Al’s Stellafane 2019

The annual Stellafane convention, organized by the Springfield Telescope Makers, took place August 1 –4 around their clubhouse on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont. This year, Al brought the Apollo 11mm eyepiece and the TNV/PVS-14 Night Vision monocular to the field. He got great comments on both. Presented here is Al’s Stellafane in pictures.

*Here’s a painting I commissioned by Hulan Fleming of my family attending Stellafane in the early-1990s’.

Most exciting and encouraging throughout my life has been my annual pilgrimage to Stellafane, where in 1958 my 8-inch received 3rd prize in mechanical excellence. Years later, I rebuilt the scope into a 12-inch f/5.3 and received 1st prize for Newtonians at the 1972 Stellafane.

Alan Ward of Ontario bought his portable mirror coating equipment to Stellafane.
Famous Canadian mirror maker and woodworker extraordinaire Normand Fullum bought his magnificently crafted Dobsonian. (He also led a mirror-working class at the convention.)
This exotically machined Dob is the work of Dave Kelly…
…who also happens to have great taste in eyepieces 😄.
Stellafane Clubhouse and Porter Turret Telescope featuring a “Springfield” mount where the eyepiece remains stationary.
Richard Berry, former Astronomy Magazine editor gave a fascinating talk on his 2-year program with amateur astronomers to confirm Einstein’s Relativity theory. His predictions of star deflection were similar to Dr. Don Bruns award-winning efforts with our NP101is telescope.
Richard used a Tele Vue Genesis for his efforts.
Al meeting with Alan Stern (keynote speaker), director of the historic New Horizons NASA mission to Pluto and beyond to “Ultima Thule” (the most distant planetary flyby in history). His was the most inspirational keynote talk I’ve heard in my 60+ years attending Stellafane. The scope, accuracy, complexity, and positive results of this decades-long project reminded me very much of a smaller scale version of the Apollo effort. Alan has given several talks at the annual RAC NEAF convention since 2014.

About Alan Stern 

Alan, associate Vice President of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Space Science and Engineering Division was appointed to the National Science Board (the governing body of the National Science Foundation) in 2018. Check out Alan Stern on Wikipedia. 

If you saw our blog 50-Years After Apollo: One of Al Nagler’s Designs is Scheduled for Launch! – P.U.N.C.H.  you can read about The P.U.N.C.H. project that Tele Vue has been working on with Alan’s organization SwRI. NASA just approved the project for planned launch in 2022.

Alan Stern graciously drawing raffle ticket winners for our annual eyepiece donations to Stellafane.
Dennis di Cicco, Senior Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope, was there as always.
One of Al’s favorite moments, from 10-years ago. At Stellafane 2009, Alan Bean (left) shakes hands with Al Nagler (right). Al handed him a booklet with pictures of him in the Lunar Module Simulator, and an optical layout of Al’s design. On the cover Al wrote: “Dear Alan, Glad it Worked”.

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