or the Milky Way in general. The other door prize is a Canyon Diablo iron meteorite weighing in at 95.5 grams from one of television’s Meteorite Men, Geoff Notkin, and his company, Aerolite Meteorites.

Because this is Wisconsin, there’s alway a brat fry and (nonalcoholic) drinks for sale during the event.

Bring some stuff, bring some cash, and bring your love of astronomy. See you there!

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