An immersion in the heavenly is offered at the upcoming Annual North east Astronomy Forum and Telescope Show (NEAF), billed as "Am erica's Premiere Astronomy Expo."

NEAF takes place April 20-21 in Suffern, N.Y., a two- to three-hour drive from the Berkshires.

For the experienced and the novice, adults and children, awe-inspiring astronomy education and recreation await. World reknowned speakers, practical workshops, purveyors of optics and astronomy-inspired arts and crafts are presented in the expansive facilities of Rockland Community College. A highlight of the two-day forum is the "Solar Star Party: The World's Largest Solar Star Party."

Astronomer Michael Brown's "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming" is Sunday's keynote address. John M. Grunsfeld, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) science director and astronaut, will deliver Saturday's keynote.

All the major astronomy magazines are represented on the program, for example, Astronomy Magazine's Bob Berman -- well known in our region -- will present "ISON: Comet of the Century?"

A workshop, "Telescopes for Beginners" meets each morning and over 110 exhibitors and equipment vendors are available both days.

Admission to NEAF is $20 for one day, $35 for two. Throughout the event, the amazing Solar Star Party welcomes observers of all ages, free of any admission charge, to learn how to safely look at the sun through a great variety of telescopes.


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For more information go to neafsolar.com/info.html and rocklandlandastronomy.com/neaf/index.html.

The Rockland Astronomy Club sponsors NEAF.

In our region, the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomy Association offers programs locally and participates in NEAF. Find the 5A's at www.amherstastronomy.org/

The Full Sap Moon rises Wednesday at 7:57 p.m.

To contact Judy Isacoff go to www.naturesturn.org