Starfest 2011 - A Couple of Great Days and Good Nights in Central Ontario
Starfest is an amateur astronomy convention hosted by the North York Astronomical Association every year in the month of August at the River Bend Campground near Mount Forest Ontario. It is the largest "star party" in Canada and rated one of the best in North America. Although skies are not as dark as at the Manitoulin Star Party, they are still pretty good. This convention is known for an extensive line-up of high-quality guest speakers who make daytime presentations on a variety of topics, from learning how to clean and care for binoculars to shooting spectrographs of unusual blue giant stars to discovering new ring features around Saturn. Other daytime events include observing storms on the sun with special hydro-alpha filtered telescopes and checking out telescope dealer booths and the swap table. Attendance varies from year to year and depends on weather conditions, but has averaged about 700 the last few years. Long range forecasts for this week indicate that the three day event is likely to have relatively clear skies for the whole event.