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.  No prior knowledge of astronomy is required – just curiosity.

Please see the calendar for dates and talk topics.  If no events are shown please see our calendar at NASA’s Night Sky Network.

On request, we also do stargazing events and presentations for libraries, 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 24 or 23.  Visitors are always welcome.

Recent Club News

Members brave single digit temps to capture lunar eclipse

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Club members Denis Williamson, Mark Croce, Jamie Caron, and Liam O’Brien were on the scene the night of January 20th to view the last lunar eclipse for North America until May 16th, 2022. Despite temperatures of 4F or -12F with windchill factor, some intrepid members managed to keep their camera going long enough to capture all the Read More…

LHAAC Art Show – Starlight: Astronomy meets art

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The LHAAC will be having a gallery show at Five Points Gallery Annex from November 16th through the 25th. Opening night reception is Friday, November 16th 6-8:30pm (refreshments will be served). Come to see photographs of galaxies, nebula, planets, the moon, and even the Aurora Borealis! Members of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy club will be available Read More…

Top Astrophotography Targets for March 2018

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M3 – Messier 3 Wikipedia DSO-Browser M3 is a globular cluster in the constellation Canes Venatici. This is a great object for beginners, it is quite bright and can produce stunning images with a variety of setups. Reddit example #1 Reddit example #2 Reddit example #3 M42 – Orion Nebula Wikipedia DSO-Browser M42 or the Read More…

Top Astrophotography Targets for February

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M45 – Pleides Wikipedia DSO-Browser The Pleides or “Seven Sisters” is easily visible to the naked eye making it one of the most popular targets for beginner astrophotographers. The Pleides is a large target so just use a camera lens or a short focal length telescope.   M42 – Orion Nebula Wikipedia DSO-Browser M42 or Read More…

Rare Sighting of “Bantam Phantom” at WMCC

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Just in time for the Halloween season, authorities believe that the photo above is the first time that the elusive “Bantam Phantom” has been captured on film.  Recent sightings in South Carolina where he is known as “Pumpkin Head” may also be true, since reported sightings only occur in the dark and South Carolina recently experienced Read More…

Eclipse 2017 Wrap-up

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Total eclipse 2017 was a big event in many ways,  not only was it the first total eclipse to cross the contagious United states in nearly a 100 years, but it was a door buster in terms of crowd size for both club members at White Memorial and those scattered across the lower 48, including Read More…

Member presentation at the Connecticut Star Party

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At 10:30AM the 23rd of this month, member Pete Kandefer will be giving a presentation on meteor impact sites at the Connecticut Star Party (CSP); a brief description of the talk is below.  The CSP runs from September 22nd to 24th at the Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation in Goshen, CT, rain or shine.  For more information Read More…

The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017

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What’s all the fuss about? “A total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, lasting for up to about three hours from beginning to end, according to NASA. The lunar shadow will darken the sky, temperatures will drop and bright stars will appear at a time that is normally broad Read More…

PiKon Telescope – DIY, 3D printed, Raspberry Pi enabled

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This neat project from Royal Astronomical Society member Mark Wrigley showcases what can be done with new low cost disruptive technologies like 3D printing and single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi. Costing only ~$312 as a fully built kit or much less if you have some of the parts and tools needed. This is among one Read More…

Russ Leonard builds 6in refractor

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Member Russ Leonard recently put the finishing touches on a brand new 6in F/15 refracting telescope, mounted on a DIY Alt-Az mount built from stained Oak, the design utilizes a friction clutch complete with precision settings circles, much like a Dobsonian. Weighing in at almost 500lbs and standing taller than Russ (who is pretty tall to start with) this telescope means business, Read More…

Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club