SolarFest USA ~ Aug 22-27, 2016

NEW TO ASTRONOMY? That's OK Let us show you how things work.

TO REGISTER: Register Online or contact ICSTARS at 660-747-7782.

For Further information, see our Ranch Map.

What is SolarFest?

SolarFest is an astronomical event for Solar Observers, Solar Researchers and generally curious people to come and learn more about solar astronomy and safe solar observation.  We have 2 parts of this event.  

The first part is for the more experienced and professional astronomers to talk about advancements and new techniques.  

The second half of SolarFest is a "Star Party" and outreach event.  This second part is where you, the beginner, can learn about astronomy, look through other people's telescopes, ask all sorts of questions and much more.

SOLARFEST IS FREE*:  If you Register in advance, SolarFest is free. We require this pre-registration so that we know how many visitors to expect.  We need to plan for facilities and staff and all the free things we give away to our guests.

TELESCOPE DEMO'S:  At star parties, amateur astronomers get together with their telescopes a bit like a 'car show'. Except at a star party, you're allowed to look through the equipment yourself. Astronomers love to demonstrate their equipment and share the hobby of astronomy with others. We love answering questions and explaining things to everybody from toddlers to other astronomers.  There are no stupid questions, so don't feel shy asking us anything. Feel free to ask if you can look through our telescopes. Please be gentle with knobs and accessories and listen to the owner about what is ok to touch and what isn't.  Please keep kids in cheque too. We want to let children look through the equipment, but we just want to make sure everyone has a good view. We will ask you not to push or pull the telescope.  We will show you where to turn a knob to focus it. If you do not see anything in the eyepiece, don't give up! Tell the operator that you don't see anything.  Sometimes the object has moved out of the view and he/she just needs to adjust the pointing. Telescope owners are all pretty nice and don't bite, so feel free to ask us as many questions as you or your curious 4-year-old want to.

YOU WILL GET TO SEE: Not only will you get to see telescopes and ask questions, but through the telescopes, you will get to see several astronomical objects. We have special, SAFE, solar telescopes that will show you the sun in boiling detail - with prominences, sunspots, flares and surface detail. Explosions on the sun erupt in enormous explosions larger than Earth and you can witness these and other details through special equipent. If you stay after dark, the planet Mars and Saturn are up, so you can see the red planet and the rings of Saturn with your own eyes. Larger telescopes will be viewing galaxies and nebulae.  Astronomers will be up all night (clear skies permitting) every night to stargaze.

ACTIVITIES AT YOUR LEVEL: SolarFest organizers have scheduled most of the beginner and teacher/student activities on Friday afternoon and Saturday. Friday night, just before sundown, Jackie Beucher is giving her "beginning Astronomy" presentation.  She will help you get started in what all those stars and things are up there and how to begin enjoying them a little more as she hosts an evening of novice stargazing. Since this is a Solar Observing festival, we will talk a lot about entry level SAFE solar observation.  There is a Total Solar Eclipse coming just 1 year after SolarFest so we want everyone to know what to do when the eclipse comes. We have workshops for making solar filters for telescopes and much more.

FREE DRAWINGS: Admission (either through pre-registration at no cost) or for $20 pp at the gate enters guests to win free Astronomy Door Prizes and grab bags for kids.

MORE FOR KIDS: Kids get bored easily and need breaks to run around.  We also have other fun things for kids to enjoy at SolarFest! Kids can take a break in the bouncy house, visit Zoo animals on special exhibit on Saturday, or chill in the clubhouse with the pinball machine and sci-fi movies between activities or just 'run around' on the open 35 acre property.  

Exotic zoo animals will be on exhibit for local children on Saturday, August 27, 2016 by handlers Tiffany Messerschmidt and Dan.  Some of Dan's animals include: llama, camel, rabbits, tortoise, fainting goats, wallabe, kangarroo, porcupine, lemurs, reptiles and more. Dan does not keep any agressive species or animals which are not friendly to children and petting.

Note:  By Missouri law, children under 18 in groups must be
supervised at a safe ratio of 1 adult per every 6 children.

Solar Information by C. Alex Young, PhD.

SolarFest (c) 2016 DayStar Instruments LLC • 149 Northwest OO Highway • Warrensburg, MO 64093 - USA
Telephone: 866-680--6563 • • FAX: 1-866-791-0448