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, Connecticut.  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.

NOTE: Please see our COVID-19 response page for further details on star parties and talks.

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.  (During the pandemic we are meeting on Zoom.)

Recent Club News

May 26 talk on Roving Mars

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This talk is sponsored by The Oliver Wolcott Library. To join the talk, go to the Library’s site: https://www.owlibrary.org/adult-events.aspxScroll down until you see “Roving Mars – The Red Planet with Pete Kandefer” and follow the link. (The notice in the Waterbury newspaper on 5/13 referred to this site instead of the library’s.)

Founding Club Member Paul Pompa Passes Away at 96

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On 12/21/2020 the club learned that much loved and founding member Paul Pompa had passed away the previous day. Below are some words from the secretary about Paul’s involvement with the club. Paul was one of the founding members of LHAAC in 1956, was active for many years and served several years as president. He Read More…

Astrophotography Talk 2020

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Last week our club president Joe Dougherty presented his ever-popular Astrophotography Talk where he gave a basic overview of what astrophotography is and how it works, as well as showcased images that he and other club members have taken over the years. Check out the Talk below! We have also been working on the calendar Read More…

WMCC – Hoffleit Observatory Update June 2020

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Lots of progress has been occurring during quarantine on LHAAC’s Hoffleit Observatory with a brief summary below. Suffice to say future star parties at White Memorial will be getting a definite upgrade. On May 9 Chip M, Mark C, Denis W and Liam went to the observatory and built the flap in the west wall Read More…

Club News for 5/15/20

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Coming Events and Star Parties: – 05/15/20: Star Party online via Facebook, 8:00pm; talk topic: Our Magnetic Sun– 06/19/20: Star Party at White Memorial, 8:00pm; talk topic: to be announced– 07/17/20: Star Party at White Memorial, 8:00pm; talk topic: to be announced Star Parties:05/15; 8:00pm: talk topic – Our Magnetic SunIf you’ve done solar observing Read More…

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…

Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club