The Amateur Astronomers Association obtains a permit (TRP) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that allows the club to have observing sessions at North-South Lake, located in Haines Falls, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. This is an exceptionally dark location for deep-sky observing. Our permit allows only club members to participate on specific permitted dates that will be listed on the calendar.
There is a Google Group called Dark Sky Observing that members can use to communicate with each other about any of the upcoming observing sessions. [https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/aaa-dark-sky-observing ] This group will alert you when there is a GO or No-Go decision made regarding the weather and the feasibility of the trip, generally 24 hours or more prior to travel. Rides can be a arranged through carpooling if applicable with drivers and travel expenses are shared. There is lodging and camping available in the area if you wish not to make the two and one-half hour journey home late at night. You must respect the good wishes of the drivers if carpooling. The Drivers use much their time, energy, and resources to bring other club members to the observing area and there efforts are greatly appreciated.
If you are an AAA member but do not yet have access to this group, please contact [email protected]. If you have general questions, please contact one of our event chairs at [email protected]. Observers are expected to bring their own equipment (unless you and observers have made mutual plans to work together).
Please note that the observing location is locked. Either you will be given the combination to unlock the gate or you will arrange to meet someone who has the combination. The location of the observing site is at South Lake Parking Lot.
The observing dates for this year are given below. Each pair of dates represents a Saturday and a Sunday. Saturday is the preferred primary date. If weather is not optimal on the primary date then Sunday generally is the chosen date, but feel free to check with the site chairs, as Friday is another option at the discretion of the event coordinator. The site chairs as listed here:
Event Coordinators: Tom Haeberle (site chair), George Preoteasa, Bart Fried and Faissal Halim
Please use [email protected] to communicate with event chairs.
2021 Observing Dates
June 4, 5, 6
June 11, 12, 13
July 9, 10, 11
Aug. 6, 7, 8
Sept. 3, 4, 5 (Labor Day weekend)
Oct. 1, 2, 3
Oct. 8, 9, 10 (Columbus Day weekend)
Directions from New York City: Take the New York State Thruway (Interstate Route 87) to Exit 20 (Saugerties). Get on New York State Route 32 North. After about 6 miles bear left onto Route 32A West, which merges into Route 23A. Enter the village of Haines Falls. Make the first right onto County Route 18. Take 18 about 2 miles to where it ends, at the park entrance. After you pay the $10 entrance fee, the road divides. Bear right. The location of the observing site is at South Lake Parking Lot.
Event Chairs: Peter Tagatac, Tom Haeberle, Stan Honda, Preston Stahly, Howard Fink, Stanley Fertig