View Full Version here: : Reports - Snake Valley Astro Camp - March 2011
03-03-2011, 11:58 PM
Post your Reports and photos here from the
12th SNAKE VALLEY ASTRONOMY CAMP
05-03-2011, 01:42 PM
OK, I'll start.
A good number of attendees for the first night. Great company with the old hands and first timers! First night was good for catching up on sleep after a busy week and packing/travel to camp. Mostly cloud. A couple of clear patches for about an hour each. No mossies, no sandflies! All cleared this morning to a beautiful clear blue sky, if a little on the cool side. More setting up is under way. Some solar observing. Chatting. Getting ready for this evening's BIG FEAST. All good!
06-03-2011, 01:32 PM
Just arrived home. As I approached home (Colac) there was lots of smoke from fuel reduction burns in the Otways. One just south of Colac, and a big one the general direction of Deans Marsh (North of Lorne for those unfamiliar with this part of the world). Given that the wind yesterday was southerly, this may explain some of the transparency issues we experienced.
Anyway, despite my truncated evenings, an enjoyable camp. Thanks Ken and all the the crew for your hard work!
06-03-2011, 03:50 PM
Well here's the photos you have all been waiting for, big bad Johnny!
06-03-2011, 06:15 PM
Back Home, Unloaded.
Thanks to the team at SV for another great event.
Now, for me, back to the drawing board to sort out my USB and balancing issues before SPSP. :confuse3:
I know I was not there but Jen that is a beautiful instrument you have there, hope it serves you well, also hope all enjoyed the camp.
ken if this is not supposed to be posted here just delete
06-03-2011, 08:44 PM
Jo and I returned today from our first SVAC and would not hesitate in attending again. In the fast fading light we arrived Friday evening and were immediately assisted with getting the tent set up (thanks Daniel) and made to feel welcome from the start. There is a genuine friendly flavour at this event and as more late comers arrived on Friday night there were plenty of hands on board to help them set up as well.
I must of set my gear up and pulled it down three times during the day on Saturday as it was pointed out I had missed bits and pieces on Friday evening. Thanks to all who gave advise. Although I experienced guiding issues and did not get off any decent pics Jo and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. With clear skies we were treated to some spectacular views through some amazing gear. The views of Orion, Eta and the Tarantula Nebula through Jens 12" were supurb, thankyou.
Thanks to Patrick (Paddy) for views of the sun and generously and patiently providing a night sky tour with your amazing 16" tri-dob. The views of the LMC, Keyhole, galaxies, Saturn and Omega Centauri were breathtaking (Jo had not seen anything like it and was truly blown away).
Thanks to Ken for hosting, it was the easiest camping we've ever experienced. The feast was tremendous!
All in all this was a great experience for our first astro camp and will not be the last. Nice to meet all the fellow IIS members as well.
Thanks Heath and Jo :thanx:
06-03-2011, 09:35 PM
Have started night 3 - beautiful conditions. Now to see whether the seeing and transperancy have improved, though they weren't too bad last night.
06-03-2011, 09:53 PM
Hopefully the smoke from burnoffs isn't affecting you up there. It is really thick here at Colac, strong smell and almost like fog, southerly is blowing!
07-03-2011, 05:11 AM
Absolutely stunning night!
5am now and I have just finished a marathon 7 hour live broadcast with an enormous number of worldwide viewers.
Every now and then I walked around the observing field seeing everyone having a great time.
5am and some are still going. Eric and Jen are still viewing, Nicko and Mill are still imaging etc.
Woo-hoo, the skies are magnificent :thumbsup:
Young 9 y.o. Drew (Jen's son) just got up to see Saturn through Jen's super Dob :)
I'm tired and going for a cuppa :lol:
07-03-2011, 06:40 AM
Dawn is breaking and it's all quiet on the camp site, except for the few snorers (whose ranks I shall shortly join!). Just getting my batteries onto charge then it's off to bed for me.
Some isolated cloud passed. Otherwise there was something in the air that discouraged many of the imagers - high cloud or might be the smoke that Malcolm was warning of, but cannot smell smoke (except when Hagar overcooked his early morning jaffle yesterday!)
Omega Centauri was not crisp and bright, as it is on a clear cool night. Seeing came and went. There were a few periods when Saturn settled to a lovely sight.
Only down to 12 or so degrees and humidity up to 75%. Just a little dew settling now after a dry night.
07-03-2011, 12:01 PM
Another fantastic Snake Valley camp. I enjoy this event more each time I go. It was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. In spite of clouds for much of Friday night, had an excellent hour or so from 2.30 on - only Malcolm and I on the field under brilliant stars. Some great solar observing on Saturday and a long observing session in the evening.
I really enjoyed being there for "Johnny's" first light. What a moment. And one of the best laughs I've had in along time with Doug, Darren, Nick and Peter at the end of the fabulous feast. I don't think any of us will forget this and someone won't be allowed to.:rofl::rofl::rofl:
Many thanks to Ken and the SV crew for another great weekend and to all the people that come along and make this a particularly good experience.
07-03-2011, 12:48 PM
I'm glad you had a great camp Guys and Gals :thumbsup:
It seems Jen was the center of attention, as usual ;):lol:
Sounds fabulous all!! Staying up till nearly dawn, well done, I have trouble doing that these days.
Bugger, should have hopped onto nightskies Ken, glad you had a great audience there too. :thumbsup:
Johnny went well, woohoo, great initiation for him amidst friendly fellow scopes. ;)
Yeah Paddy and Malcolm, you guys must have seen a bucketload of sights.!!
Look forward to some pics, and some obs reports. :)
07-03-2011, 02:19 PM
I should mention that when "Johnny" saw first light, there was an audible (as far as Ballarat?!) shriek of delight and applause broke out spontaneously across the field!
:lol::lol::lol: can imagine!! go Jen. :)
07-03-2011, 03:36 PM
Thanks Ken for another great camp. We really appreciate all the unseen effort you put in to make these events what they are.
It was great to catch up with people I had met last camp as well as some new faces. Things just seem to continue on as if there hadn't been a break. Thanks also to Nicko, Martin and Paul for their help. Much appreciated guys.
I had the pleasure of being set up next to "Johnny" and first light was an occasion to behold, up there with the great moments in Snake Valley Camp history, possibly even in Australia's history. Rumour has it that some were even moved to tears!
A few pics follow.
Thanks all for making a great weekend,
07-03-2011, 03:37 PM
Just a quick thank you:thanx: to all the people who :welcome: ed us
(Rach and Deb) and shared their knowledge:thumbsup:
answered our :question:
on saturday night at snake valley astro camp
- Thank you :):hi:
Thank you for the pics Neale. :)
Alas, only recognized Jen, thats Ok. Nice bottle of red lurking on one of the tables too. ;)
07-03-2011, 04:56 PM
Our pleasure, Deb. Come on back next camp. :)
07-03-2011, 08:03 PM
Thanks to Ken and crew - a great camp and ripper feast!
Have to say that the social side of events like this is absolutely terriffic. And then there is the astro side - most engrossing and highly educational.
As dark develops, its always interesting to see people slowly disperse to their equipment. Conversation becomes muted, fans start humming, screens light up, fingers point at all manner of stuff ..... and then Sirius becomes visible, and its on to spot the Pup - the observing night has begun. And then it only gets better!
Pity about dawn, though!!
07-03-2011, 08:07 PM
A big thanks from me also. Deb and i had a great night just a pity we couldn't stay longer, next time we will for sure.
Once again everyone was so friendly and made us feel welcome and we had a ball and learned heaps.
Ooh, am jealous now, good on you Wren!! Did you see the pup??
07-03-2011, 09:13 PM
It was great to meet you Deb and welcome also to Ice in Space!
Great photos, Neale - captured the social atmosphere very well.
07-03-2011, 09:53 PM
Had a great time as well. Learnt so much more with all your amazing gear.
Another step forward for me as a beginner.
Thanks for the views through your scope Patrick, Eric and all others.
Eric, will never forget Eta Car through yours. unreal. I had to see it twice to believe it.
Thanks Niko, daniel, Jen for everything.
I drove back late sunday night to get back to work monday morning, bad idea. had to pull over and catch a snooze. to reiterate a well known fact, sleep deprived driving - extremely dangerous.
is it november yet!!
A thanks from Ivan to Ken and the SVAA crew. The feast was tops along with the company. A great night.
After spending 2 hours trying to align my goto mount - discovered I hadn't tightned the altitude and azimuth adjustment screws. The #*&^$ thing was flopping all over the place. Finally managed to point at something then the dew hit!:rolleyes:
Attached is a couple of sketches I managed to get done before the dew.
They have been inverted from pencil/charcoal on paper!
07-03-2011, 10:10 PM
Nice sketches. I really enjoyed seeing the sketches you showed me on Saturday. I am very jealous as the only thing I can draw are conclusions, and usually wrong ones!
I'm still learning to sketch. Maybe one night I'll tackle the tarantula.
07-03-2011, 10:32 PM
Home earlier today but want to say I had a great time over the weekend.
That shot of me solar imaging Neale is a crack up. My wife thought I looked like a person from Saudi. It is the only way to see the screen during bright light.
I got a great lot of solar data on the Saturday, some I will post the rest will have to wait until some time later.
Imaging Saturn was pretty average though. Despite looking sharp at lower magnifications the seeing did not hold up at much higher magnification.
The camp was still fun and I had many a great laugh and meet some nice guys and some nice ladies. The camp is really about the relationships over any data that you can capture. It was also great to catch up with people I have known for some time now. You know who you are surely by now. Doug you crack me up, nearly let a body fluid go at one stage. Cool to meet Neale, Darren, Jen, Patrick, John and a few names I cannot remember.
Ken thanks once again for a great camp. The free style nature of the camp really makes it very special. Well organized again and thanks for putting it all together again.
Long drive home but a satisfying weekend.
07-03-2011, 11:51 PM
Great camp again, thanks Ken & the SVAA! Undoubtedly the highlight for me was seeing Pete (Exfso) on the mend and in good spirits (well, reasonable spirits given his customary SV gear meltdown! :P ). Terrific meeting old friends and a lot of new people - SV camps are very social.
Lots to see sky-wise, and got to look through a range of telescopes as well as my own. Spent a bit of time absorbed in the LMC, armed with Patrick's charts, but also found time to visit lots of old favourites. Highlight visually was staring down the 'well' of M42 near the Trapezium through Paul's 14" SCT. 3D - billowing clouds, with the Trapezium seemingly sculpted into the upper wall. But more in an obs report when I get time! ;)
Some photos attached -
08-03-2011, 10:39 AM
[QUOTE=Paul Haese;695582]Home earlier today but want to say I had a great time over the weekend.
That shot of me solar imaging Neale is a crack up. My wife thought I looked like a person from Saudi.
Yes Paul, when I first saw you I thought Colonel Gadaffi had finally fled Libya.
08-03-2011, 10:56 AM
Hi Liz - didn't see the pup, but it was not full dark when we attempted. Then I got seriously distracted and didn't think get to have another try until Sirius was 'gone'.
Recently spotted it a couple of times from home though.
08-03-2011, 04:27 PM
Hey Guys, Now home from SV Camp, well the two days I was there :) Had a great time as usual, was great to catch up with those I haven't seen for some time and the new people that have come since I was last there. Was great catching up.
On the last night although conditions weren't that good had an enjoyable time looking through Jens scope, very impressed with the GOTO's and tracking, one fine instrument.
I would like to apologise to all though this morning I took off early without saying goodbye to many of you, so for that I apologise. It was great meeting you all and hope to see you in the future again. Ken, thankyou very much for your hospitality not only during the camp but last Wednesday also, your a champ in my books, thanks.
Also thankyou to everyone else who I met there, you made the last days of my 1800km journey worth every km. Thanks.
08-03-2011, 08:31 PM
Thanks Ken, another great camp!!:thumbsup: It was great to catch up with everyone again and nice to see some new faces too!:thumbsup: As usual we pretty much laughed all the whole time with the funniest stories and Niko, you crack me up!:rofl:
Jen's new scope is a beast and shiny too!:thumbsup:
I just love these camps, so relaxing and great fun.
A few pics...
08-03-2011, 08:37 PM
and a few more...
09-03-2011, 01:06 AM
That final image with the still stars and the streaking headlamp lights. WOW!
Print that, dude!
09-03-2011, 09:17 AM
Another camp done.
All I can say is great location, great people and heaps of fun.
Whilst I cannot say I enjoyed my various failures in the imaging department, It was great to catch up with everyone and meet some new people and laugh harder than at any other time of the year.
Ken has done another fantastic job and the Saturday night feast lived up to expectations.
Highlights for me were, Seeing Peter there and hearing him complain about his mount issues, looking through Paul's monster 14, Patrick, showing us those wonderful views of the sun and all the help from JohnG setting up and learning how to use the G11.
I must also say that I was set up very close to Jen and Johnny and was a little overwhelmed by all the attention Johnny got!
As for entertainment, the conversations around the dinner table on Saturday night were some of the funniest I've had. Niko, Pete, Doug and Patrick, what a team....
All that's left to say is "IS IT NOVEMBER YET?"
Oh and Doug, you have to remember even with sore ribs, you have to duck going through the kitchen door!!!!!!
09-03-2011, 10:58 AM
:lol: Great you got the CG5 working. Was a surprise that it has really good goto's.
here's some sketching sites for you:-
09-03-2011, 05:11 PM
Thanks H.:) That shot is one of 800 that I took out from a timelapse but i'm having trouble finding a program to run it properly.:(
09-03-2011, 07:38 PM
Four quick snaps :P
Pics with some names, thank you Ken!!
Sounded like the saturday night feast was a blast. :D
[QUOTE=GrampianStars;696132]:lol: Great you got the CG5 working. Was a surprise that it has really good goto's.
It must be noted that Rob spent 1 1/2 of the 2 hours helping to get the CG5 pointed in the right direction. This includes 1 hour looking for the Jewel box. It was much apprieciated :) and thanks.
Gunna look at the links soon
Another fabulous camp - thanks to all that make it happen in the background and the wonderful generous nature of all who attend.
As usual I needed plenty of help to get up and running but, as usual, that help was freely given. Thanks particularly to Daniel for helping polar align yet again.
This camp was the best ever in terms of learning - I really feel like I turned the corner in my understanding of guiding and imaging in general - thanks to John, Doug, Martin, Neale, Paddy, Ken, Darren and Pete for all that they showed me. Now if only the clouds would rack off I could practice.
A big thanks also to Eric for showing me some glorious sights through that magnificent and robust scope!
Alistair, you are an inspiration - that scope is some magnificent piece of ingenuity.
Jen thanks for just being you! But this time, thanks also for bringing Drew - he's a wonderful kid and it was lovely to have him round
Ken - you rock! You are a fount of knowledge and a warm and generous bloke. I wouldn't miss a chance to sepnd time with you for anything.
Still feeling pretty shattered after 4 nights staying up till at least 4:30am. I did my last set of darks at 5:30am Monday night as the first srops of rain fell. Now to get on with the processing!
Here's just a few pics - a bit biased to the imagers as at this stage that's where my interest lies - trying to copy a few good ideas! But the observers hels their own I reckon.
Mike was the last to leave the field on Tuesday morning - a far cry from the crowded little space of the previous few days.
Ken - book me in for November!
cheers and thanks again to everyone
Great photos guys, thanks for sharing, looks like all had a great time.
10-03-2011, 12:08 AM
For Liz, :lol:
here are some of the folks with their names :thumbsup:
10-03-2011, 12:17 AM
Hey Ken, that aint me between Alastair and Aaron. Not sure who it is though, but I dont believe I was in that shot mate...:rolleyes:
10-03-2011, 12:24 AM
:lol: oh well, it is now :rofl:
12-03-2011, 12:48 PM
Yes another fantastic camp finished. What a hoot. Great place, great people, great feed and just 4 days of fun. What else could you want.
At least it removed the pain from the ribs.
Now you know why there isn't much hair on my head. I am sure this camp is designed around the height impaired members of society. Even the toilets leave me with my knees above my head, all be it leaning to one side.
13-03-2011, 06:56 PM
thought i'd show a pic that i managed to take from melbourne last night with the fork mount that I brought to snake valley.
still in its infancy. but slowly getting there.
Wow wow wow i had the best time ever :D It has taken me so long to put this report in as it has taken me a week to recover from this awsome camp and i have had my new scope out playing with it every night since ;) so i have been a busy little girl since being the proud owner of this scope that i havnt had any time for IIS :shrug: (sorry guys) jen will make more time in the future :) its a little cloudy tonight :rofl:
Thank you so much Ken for organising this camp you are awsome (((hugs))) i enjoy myself more and more each time i go, its great to catch up with the regulars that i have grown very fond of ((hugs)) and its great to meet some newbies too (hope to see you again) ;)
This is a great camp and i have so many laughs and also learn so much more each time i go, I have now taken astronomy to the next level which i am thoroughly enjoying right now :D:D:D and its all thanks to these people that go to these camps - Wheather a big task or a little task there is always someone there to lend you a hand and share there awsome knowledge or there hilarious humour :rofl::rofl::rofl: I am a bit of a social butterfly and i dont like to miss out on too much so i get bugger all sleep for the whole time im there but its soooo worth it :P
Johnny's first light at Snake Valley was magical i will never forget that moment EVER when i first pointed it at Orion my eyes filled up with happy tears :lol: yes i do have a bit of girley girley in me LOL Thanks to Pat who was right beside me helping me set up the goto :thumbsup::thumbsup: The scope ran like a dream all night :D
I got to have a play with a lot of different eyepieces thanks guys you have made me start another secret astro bank account to buy these now :lol: By the way i think i have forgotton which ones i liked the best :help:
I am very happy with this scope and i think im going to have a lot of lovely nights with this scope for years to come :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Johnny got more attention than me this time at camp :lol::rolleyes:
Well i could go on and on but i just wanna say thank you all each and everyone of you guys that go to this camp you have all helped me out one way or another and you all even made my son Drew so welcome he even had a great time and he has booked in for the next camp already :thumbsup:
IS IT NOVEMBER YET :P
Some piccies of my son Drew and my first attempt at star trails ;) Oops i think i forgot to focus first :lol:
15-03-2011, 10:00 PM
:lol: I've been wondering when you were going to surface Jen. I am so glad to hear that it's because you've been out with Johnny every night. So absolutely how it should be. And thanks for the honour of being there with you for his first light - what a moment!
Lovely to meet Drew - he is quite a sweetie!
15-03-2011, 10:18 PM
Great to hear from you Jen.
Glad you had a great time again :thumbsup:
15-03-2011, 10:25 PM
THat great Jen, glad to hear Johnny's getting lots of use. I know I lent you the 24mm Panoptic for the Staurday night until I stole it back!;) I hope you enjoyed using it, I am firmly of the opinion that it is the best value EP out there ATM.
So glad Drew enjoyed the experience, good to see a young ;un getting interested.
Look forward to seeing how Johnny is going in November!
15-03-2011, 10:31 PM
Fixed Pete :thumbsup:
16-03-2011, 03:13 PM
No worries Ken..
Thanks Ken :)
Great to hear that Johnny behaved Jen, and did well, gotos can be a bit naughty to start with, until ya get the hang of them.
Hmm .... 24 mm Panoptic sounds mighty fine. ;)
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