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I'm part of a local astronomy club but the results from that have been vastly underwhelming with a membership count of around 50-200 active people at any given time. All that being said- I guess my question is for 2019 what are the biggest and most informative gatherings in terms of astronomy? Anything you know of from lectures to imaging to stargazing would be wonderful.

More specifically: I was considering spending the 250 dollars to go to the Northeast Astronomy Forum this April 4th and 5th and the Northeast Astro Imaging Conference. It seems to be one of the larger scale events that happens anually. Is this a good event for beginners? Heres a link to their site:

http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html

http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaic.html

If youve been Id love to hear from you. If this is off-topic I apologize, but the only other place I had to ask was our clubs forum and it has virtually no traffic.

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NEAF is pretty big (and probably the biggest). There's also Southern California Astronomy Expo (SCAE).

For observing, there is the Texas Star Party in west Texas. There is the Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys (that site for that event was severely damaged by a hurricane a couple of years ago, had to relocate up-state, but are now back in the keys. This past year the had to limit attendees because the camp wasn't fully restored.

A little closer to home for you (in Pennsylvania)... is the Cherry Springs Star Party (there is also the Black Forest Star Party at the same park ... different months).

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, have you personally attended any of those? Any particular one you enjoyed more than the others? Thanks for the answer by the way. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Mar 4 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ I have attended the Winter Star Party in the keys, but haven't done Cherry Springs or TSP. I really enjoyed the views at the WSP ... if I view (for example) M42 from home, I see some nebulosity around the Trapezium. But at the WSP, the nebulosity filled the eyepiece. I couldn't stop looking at the detail. I also attend a smaller star party in Michigan (Great Lakes Star Gaze) but I'd really like to get over the Cherry Springs. $\endgroup$ – Tim Campbell Mar 4 at 15:45
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This one is quite famous; people travel from all over the world to attend.

From Wikipedia's Stellafane:

(The) Stellafane Convention (is) a gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers (star party) held every year at that location. The property is a National Historic Landmark.

stellafane.org

stellafane.org

Current & Future Conventions

  • The 2019 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday thru Sunday August 1-4. Registration is expected to open on or about May 1st.

  • The 2020 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday thru Sunday August 13-16.

  • The 2021 Stellafane Convention will be held Thursday thru Sunday August 5-8.

Convention Reminders

About the Stellafane Convention

  • The Stellafane Convention is a gathering of amateur telescope makers. The Convention was started in 1926 to give amateur telescope makers an opportunity to gather to show off their creations and teach each other telescope making and mirror-grinding techniques. All telescopes, commercial and homemade, are welcome. If you have made your own telescope, we strongly encourage you to display it in the telescope fields near the Stellafane Clubhouse. If you wish, you can enter your homemade telescope in the mechanical and/or optical competition. There are also mirror-grinding and telescope-making demonstrations, technical lectures on telescope making and the presentation of awards for telescope design and craftsmanship. Vendor displays and the retail sale of commercial products are not permitted.
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