Marvel at the universe with the free Northeast Astronomy Forum Virtual Experience today!

Each year around this time, thousands of skywatchers, scientists and telescope manufactures flock to Suffern, New York for a weekend reveling at the stars  the Northeast Astronomy Forum. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event has gone virtual and you can watch it live for free today (April 6), no tickets needed.

The Northeast Astronomy Forum, or NEAF, is organized by the Rockland Astronomy Club and has been held for nearly three decades at SUNY Rockland Community College. NEAF 2020 was originally scheduled for this weekend, April 4-5, but the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to postpone the live event to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. 

Instead, NEAF 2020 will hold a one-day free event from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT (7 a.m. - 5 p.m. PDT). You can tune in to the livestream event here directly from NEAF. It is also being streamed live on YouTube here.

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The event promises to be packed "featuring product demonstrations, fantastic vendor discounts, door prizes, and amazing speakers that have made the Northeast Astronomy Forum legendary," organizers said in a statement."

Among the speakers in today's forum will be Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA Associate Administrator for science missions; C. Alex Young, the agency's associate director for science, heliophysics division; Samuel Hale, executive director of the Mount Wilson Observatory in California; Dianna Colman, chair of the Yerkes Foundation to Save Yerkes; and planetary scientist Janni Radebaugh, who will discuss Dragonfly, a mission to send a helicopter to Saturn's moon Titan

Today's one-day livestream is not the end for NEAF 2020. Organizers and CUNY Rockland Community College have rescheduled the event for Sept. 12 and 13. 

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.