Welcome to the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club

The LHAAC promotes the enjoyment of amateur astronomy through public star parties, education, and meetings.  We host 10 public star parties each year at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield.  Most star parties begin with a talk on an interesting topic, followed by a discussion of what’s visible tonight.  Then, if the weather is cooperative, we do some star and planet gazing.  All are welcome.

Please see the calendar for dates and talk topics.

On request, we also do stargazing events and presentations for schools, scout groups and community service organizations. You can get in touch via our contact page.  The club meets on the second Friday of each month except July at 7:30pm at Center Congregational Church, located at 155 Main Street in Torrington, CT, usually in Room 21 or 23.  Visitors are more than welcome.

Recent Club News

Work on the Observatory telescope nears completion

Leave a Comment

In April, 2016, members of the Mattatuck Astronomical Society and the Litchfield Hills club installed the motors and electronics needed for the telescope to move.  Next step is star testing to make sure the optical components are aligned and working properly. When done, the telescope will be operated under computer control, making it possible to Read More…

Gravitational Waves Discovered

Leave a Comment

At a press conference on Feb. 11, 2016 we learned that researchers detected gravitational waves, predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.  In the early 1600’s Johannes Kepler worked out the mathematics of the motions of the planets, showing that they orbit the Sun in nearly circular ellipses.  Though Kepler’s laws Read More…


News From New Horizons Spacecraft

Leave a Comment

The New Horizons mission to Pluto was a complete success.  On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft flew past Pluto at 7 miles per second and took thousands of photos and measurements.  Over the next month a few hundred low-resolution images were returned to Earth.  (Images and lots more information about the mission here.) The first Read More…

New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Pluto

Leave a Comment

The New Horizons spacecraft, launched in January 2006, is now in the Pluto system and returning photos.  It will fly by Pluto and its 5 known moons on July 14.  This region of the Solar System contains a number of Pluto-like objects; what makes Pluto particularly interesting is that it appears to have an atmosphere Read More…


Unusual Comet Survives a Fiery Plunge

1 Comment

Click here to view an animated image sequence of the comets trip around the sun. Astronomers using NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) are puzzling over a new comet that recently made a dive towards the sun and lived. According to recent observations the comet appears to be getting brighter as it heads earthwards, possibly turning into a Read More…


Incoming! Comet C/2014 Lovejoy Makes An Appearance

Leave a Comment

Comet Lovejoy is at its best this week and next, especially now that the Moon is gone from the evening sky. The comet is glowing at about 5th magnitude well to the west of Orion early in the week — nice in binoculars and possibly visible very dimly to the unaided eye, depending on your sky conditions. Read More…

Sizing up the scope

LHAAC and MAS members repair telescope

Leave a Comment

The 16 inch telescope now in the observatory is not the original one.  The 17.5 inch telescope originally built by members of the Mattatuck club was removed some years ago to be equipped with automatic tracking.  The project languished but is now back on track.  Members of the two clubs are working to complete the Read More…

Member Shef Robotham does some repairs on the observatory roof

Observatory repaired

Leave a Comment

The observatory at White Memorial was built in 1996 by the Mattatuck Astronomical Society and has been showing signs of age. In November, 2013, members of MAS and LHAAC got together to repair the rails for the roll-off roof. We believe those repairs will outlive most of us. The 17.5″ telescope has been installed, replacing Read More…

Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club