Press Release

For Immediate Release 

 

Event Date: August 19-23, 2014

 

Sky & Telescope's senior contributing editor, J. Kelly Beatty, to host Medomak Astronomy Retreat and Symposium (MARS), Washington, Maine 

 

Star parties are gatherings of amateur (from newbie to well-seasoned) astronomers and astrophotographers, in places that are free of light pollution, and have spectacular night-sky viewing. 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington, Maine, March 31, 2014 — Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine is taking its growing reputation as a stargazing Mecca to the next level. This summer, August 19-23, adults and older children will be able to learn about astronomy and telescopes by day and revel under the region’s expansive ultra-dark skies at night at the Medomak Astronomy Retreat and Symposium. This engaging program is led by J. Kelly Beatty (Sky & Telescope's senior contributing editor); veteran stargazer, researcher and telescope maker Bruce Berger (Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston); and Greg Mort, renowned artist and life-long amateur astronomer, telescope maker, and astrophotographer.
 
Medomak has some of the darkest skies in the Northeast, with spectacular nights that reveal thousands of stars almost at the limit of what your eyes can see. For the past decade, Medomak's Family Camp has hosted an astronomy-themed vacation week that routinely sells out many months in advance.
 
Medomak has recently upgraded its infrastructure to accommodate dusk-to-dawn stargazing. You can set up your scope wherever you want: next to your cabin, on the new power-ready observing pad, or at a secure remote site with a commanding view for astrophotography. Or just bring your binoculars and use one of the retreat center's telescopes.
 
This gathering will provide activities for amateurs of all experience levels, from newbies looking to buy their first scope to seasoned deep-sky observers and astrophotographers. Each afternoon will feature a series of presentations designed to teach you about astronomy, the night sky, telescopes, and how to view/photograph all those celestial wonders. Here’s a partial list of the presentations planned: 

  • How to choose the best telescope for you

  • Kepler's explosion of exoplanets

  • Light pollution: the good, the bad, the ugly

  • Meteors, meteorites, and meteorwrongs

  • How to get started making your own telescope

  • Mythology and lore of the night sky

  • Mars in 3-D (latest news from the world next door)

  • Portraying the night sky (with award-winning artist Greg Mort)

  • Solar observing techniques

  • Sunlight symphonies (exploring the daytime sky) 

  • Telescope tune-ups

  • The amazing Hubble Space Telescope

  • Using your new telescope

Medomak has comfortable, private cabin facilities with real beds, hot showers, electricity, and chef-prepared food (staffers grow many of their own organic vegetables, milk their own cows, and bake their own breads and desserts).  It is located on a beautiful Maine lake that's perfect for swimming, paddling, fishing, or just relaxing. Guests have access to all kinds of gear for having fun in the water — sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up-paddle surfboards (SUPs).. There are full-size basketball and tennis courts, an archery range, and fields and woods with trails. Mornings are free time, designed to let you have fun, explore the region, or just sleep in.
 
Medomak is just minutes from the picturesque towns of Rockland and Camden — and just a 2-hour drive from Acadia National Park.
 
All-Inclusive Tuition: $700.00 per person (includes private housing for family groups and individuals, all meals, all programs, activities, and use of facilities). Rate includes an 8% Maine state sales and lodging tax.
 
Web: www.medomakretreatcenter.com/starparty.php 
Email: family@medomakcamp.com, Phone: (301) 854-9100   

 

The Facilitators  


Kelly Beatty

Kelly writes many of the feature articles and news items found in Sky & Telescope magazine and on its website. He joined the magazine's staff in 1974 and served as the editor of Night Sky, a magazine for beginning stargazers, in 2004-07. He also teaches astronomy at the Dexter-Southfield School in Brookline, Massachusetts. Kelly and his writing have been honored with major awards from the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical League, and the American Geophysical Union. You'll occasionally hear his interviews and guest commentaries on National Public Radio and The Weather Channel. Kelly enjoys speaking to audiences of all ages and interest levels about his passion for astronomy. He observes when he can through one of his eight telescopes, and he is active nationally in the fight against light pollution. A more detailed bio can be found here.

 

 

 


Bruce Berger


Bruce is an avid amateur astronomer, tinkerer, designer, and observer who loves to get involved in astronomy projects. His first telescope, an 8-inch reflector made from scratch, won an Optical Excellence award at the annual Stellafane Convention, and its unique mount took an award for Innovative Mechanical Design. Since then Bruce has built, rebuilt, refurbished or repaired many different telescopes, mounts and observatories. Bruce helped design and now serves as director of the ATMoB Research and Imaging Observatory featuring a .35 meter telescopic imaging system. He has also roamed the world in search of astro-adventure - trekking thousands of miles across the U.S., China, and South Pacific to view solar eclipses. He has been a team member on research projects led by a major university, collecting data on minor planets from the Mexican National Observatory in San Pedro Martir and with a portable observatory in Fortaleza Brazil. Read more about Bruce’s passion for astronomy at www.scopemaker.com.

 

 

 


Greg Mort

 

Greg Mort is a widely recognized leading American contemporary artist whose passion for the night sky is often the subject of his artwork. Mort's paintings are in many prominent collections including the Smithsonian, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Delaware Art Museum, Academy Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, and Brandywine River Museum. A life-long amateur astronomer, telescope maker and astrophotographer, Mort enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy with audiences of all ages. He serves on the board of the Lowell Observatory and is a frequent speaker on the intersection of art and science as well as the planet Mars. Mort's fascination with space and the universe weaves itself throughout his artwork. In 1983 he was recruited for the NASA Art Program. His eloquent visions of the night sky have been featured worldwide in the Smithsonian's traveling exhibition "The Artist and the Space Shuttle," as well as in numerous magazines and books including the late Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. In 2004, Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow, commissioned Mort to paint the famed astronomer’s portrait. It now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center. You can view his work at www.GregMort.com 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Contact & Media Visits  

 

Media Contact: David A Brunner

Email: family@medomakcamp.com

Phone: Winter - Until June 5 (301) 854-9100; Summer - June 5-August 31 (207) 845-6001

Media Visits: Complimentary media visits for journalists on assignment or with approved credentials. If you are unable to accept a courtesy visit, a press rate can be negotiated.

 

Medomak Camp

178 Liberty Road, Washington, Maine 04574

Web: www.medomakretreatcenter.com

 

 Condensed Version  

 

Sky & Telescope's senior contributing editor, J. Kelly Beatty, to host Medomak Astronomy Retreat and Symposium (MARS), Washington, Maine

Washington, Maine - Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine is taking its growing reputation as a stargazing Mecca to the next level. This summer, August 19-23, Medomak will host an intimate “star party” geared toward adults and older children. Guests will be able to learn about astronomy and telescopes by day and revel under the region’s expansive ultra-dark skies at night. This engaging program is led by J. Kelly Beatty (Sky & Telescope's senior contributing editor); veteran stargazer, researcher and telescope maker Bruce Berger (Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston); and Greg Mort, renowned artist and life-long amateur astronomer, telescope maker, and astrophotographer. Medomak has comfortable, private cabin facilities with real beds, hot showers, electricity, and chef-prepared locally sourced food.  It is located on a beautiful Maine lake that's perfect for swimming, paddling, fishing, or just relaxing. Guests have access to sailboats, canoes, , tennis courts, hiking trails, and much more. All-Inclusive Tuition: $700.00 per person (includes private housing for family groups and individuals, all meals, all programs, activities, and use of facilities). Rate includes an 8% Maine state sales and lodging tax.  Web: www.medomakretreatcenter.com/starparty.php, Email: family@medomakcamp.com, Phone: (301) 854-9100