Mason Dixon Star Party 2014 - July 23-27


Speakers Summer 2014

If you wish to be a speaker at this years 2014 MDSP, click:

Astrophysicist Todd Rosenfeld (PhD)


The history of exoplanet research has been an exciting one. Discoveries/claims have ranged from detecting “planets” orbiting stellar remnants to numerous “Hot Jupiters” that have incredibly short orbital periods and semi major axis. Exoplanets have made main stream media news headlines for weeks at a time and sparked the imagination of astronomers and non-astronomers alike. How have these discoveries been made? What and how has our understanding of exoplanets evolved, and what role can the backyard astronomer play in this scientific exploration? Answers to these questions as well as detection techniques will be discussed by Astrophysicist Todd Rosenfeld (PhD) at the upcoming 2014 Mason Dixon Star Party.
Astrophysicist Todd Rosenfeld (PhD), teacher, and part owner of The Sky Plus telescope store in Maryland.
Doctorate of Astronomy, Astrophysics
2004 – 2010
Deviation from axial symmetry in PPNe and PNe due to sub stellar companions and magnetic fields in AGB and post AGB stars.


NASA's Small Bodies, Big Discoveries Program

Lou Mayo

Lou Mayo

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again without a comet appearing in the sky (or field of view of a telescope), 2014 may be the best year for comets and other small bodies of the solar system, yet! Four well-known comets reach perihelion in 2014 and  Rosetta becomes the first spacecraft to land on a comet in November. So 2014 ironically highlights some of the closest and furthest solar system bodies to the sun. The fun won’t end here either. In 2015, Dawn arrives at Ceres, the largest of asteroid belt objects and New Horizons becomes the first spacecraft to explore the Pluto system.

NASA astronomer Lou Mayo will discuss results from the unprecedented suite of NASA assets observing comet ISON, as well as participation from the amateur astronomy community in the Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC) and will look ahead to 2014 and beyond for observing comets, asteroids, and other small bodies.

Bill Price

Have you ever forgotten to turn your Telrad finder off after an observing session? Not familiar with the Telrad?  "Was The Telrad Turned Off" is a brief overview of the Telrad finder, and it’s development.  A modification solution (Auto Off) is also presented that addresses the turn off issue, and extends the battery life . A demonstration of the modified Telrad will be given. Modifications will also be available to interested Telrad users.

Bill Price has been a member of the York County Astronomical Society since 2009. He enjoys observing star clusters and nebulae through a 12 inch dobsonian telescope.





Lou Mayo

Bill Price

Astrophysicist Todd Rosenfeld (PhD)