AAA SPRING STARFEST IN WOODLAWN CEMETERY, THE BRONX

The Event: On Saturday April 13, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York (AAA), in conjunction with the Woodlawn Conservancy, will take a tour of our solar system and universe during its annual Spring Starfest in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Woodlawn Cemetery is a national historic landmark that has commanding open area views, free of glare from local lighting, where the majority of the urban night sky can be seen. There will be telescopes of various magnifications and design, capable of reaching out into the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. Come have a look at the universe in The Bronx, easily reachable by public transportation.

The event will begin at 7:00 pm, when trained AAA observers will be setting up their scopes and determining their celestial targets. Guests are welcome to watch this process, and speak with AAA members and supporters about telescopes, astronomical binoculars and solar observing equipment. Click here for directions to observing site.

The People: Just as important as what you will see is who will join you on your journey to the stars. AAA publicly promotes science education and culture throughout the five boroughs. Its goal is to teach, educate, and foster a culture of stargazing and public science engagement. Member observers will take you on your first steps to understanding our cosmos. Those with more advanced knowledge will be able to discuss astronomy with their peers. For kids, astronomy is the gateway to the sciences. Seeing Saturn's rings or Jupiter's moons is a source of wonder and amazement that can dramatically change one’s perspective.

The AAA Spring Starfest strives to plant new seeds of curiosity (much like NASA has planted its Curiosity rover on Mars) — not just about astronomy, but about science, technology, engineering, and math. The supportive environment of this Woodlawn Cemetery event is the perfect venue to meet helpful and friendly people dedicated to sharing what they've learned. Although observing the night sky is the focus of the evening, Starfest is about making new friends and talking to people about new and amazing things.
Each year, this event brings hundreds of New Yorkers together to share the experience of viewing the skies above The Bronx. Intrepid AAA observer teams staff 15 to 20 telescopes and astronomical binoculars of various magnifications.

The Technology: Experience some of the most celebrated equipment in astronomy, Tele Vue Optics telescopes and eyepieces, Celestron NexStars, Orion StarBlasts, SkyProdigys, and more. Learn from and observe AAA members as they program their scopes to point to the cosmos utilizing digital tools such as *Sky Safari*, *Starwalk*, Google *Sky Map*, *Space Map*, there are many excellent apps for phones and tablets alike. Watch as AAA members research targets and scout the sky with the latest software. CCD cameras, DSLRs set to infinity, there are many ways to capture images by letting in starlight. Bring your own equipment and discuss imaging techniques with member photographers.

Our Targets: Our astronomical targets will be both near and far. In our solar system, the cloud bands of Jupiter, its moons, and our Moon will be easily visible. Beyond, we will observe distant galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae. The sky is filled with opportunities each night.

Directions: Enter at the Jerome Ave. entrance located 1 block north of the intersection of Jerome Ave. & Bainbridge Ave.Look for a table staffed by AAA members at the entrance.

About AAA: Founded in 1927, The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York is dedicated to educating residents of the metropolitan area in the science of astronomy. In addition to observing sessions in the boroughs and upstate, AAA sponsors a monthly lecture series, offers astronomy classes and seminars throughout the year, publishes a monthly membership news journal, *Eyepiece*, and provides a wealth of information on its website for current events and astronomical content.

Rain Date: In case of a clouded over sky or rain, Spring Starfest will be held the following weekend, Saturday, April 20th.

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  • zita j.

    Hey Wideguy,

    thanks for the sympathetic ear. No doubt...I did take an alternate route. Who would have thought..turns out there are multiple trains and buses one can take to get to Woodlawn, thereby leading to multiple entrances, which yesterday were all locked...all except one. As for the other, two individuals, I met who were also Lost In Space...well, I guess you'll just have to get their feedback when they tell you, themselves, what their issues were. As for me...I would like directions clearly posted in the heading of the meet-up invitation, including which trains and buses to take to get to the event. Hey, since people will be people...maybe directions should say which trains and busses not to take. Any way.. sounds like you guys had a great old time. And yea...at the next big meet-up...let there be: beacons...posters...volunteers & SGs at the odd entrances giving directions. Sorry...but some of us just have to be hand held and spoon fed. "Z", Non Scientifico

    1 · April 14, 2013

    • Jupiter J.

      Hey zita, again sorry you had difficulty but the directions on the aaa site were clear but in the future ill make certain the links are prominently displayed. If you are interested we will have observing this friday at carl schurz park on 86th street abouve the fdr drive from 7 -10

      April 14, 2013

  • Stephanie

    This event was so well-organized from the security guard greeting us at the front gate to the raffle tickets, guided walking tour to the viewing site and all the friendly members with telescopes set up. We had a great time. Thank you!

    1 · April 14, 2013

    • Jupiter J.

      Stephanie, I am so elated to hear that. The Woodlawn Conservancy Staff are amazing and they work so well with us. The location is so unique amongst observing locations and with the addition of the mini tours it really is a location like no other.

      April 14, 2013

  • zita j.

    I. Am. So. Envious...'cause you guys had a great time and I, and at least one other AAA member, could not partake of the fun. That's because we were lost! We were wandering around dark and creepy Woodlawn Cemetery for over an hour trying to find you guys; so the only celestial objects we might have observed were souls in the cemetery headed for the skies...only we couldn't even see those because it was simply too dark! So please organizers...in the future could you be more specific with directions on how to get to these events. Thank you.

    "Z"

    April 14, 2013

    • Jupiter J.

      Zita, im so sorry to hear that , when you entered the cemetery were you not escorted in a group? Everyone that came after 8 pm was escortedd in large groups to the observing site and prior to that every one was directed to follow the red strobes along the white dashed road. Did you perhaps take a different route? I appreciate the feedback though as it helps us prepare better in the future

      April 14, 2013

  • Chris M.

    It was a great time yesterday. saw some great sights..... star clusters, constellations, Jupiter with a few moons, and Saturn w/ Titan. awesome to see God's creations. great to see everyone. :-)

    April 14, 2013

  • Darren

    Some body call[masked] 3239. Lost and almost out of battery

    April 13, 2013

    • Karen

      I spoke with you for a minute as you headed home. These large anonymous mtgs can turn out to be a bust. Or a blast. The AAA people were intelligent and friendly, in my opinion. Maybe you'll try the group again.

      April 14, 2013

    • Eileen R.

      We called but I think ur battery already died cause all we got was ur VM. Next time.

      April 14, 2013

  • Jupiter J.

    Darren, I hope that you made it. It was very busy and I was not always available to respond as you can tell. I just want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone that attended and made this event spectacular.

    1 · April 14, 2013

    • Eileen R.

      Joe, I got Darren's posted message e-mailed to my cell and Little Habes called his # but I think his battery had already died cause Tom's call went straight to his VM. We tried. :(

      April 14, 2013

  • Karen

    Thank you to the dedicated AAA members sharing their vision and equipment. I am impressed. At night in the Green Mtn Natl Forest, my family wld go out on the meadow, look up at the night sky and just say "aahh". Effortless.

    1 · April 14, 2013

  • Eileen R.

    I had a wonderful time, the weather cooperated and the crowd was very festive!

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • Danielle

    What a great night!! Thank you!

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • erin

    Amazing! I'm hooked. Everyone was so knowledgeable, I learned something new and amazing at every scope I stopped at, and I stopped at all of them! I knew it would be good but it exceeded my expectations ten-fold. They even had gift bags, and a great raffle, and a short intro to the cemetery while the guide showed us to the viewing site.

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • Chris M.

    Hope i win the telescope! ;-) the binoculars are nice too! good luck everyone.

    April 13, 2013

  • Chris M.

    Looking forward to seeing Jupiter, Saturn.... And other celestial bodies. :-)

    April 13, 2013

  • Chris M.

    Should be there about 7:30- 8:00. should i leave my cell # to find you guys?

    April 13, 2013

  • Jupiter J.

    Number 4 train to woodlawn which is the last stop

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • Darren

    Which subway stop is closest?

    April 13, 2013

  • leo g.

    It is 6:00pm and were a GO! Weather forecasts are mixed, but we think skies will clear by ~8:00 if not sooner. In the meantime, we can get scopes set up and socialize. There is a 10% chance of rain. If it does rain, then the event will be cancelled. My daughter has a stomach ache so my focus now is to get her to go to Hale and Hearty Soup, but many of AAA's best observers are already starting to set up their scopes on site. Thanks,
    Leo

    April 13, 2013

  • Jupiter J.

    We are on folks have clear skies above

    3 · April 13, 2013

  • LadyOfTheHouse

    The clouds are clearing up on our end....we are on our way.

    April 13, 2013

  • Eileen R.

    Well?

    April 13, 2013

  • Jupiter J.

    Marcelo is checking at the moment so we can make the decision

    April 13, 2013

  • Jupiter J.

    Folks we are trying to make the call asap as of now we are on as the maps show X learing around 8pm

    April 13, 2013

  • Eileen R.

    I am meeting Stan and leaving in about 45 minutes! :)

    April 13, 2013

  • leo g.

    Joe?

    April 13, 2013

  • Karen

    Based on Leo's event description, I am going to assume this is postponed to next Saturday - when we will probably have a hurricane.

    April 13, 2013

  • Karen

    the sky is very clouded over at 3:20.
    I think we need an update re tonight.
    Thanks.

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • Clayton

    Wanted to double check that Starfest is on tonight despite some clouding. Thanks.

    1 · April 13, 2013

  • erin

    Is it possible to bring my telescope and have someone help me set it up? I've had it for years and have hardly used it because I don't really know how! Have been trying to find someone to help me out for ages:)

    1 · April 11, 2013

    • Jupiter J.

      Erin, because of the number of people we anticipate coming it may be a little difficult to set time aside during the observing time from 7 - 10, however if you would like to schedule time before the start of starfest i will be able to assist you at that time .if not and you would like to bring your scope to one of the other AAA events i am sure that we can have someone assist. BTW sorry i did not see this earlier.

      2 · April 12, 2013

    • erin

      Ok, thank you. I figured it would be a bit busy but, never hurts to ask! I'll definitely look into bringing it to another event. Thanks again!

      April 13, 2013

  • Alex

    I like astronomy

    April 13, 2013

  • Jupiter J.

    Friends, for all those attending our Spring Starfest event tomorrow we are trying to expedite the sign in process, so we ask that you please print & fill out the attached file and bring it with you for check-in. The additional fields captured will help us to tailor communications and enhance our events in the future. We look forward to seeing everyone .

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkab278az6cbykz/sign%20in%20form.jpg


    -JJ

    1 · April 12, 2013

  • Kristina

    Can't attend due to a conference but I do hope that you do this one again soon. Sounds really interesting!

    April 8, 2013

    • Jupiter J.

      Kristina, if yiu arw here in the Bronx feel free to join us at any of observing events. You can keep track of events by visiting www.aaa.org and view the calendar.

      April 9, 2013

  • JOey A.

    I work till 7:30, so I'll be arriving around 8:30... Is that ok or will this be too late?

    April 9, 2013

    • Jupiter J.

      Joe, that is perfectly fine , we will have sufficient staffing to allow you in. I look forward to meeting you.

      1 · April 9, 2013

  • Jonathan S.

    Hi, I live in Riverdale section of the Bronx. Will like to attend and bring my wife and three kids to see the stars. I'm friends with Joseph White.

    1 · April 9, 2013

  • gregory

    Hope to attend, but might have a schedule conflict.

    April 8, 2013

  • Alex

    I like astronomy

    April 7, 2013

  • vinny

    Hope to meet you there

    April 6, 2013

  • Lily

    8pm

    April 3, 2013

  • Jason K.

    sadly, I teach. BUT, for those on the fence, you should Go!!!

    April 2, 2013

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