As part of the club’s outreach effort we hold a public star party once a month February through November at the White Memorial Conservation Center, a sprawling 4,000 acre wildlife preserve and nature center, located just 5 minutes from both Litchfield and Bantam.
The evening starts off by having a roughly 30-40 minute talk with topics ranging from Astronomy 101 to deep dives on Saturn, Mars, or even exotic objects like black holes and pulsars; all while striving to entertain and present the science clearly.
Then it’s out to the observing field, where a number of our members set up their equipment, big and small. We also have a large 17.5 inch reflecting telescope housed in the onsite roll-off roof observatory, which is truly a treat. This is the time to ask to see some of the objects you have always wanted to look at but never got the chance to, things like the Moon with its long valleys and deep craters, Saturn’s rings, faint galaxies and nebulae, or maybe even a meteor or satellite.
Everyone is welcome; whether you are a veteran astronomer or an eager learner, there is something for everybody, a telescope isn’t even required.
In 2015 the club formed a partnership with the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield. The library purchased two 4.5″ reflecting telescopes. The club modified the telescopes to prevent loss of parts and provides technical assistance. Club members have given talks at the library and conducted daytime star parties there to observe the sun using both white-light and hydrogen-alpha scopes.
On request the club can conduct star parties for scout groups, civic organizations and private groups. You can reach us via the Contact page.