Star Studded Event Leads Astronomers to Mountaintop in New Jersey

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From one of the darkest skies in New Jersey comes a chance for the public to mingle with astronomers, enjoy telescope observation, and listen to educational lectures on astronomy from noted experts. It is a combination of two concurrent events- Starquest, run by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton. The other a symposium hosted by the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey at New Jersey's premiere site for public astronomy - the UACNJ observatories and lecture hall in Jenny Jump State Forest. The events span Friday October 16 through Sunday October 18.


Singing Moon Rocks & Dancing Astronauts

The public is invited, family, kids, anyone interested in astronomy. The United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey is announcing the annual Starquest at the Hope Conference and Renewal Center in Hope and Astronomy Symposium at the Jenny Jump UACNJ Observatories and Lecture Hall at Hope, October 16-18, 2009.

The Starquest at the Conference and Renewal Center is an event that will take place regardless of weather (although observing will be subject to weather conditions) and will feature stargazing at one of the few nearly dark sky sites in the state with dozens of telescopes in operation, a club sponsored deep sky observation contest, raffle, door prizes, astronomical swap meet, heated cabin accommodations, hot showers, and ample parking space for campers and RVs. See for more information about Starquest.

The Astronomy Symposium at Jenny Jump will take place on October 17 and 18 - Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon at the facilities Lecture Hall and Observatories, to complement the Starquest. Car pooling is highly encouraged at the Jenny Jump portion of the weekend as parking is limited at the lecture hall.

All events other than solar and nighttime observation at Jenny Jump will take place rain or shine, and include-

Solar and Radio telescopes
Binoculars observation practicum
Meteorite display
Door prizes
Swap Meet
Astronomy symposium

Lecture presentations on Saturday October 17th from Noon, until after 8PM includes:

"Singing Moon Rocks & Dancing Astronauts" by Lonnie Buins;
"Mars Beautiful but Hostile to Life" by Dr. Mary Lou West;
"The UACNJ - NJIT Project at Jenny Jump" by Dr. Andrew Gerard;
"A Teacher's Journey from a Neglected Six-Inch Telescope to Spitzer" by Terry Moody;
"Are We Alone? Searching for Other Earthlike Planets" Dr. David Spergel; and a Minerals, Rocks, and Meteorite Display, with a Geology Walk,

Sunday's lectures are:

"Searching the Night Sky with Binoculars" a practicum by Jim Norton;
"Eyewitness to Hubble/Shuttle Launch and Personal Postcards from Mars" by Dr. Ken Kremer;
"The Invention and History of the Telescope" by Alan Witzgall;
"Solar Observing With Radio Telescopes" by Dr. Dale Gary;
"Remote Astrophotography" by Jim DeLillo.

Ron Russo, President of UACNJ said "This is the first and largest event of this kind in the area.", describing the event, he went on to say "It is a chance for the public to see and learn astronomy from the experts" "We are looking for our first symposium to be a great success."

Attendees to Jenny Jump can see in-process, the installation of a 48 inch telescope, that will be one of the largest in the country. It is expected to open to the general public after installation with completion sometime late this year or early 2010.

About UCANJ:
The United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey, Inc. (UACNJ) was formed in 1988 as a loosely associated umbrella networking group for New Jersey area amateur astronomy clubs. The UACNJ itself is not a club, but a consortium of a dozen and a half clubs, united to better help support, coordinate, and communicate ideas between the over 1400 individuals who make astronomy their hobby, in and around the state.

The UACNJ helps promote and support amateur astronomy in the New Jersey area by representing its member clubs with its astronomical displays at major area events. The UACNJ's presence has been seen regularly at the Rockland Astronomy Club's "Astronomy Forum" in the spring, the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton's "New Jersey StarQuest" June camp weekend, the Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association's "Stella-Della-Valley" camp weekend in the fall, as well as the UACNJ's own April Astronomy Day and September "UACNJ Symposium" events, held at the UACNJ Observatory. The UACNJ maintains a Speakers' Bureau for member clubs, awards Messier, Asteroid and Spectroscopic Certificates to qualifying observers, and maintains this web site which provides information on member clubs and links directly to all their web sites.

United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey
P.O. Box 150
Hope, NJ 07844

About AAAP:
This organization of 100 + promotes astronomy-related activities for members and non-members, novice to expert. A wide spectrum of astronomy interests are explored at the AAAP through regular meetings, workshops, use of the two club observatories, public outreach and regional star parties.

Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton
P.O. Box 2017
Princeton, NJ 08543

About Starquest:
Jersey StarQuest 2009 takes place at the Hope Conference Center, situated on a Warren County hillside overlooking Little Silver Lake, with 125 acres of forests, wetlands, fields and lawns. The facility is not far from exit 12 off of I-80 westbound.

StarQuest is now an autumn event, continuing a great tradition (our 20th year) of exciting daytime activity including swap meets, fishing, good food and valuable prize drawings. And after dark? A forest of telescopes, CCD imaging, deep sky observing, mini Messier marathons. A New Jersey astronomer's paradise.


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