Syracuse Astronomical Society Summer Seminar August 9-10, 2011

*Download The Official Flyer*
August 26 – An Evening Of Observing
August 10 – An Evening Of Lectures, Raffles, Equipment Selling, Fellow Amateur Astronomers, And Still More Observing!
The Syracuse Astronomical Society will be hosting its 2013 Summer Seminar on the weekend of August 9/10, featuring a Public Viewing Session on the 9th (Friday) and an evening of lectures and observing on August 10 (Saturday). All events are open to the Public for a nominal fee.

Keynote Lecture: Dr. Robert Sullivan

The Mars Rovers – Spirit, Opportunity, And (Now) Curiosity
Dr. Robert Sullivan is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, which is the research arm of the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University. Rob has worked there since 1997 doing planetary science research. He’s been involved with several NASA flight projects over the years, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Express, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, and is a team member on the Mars Science Laboratory, the next rover scheduled to launch to Mars later this year. His research focuses on the surfaces of planets, their satellites, and asteroids. Rob lives with his wife Sue and daughters Haley and Kathleen in Lansing NY, just north of Ithaca.

Curiosity Rover – May 26, 2011 – in Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.

Seminar Details

Official Schedule And Weather Schedule

The Saturday (August 27) lecture session and raffle will go on without observing if there are overcast conditions. IF there is rain predicted for August 27, the Summer Seminar lectures and raffle will be held on Friday (August 26). Please check the website ( or our facebook page Friday afternoon for any weather and short-notice rescheduling updates!


Admission to the Summer Seminar is $5 per vehicle (person or family). Raffle tickets are 1 for $1 and 6 for $5. $1 snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

Dinner At Darling Hill

The SAS is planning an official “Pizza Session” for attendees of the afternoon lecture sections (served during lectures – between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.). If you’re interested in having your dinner catered, please reserve your slice estimate and topping preferences by email ([email protected]) by Saturday morning. If you arrive early, the final order will go in for all attendees on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.!


A Port-a-potty is available on premises (several regular attendees to Darling Hill have already shown their appreciation!)

Equipment Buy + Sell

We encourage you to bring your old gear (and contact information for people wanting to buy “big stuff”) and join in our small Astro-Flea Market. If you send your item list by Friday Aug 26 to [email protected], we will be happy to list it on the website for the Saturday afternoon session.

Tentative Program (Official Times Are “Flexible”)

26 August 2011

9:00 p.m. to ??? – Public Viewing Session

26 August 2011 – If Rain Is Predicted For Saturday

6:00 p.m. – Raffle and Member Lectures
7:00 p.m. – Keynote Lecture – Dr. Robert Sullivan
8:00 p.m. – Equipment Setup
9:00 p.m. to ??? – Observing

27 August 2011

3:30 p.m. – Observatory Opens, Tour The Grounds And The Telescopes
4:00 p.m. – The Astro-Flea Market Opens (rolling schedule and completely informal)
5:00 p.m. – Introduction And Welcome Lecture
5:10 p.m. – Short Lectures From SAS Members
6:15 p.m. – Dr. Stu Forster And Mr. Joseph Italiano Dedications
6:30 p.m. – Raffle!
7:00 p.m. – Keynote Lecture – Dr. Robert Sullivan
8:00 p.m. – Equipment Setup
9:00 p.m. to ??? – Observing

Raffle Prizes

A number of companies have gone above-and-beyond this year in supporting our 2011 Summer Seminar. The wide assortment of astronomical items currently in our raffle include:

From Optics Planet – A Bushnell 5″ Compact Truss
Tube Dobsonian Telescope

From Vixen Optics – an NLV 8-24 Click-Stop-Zoom Eyepiece

From Software Bisque – A $99 Gift Certificate

From Bob’s Knobs – A Complete Knob Upgrade Set

From Celestron – A 50th Anniversary Edition Firstscope

From Lumicon – Two $25 Gift Certificates

From OptCorp – A Space Monopoly Board Game

From Astronomy Magazine – A One-Year Subscription

Two Our Night Sky DVDs

We greatly appreciate the especially kind contribution from Orion Telescopes And Binoculars, who have provided the following list of items to our raffle:

A SpaceProbe 3 EQ Reflector

A GoScope 70mm Refractor

An Orion Telescope & Toe Saver

An Entry Level USB Eyepiece

8×25 Sea Otter WP Binoculars

Visulite 8×21 Compact Binoculars (in Grape)

Two Brass Focus Wheels, Classic

Two Aluminum Focus Wheels, Sport

An Explorer – Galaxy CD-Rom

An Eyes on Mars DVD

A Comet Hunters Asteroid Seeker DVD

A Wheels on Mars DVD

A Messier Mug

And Now A Link To Our Sponsors…

We are very fortunate this year to have a number of companies sponsoring the Summer Seminar raffle. Tickets will be available at the observatory and brochures for sponsoring companies will be on hand.

Major Sponsors – Orion And Optics Planet

Optics Planet logoOpticsPlanet is your source for a huge selection and great deals on telescopes, telescope accessories, astronomy binoculars, spotting scopes and so much more!