The Stellafane Convention is a once-a-year gathering of amateur telescope makers and astronomers. Thousands of amateur telescope makers and astronomers from all over the world gather at Breezy Hill – near Springfield, Vermont – to share their innovations, join in competitions, and enjoy the night sky. The convention is generally held over the weekend of the new moon closest to the height of the Perseid meteor shower (usually early August). It is the earliest and most established of the many annual star parties now held across North America in the summer and throughout the year. Stellafane was started in 1926 to give amateur telescope makers an opportunity to gather to show off their creations and teach each other telescope making and mirror-grinding techniques. All telescopes, commercial and homemade, are welcome. The site is a National Historic Landmark.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.