Northeast Astronomy Forum 2018 Invites Space Fans to 'Ultimate Experience'

NEAF telescope
A Northeast Astronomy Forum attendee looks through a telescope. (Image credit: Miles Hora/Rockland Astronomy Club)

Astronomy enthusiasts — including — will gather next weekend (April 21-22) to attend the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF), which producers have billed as "the ultimate astronomy and space experience".

NEAF began as an outreach project by the Rockland Astronomy Club in 1991, according to producer Ed Siemenn. Today, NEAF hosts workshops, professional and amateur conferences, classes, and children's programs, and it continues to invite bright minds from across the fields of astronomy, aerospace and astrophysics to present at its lecture series.

"NEAF is always growing," Siemenn told via email. "Each year, we have a goal to expand our educational outreach and add more programs for educators and students. This is a very important aspect of what we do, and my goal is to have it continue to improve and expand in the future." [Cosmic Bling! Colorful Nebulas Decorate Orion's Belt in Stargazer Photo]

NEAF will be held at Rockland Community College (part of the State University of New York) in Suffern, New York, during the weekend of April 21 and April 22. Suffern, a Rockland County village, is about an hour's drive north of New York City and less than a 4-hour drive from Boston.

A presentation at a Northeast Astronomy Forum: The celestial body projected onto the screen is Phoebe, a natural satellite orbiting the planet Saturn. (Image credit: Mies Hora/Rockland Astronomy Club)

"This year, I'm proud to say we have Nobel laureate and Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope John Mather, as well as Mike Leinbach, former space shuttle launch director; Hans Koenigsmann of SpaceX; and Tom Mulder, Boeing CST-100 Starliner mission designer," Siemenn said.

Children play with a toy at the Northeast Astronomy Forum. (Image credit: Mies Hora/Rockland Astronomy Club)


NEAF 2018 will feature over 100 vendors and booths, with representatives from Lowell Observatory, telescope maker Celestron, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York and many more, according to the NEAF Facebook page. There will also be free telescope giveaways, model-building at a children's corner and solar-viewing opportunities, according to the event's website. will have a booth, too — so come find us and say hello!

To register, go to

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Doris Elin Urrutia
Contributing Writer

Doris is a science journalist and contributor. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Her first work was published in collaboration with London Mining Network, where her love of science writing was born. Her passion for astronomy started as a kid when she helped her sister build a model solar system in the Bronx. She got her first shot at astronomy writing as a editorial intern and continues to write about all things cosmic for the website. Doris has also written about microscopic plant life for Scientific American’s website and about whale calls for their print magazine. She has also written about ancient humans for Inverse, with stories ranging from how to recreate Pompeii’s cuisine to how to map the Polynesian expansion through genomics. She currently shares her home with two rabbits. Follow her on twitter at @salazar_elin.