Welcome to the second AHSP Registrant Notes for the year. We send a series of updates to AHSP registrants through the summer. This is to highlight what is the same and what is new at AHSP this year, and to provide hints and reminders as you prepare.
For more information, always see the website at <www.ahsp.org>. We try to keep that up to date on all aspects of the star party.
Where we stand
AHSP will run from Friday morning through Tuesday morning, August 14-18. When you read this, registration will be closed since we have reached the comfortable capacity at TMI. We think this is the earliest (6 weeks before) that AHSP has sold out.) <http://www.ahsp.org/home/directions-and-location/camping-and-amenities/>. Among activities requiring advanced registration, the NRAO tour, NRAO observing, caving, and summit hike are full. Canoeing has one available slot. The Durbin Rocket train trip is still available; we have a nice large group of more than 50 adults & kids for that, but there is adequate capacity. If you would like to add TMI meals, you still have time to do that.
Apparel design has been chosen, and can be seen at <http://www.ahsp.org/home/ahsp-apparel/>. It’s a nice composite of popular themes from past years.
The speaker and activities agenda is full. We have a mix of professional researchers, educators, and advanced amateurs who will entertain and inform. You will see the tentative speaker schedule below. Some favorites have returned, and new faces have volunteered.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to make additions to your registration.
Updating what is new
The volunteer committee has several ideas to improve the attendee experience at all levels. We are moving forward with ideas for mentoring and telescope tours. Plans are not yet final.
Mentoring. We plan to extend NOVAC’s successful mentoring program to AHSP. Whether you are new to amateur astronomy, or have some new equipment with which you are not familiar, we will work to find another amateur who can help you get started. John McDonnell, who coordinates NOVAC’s mentor program, and Rich Grauel are the POCs.
Telescope tour. We will be looking for proud owners who would like to show others their equipment or innovations. This tour will include examples of various telescope, mounting, and accessory types, as well as individual amateurs’ innovations. There may be a separate tour for juniors. The tour may have two parts: a daylight tour of telescopes and their features, whether handmade, purchased, or a mix; and an evening tour or “open house” for optical performance.
We will ask you when you check in whether
- You have equipment you would like to show on a telescope tour.
- You would like help learning to make best uses of your equipment, and what h you have
- You are willing to provide help, and what equipment/techniques you know.
For 1 & 2, we will make note of your location. We are working on some means for identifying locations.
Astrophotography seminar. Bob Traube is organizing a series of talks on Monday afternoon which will cover current topics in astrophotography from beginning to advanced. The seminar will run most of the afternoon, from lunch to dinner in the Yurt.
Evening program. We are facing the fact that we rarely (never?) have four clear nights. As a result, we are preparing some activities for the evening after the last speaker. The featured activity is an astronomy Jeopardy game created by Cathy Bunge. This will be for players of high school age and above.
Bring along your family-friendly sci-fi classics, and we can share them in the main yurt using the laptop and projector.
We figure the more we are prepared for cloudy nights, the less likely they are to occur.
The AHSP program is set – plan accordingly
The presentation schedule has been tentatively set. You will find descriptions and bios on the AHSP website. We have a full schedule of activities from Friday afternoon through Monday evening.