NEAF is the Northeast Astronomy Forum, an annual two day event featuring 130 on-site vendors, astronomy workshops, daily solar viewing, space and astronomy events for kids, and well-known speakers in the field of astronomy. It is held in Suffern, New York, which is about 30 minutes away from New York City. Basically NEAF is a giant toy store for astronomers!! People come from all over New England and even from the south to see the latest astronomy toys and purchase things they’ve been hoping for all year. This year NEAF took place April 17- 18th and had 5, 343 visitors. It’s the biggest astronomy event in the east.

This is an overview of the event from a balcony above all the displays and action.

Astronomers Without Borders had a booth just as you come into the display area. Next to AWB was the TWAN display and Wally Pacholka’s booth. Members of Astronomical Society of Northern New England and Southern Maine Astronomers helped Babak Sedehi and Joan Chamberlin put up the displays for Astronomers Without Borders and TWAN.

Kirk Rogers and RonThompson of Southern Maine Astronomers help put up the TWAN and AWB displays.

Joan Chamberlin of Astronomical Society of Northern New England and AWB board member, Babak Sedehi, look at a copy of the souvenir from the Virtual Telescope while waiting for visitors to the booth.

Joan Chamberlin and Michael Uberty, AWB member from New York, man the AWB booth, while Babak networks with vendors.

Later on Saturday, Mike Simmons, our fearless leader, arrives at NEAF. Here he is with Joan and Mike Uberty.

Wally Pacholka, one of our TWAN astrophotographers, had his booth right next to ours. Here’s Wally with his exceptionally beautiful photos for sale.


Saturday evening members of Astronomical Society of Northern New England and Southern Maine Astronomers with Mike Uberty from New York had an enjoyable Star Peace event with Marcelo Souza and his group from Brazil. The group from Brazil showed the Maine group their observatory and equipment.
Following the Star Peace Event, all the group met with Mike Simmons for dinner.

Sunday the Astronomers Without Borders group was joined by Cami and George Fischer, Audrey Fischer’s mother-in-law and father-in-law, who charmed everyone with their ability to extract promises from everyone who passed to protect the sky in their own area one star at a time. Many promises were made and yummy chocolate stars were awarded to those who made promises.

Audrey mother-in-law securing a promise to protect the sky over this visitor.

NEAF was a successful event and many new people learned about our organization. Also, I’m sure that Mike Simmons and Babak Sedehi had some success finding some sponsors.

Report by Joan Chamberlin
Photos by Joan Chamberlin, Kirk Rogers, and Mike Uberty


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