Welcome to ALCON 2018

Greetings from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul!!  The Minnesota Astronomical Society is proud to announce we are hosting the 2018 Astronomical League Convention (ALCON 2018) from July 11th to July 14th, 2018.

Our venue for the convention is the Hilton Hotel and Convention Center conveniently located near the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport and the world-famous Mall of America. In addition, we will also be showcasing our world-class outreach facility, Eagle Lake Observatory, with its two observatories and classroom facilities.

We have started gathering a great line-up of speakers. Notable speakers who have already accepted our invitation include:

Dr. Pamela Gay – Co-Host of the “Astronomy Cast” podcast and the Director of Technology and Citizen Science for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Bob Berman – Astronomer, author and “Strange Universe” columnist for Astronomy Magazine

Dr. Phil Plait – a.k.a. the “Bad Astronomer” is an astronomer, writer and blogger

Bob King – Known as AstroBob, he is an amateur astronomer, writer, educator and photographer

In addition, each evening we will be having a field trip to Eagle Lake Observatory in Baylor Regional Park to provide viewing through our state of the art telescopes, including an 8” TMB refractor. We’ll also have talks in our air conditioned, bug free HotSpot classroom. The park will also be the location of our Star-B-Q with live music on Friday night followed by viewing through our telescopes. Attendees are also welcome to bring their own telescopes and set them up around the observatory.

For a limited number of attendees, we will be providing field trips to our Joseph J. Casby Observatory for viewing through our 10” TMB refractor, one of the largest refractor telescopes in Minnesota.

We will also have field trips and guided tours to the newly opened Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, the John T. Tate Hall at the University of Minnesota, featuring its 10.5” Warner & Swasey Telescope built in 1896 and the Science Museum of Minnesota.  We are also putting together field trips for the non-astronomer which will include the arts, shopping and family events.

So, block your calendar for July 11-14, 2018 and join us for the best ALCON ever! Look for updates about the convention through the remainder of 2017. Registration will be available at the beginning of 2018.

Dave Falkner

Valts Treibergs

ALCON 2018 Co-Chairs