2011 Western Conference Announced

The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) announces a regional conference will be held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona April 2 and 3, 2011. SARA member Ray Fobes is a Staff Radio Astronomer at the University and is coordinating the event. He can be reached by e-mail at westernconference_at_radio-astronomy_dot_org.

Papers on radio astronomy hardware, software, education, research strategies, philosophy, observing efforts and methods are welcome. Deadlines for submitting a letter of intent, including a proposed title and informal abstract or outline can be found at Call for Papers.

Registration for the 2011 Western Conference is just $60.00. This includes breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday. Payment can be made by going to www.paypal.com and direct payment to treasurer_at_radio-astronomy.org. Please include in the comments payment is for the Western Conference.

You can mail a check payable to SARA at 2189 Redwood Ave, Washington, IA 52353. Please include an e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent upon receipt of payment.

We have secured a reduced rate at the Marriot SpringHill Suites in downtown Prescott, Arizona.

Make your reservations by March 1, normal rates will apply after that date. Be sure to tell them you are with the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers. Also, the weekend of the conference there is parent's weekend at the school as well as a soccer tournament, so do not wait until the last minute to reserve a room.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott
200 East Sheldon

Available Date: March 31 - April 4, 2011
Rates: $89 + tax King or Double Queen Studio Suite

SpringHill Suites is located in downtown Prescott, approximately 2 blocks from Historic Downtown Prescott. Studio Suites include a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, sink, sitting area and work area. Guest room rate includes complimentary breakfast and free wireless Internet, indoor swimming pool, business center and fitness center all within walking distance to Downtown Prescott Courthouse Shops, Restaurants and Museums.

We would expect that you could leave at early afternoon on Sunday.

Give yourself at least two hours to get to the airport (about 100 miles) but Sunday should be an easy day driving thru Phoenix.

Ray Fobes offers the following information about things to see and do in the Prescott, Arizona area.

As to National parks and scenic beauty - we have lots of it. Of course its of the desert type. Weather in April should be nice, cool and sunny. Watch it rain!!

If its your first time to Arizona I would not miss the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff and the Indian areas. Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Zion and Bryce Canyon are also close.

Prescott is the principal town in Yavapai County, the size of New Jersey with only a little over 200,000 population. Prescott is only about 50,000. This link will give you some background on the town: http://www.cityofprescott.net/visitors/

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is about 5 miles north of town. There are several modern motels, a couple of historic hotels downtown and some B&B's that are nice but vintage style.

Meteor Crater is a 35 miles East of Flagstaff. Formally called Barringer Crater it is now a tourist destination (read trap). You can't go into the crater anymore.

A car is necessary to do much sightseeing. If you fly in, fly into Phoenix and either rent a car or take one of the shuttle buses that go directly to Prescott area. About $30 each way I think. Its a two hour drive up I-17 and Route 69 to get to Prescott. You ascend from 1500 feet to 5500 feet elevation so its an interesting trip. We never get tired of the trip unless its weekend traffic.

Some of the astronomical observatories in our area.

Flagstaff Area:
Lowell Observatory
Anderson Mesa
Discovery Channel, 4-meter under construction
US Navel Observatory

Southern Arizona:
Arizona Radio Telescope on Kitt Peak
Kitt Peak - many telescopes
Fred Whipple Observatory, Mt Hopkins
VERITAS gamma-ray telescope, Mt Hopkins
Steward Observatory, UA Tucson
Steward Mirror Facility, UA Tucson

Mt Graham:
Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope
Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope
Large Binocular Telescope

New Mexico:
VLA, Socorro
VLBA, Pie Town