View Full Version here: : Reports - 14th Snake Valley Astro Camp - March 2012
23-03-2012, 01:44 AM
Reports - Snake Valley Astro Camp - March 2011
Please post your reports, stories, pics etc in here from the 14th Snake Valley Astro Camp March 2012 :thumbsup:
24-03-2012, 03:06 PM
Saturday Morning: scopes wrapped up against the weather :rolleyes:
24-03-2012, 05:41 PM
More cloud breaks, remaining hopeful! :D
24-03-2012, 05:44 PM
24-03-2012, 06:30 PM
24-03-2012, 08:55 PM
Hi there - love the T-Shirt Dave!!!!!!!
Cheers Petra d.
25-03-2012, 10:11 AM
0323 hours Sunday morning:sadeyes: Enjoyed it all the same. Thanks everyone.
btw: Dinner and the Pav was great - thanks Ken and Martin.
Bit sad about the weather guys :sadeyes: but you may get lucky tonight, :shrug: however I'm sure the time has been spent well.:thumbsup:
25-03-2012, 02:24 PM
Protecting what is important.
25-03-2012, 02:33 PM
Looks like Doug is having fun with his cars. I just had a look at the latest Visual from weather watch, jeez there is a lot of cloud out there. You have a bit of a clear spot to the SW, but still a lot behind it.
25-03-2012, 03:15 PM
Some Random Shots 1
25-03-2012, 03:18 PM
Random Shots 2
25-03-2012, 03:33 PM
despite the weather so far, look like your all having a good time!
Fingers crossed for clear skies tonight, many thanks for the piccies. :thumbsup:
Thanks for the photos Dave, it seems all are still enjoying themselves despite the weather.
25-03-2012, 06:50 PM
Here is a Time-Lapse of Sat Night
Cool time lapse Dave.. P.s you left a piece of Pav haha. Although the clouds came in I had my first (quick)look through a 16" (Thanks Trevor) also I think I have the best collimation on my dob and bit more understanding on star charts so far (Thanks Malcolm). Good to get out and speak to some "big ppl" Thanks for making me and my lil ppl feel welcome and seeing them have a good time with other kids.Great to get some tips from experienced people and looking forward to the programs that are on the way (Thanks Martin).Learnt the importance of having spares (Thanks for the batteries Jen hope I didnt deprive you of anything lol).. Cloudy night star party....Dont think Ive laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks Ken and Martin for the feast and will see you all again in Nov. I might need to get a trailer before then considering the look Dave gave me on the way out haha..
P.s If you have clear skies tonight or tomorrow dont tell me, I dont want to know lol
25-03-2012, 09:27 PM
My two nights were great fun, I have to thank Malcolm ( barx1963) for taking more time to help me collimate than setting up his own scope! He is a wealth of knowledge and the ideal neighbour when setting up a scope. Cam was another ideal neighbour, with three beautiful kids who were friendly and funny, and did everything their caring dad told them.
The only issue was the weather- we had about 15 minutes shortly after dusk on the Friday night, and then a bunch of 'sucker holes' on the Saturday, where us Dob owners were busy whizzing the scopes round from one patch to another. Despite this, I had some awesome views of the GMC and Tarantula, and the purchase of the Nagler IV 17mm was vindicated: I couldn't be bothered with any of my other EP's after seeing the sky with that.
Thanks to Ken and the folks who prepared our great dinner on Saturday evening. Despite the clouds, it was a great experience, and I'm in for the next one.
25-03-2012, 10:27 PM
Left camp this afternoon after a very enjoyable couple of nights - thanks to Ken & crew for putting on another wonderful event. Hope it's clear there tonight (pretty clear tonight in St Leonards near Geelong). Great to see all the regulars and meet a few new people. Special congrats to Alistair for the great work he's done over the last year on his fork mount - inspirational and shows that DIY is still alive and well! :thumbsup:
25-03-2012, 10:45 PM
great pics. Wow there is some serious equipment there:eyepop: Looks like there was some fun to be had with the RC car too :lol:
With some luck i wouldnt mind trying to get to the next one:thumbsup:
25-03-2012, 11:34 PM
First off to Trevor (keltik) and cam, no problems, glad to help! Remember cam don't stress over collimation, an 8" f6 doesn't need to have too much time spent on it to get good views, concentrate on observing and learning the night skies.
Thanks to Ken and the crew again for a great but cloudy camp. After Nico's little demonstration on Friday night I will never look at a sheep the same way again. And who knew that it was possible to get 400 sheep to march in lockstep? Hope no one was upset by the slightly risqué jokes on Sat night/Sunday morning, thought I saw Doug blush a couple of times.
The bad news is that the sky here in Colac is beautiful tonight, so hopefully it is at SV as well:mad2:
I just took my binos out for a quick look. In 10 mins nabbed M104, M83, Eta Car, Tarantula, M41, Cent A, Omega Cent, M65 M66, Saturn and Mars.
26-03-2012, 09:32 AM
I too had a great night in with other fellow SV campers. The entertainment on Sat was top notch. To borrow a line from Fawlty Towers, "there is enough materials there for a whole conference..." :lol:
Thanks Ken for your hospitality once more, sorry I didn't see you before I drove off on Sunday.
Martin, your camera repair skills are far better than your food serving skills :D (and thanks for giving me a hand setting up :thumbsup:).
Jen, Cam and Ken, thanks to your kids also for keeping my kid occupied.
Bring on November.
26-03-2012, 02:00 PM
just returned from a clear sunday night.
The sky was clouded over completely till about 6pm with a slight open patch at the east so most were taken by surprise when it completely cleared by 7 or so.
The Fog rolled in around 8 but stayed low so there was plently of imaging and visual Obs happening.
Massive dew but the skies stayed clear till dawn.
The milky way was magnificent. :eyepop:
We also had some travellers who were keen on astronomy drop by.
Folk were great as usual, plenty of laughs.
I had a great time, and many thanks to Ken for organizing the camp.
Look forward to the next club night and the Nov Camp.
now to catch some sleep. :)
26-03-2012, 03:56 PM
I knew it!
Oh well I'm happy for those that stayed.
26-03-2012, 04:36 PM
Probably should have taken leave from work and turned up. I did think of it. The sky is incredible out there. Had to head off early Sunday am for family things. Really wanted to return that night.
26-03-2012, 09:48 PM
Well all I can say is Bugger :mad2: had to work Monday :(
27-03-2012, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the reports and piccies. I'm glad to hear that some observing happened. Sorry to have missed out on catching up with everyone.
28-03-2012, 05:35 PM
C'mon people how about some reports, I gather the weather was crud for Friday and Saturday. How many turned up etc etc...:P
28-03-2012, 06:17 PM
Time to wake up Ken :D
But I don't blame you if you are resting. Sorry I wasn't around to help. Ken and his family do a great deal of the cleanup work after camp. :thumbsup:
28-03-2012, 06:32 PM
Well, another Snake Valley Astro Camp over and done with, what can one say, it was the usual fun, laughter and craziness as per normal.
Weather wasn't kind but we did get a good night in on Sunday night, lol to those who left Sunday, the remainder were clouded but that didn't stop the fun.
Saturday night feast was well and truly up to the usual standard with not one, but two Pav's for BigDave to drool over, first time I have ever seen a piece of pav left over, soooooo filling :lol:.
Highlights would have to have been the ongoing duel between Doug and Drew with buggy's at 30 paces. The usual gear problems, none for me I must say :D, the meeting of new friends and the ongoing relaxed atmoshere of this camp.
Finally got over the 8 hour drive home, looking forward to the November.
Is it November yet......
28-03-2012, 08:07 PM
Big thanks to Ken and crew for putting on a fantastic camp, it was fantastic. It is always great to meet new people and exchange ideas. Already looking forward to November.
Sunday night was awesome, first time I've done a dusk till dawn session. Haven't had time to process the data yet, but here is a crop of single one minute shot, taken through a 50mm f1.4 lens.
28-03-2012, 08:12 PM
I have just sat here for the last 20 minutes composing and typing my report. But because I am so tired, Instead of clicking send, I clicked the close icon in the top right corner of screen and lost the lot :(
I shall start again and hope I don't lost it all again :lol:
28-03-2012, 08:41 PM
Well I haven't made it home yet. I'm down at Portland and spent today doing some blue water cruising chasing Blue fin tuna. Fish are still a bit scarce. I have another trip booked for Friday and then it's back home and back to work.
The camp was great fun as usual with Malcolm cracking everyone up with his jokes. Just getting over the sore ribs from laughing.
Thanks everyone for another great camp. Special thanks to Ken and the SV crew.
28-03-2012, 08:57 PM
Again I had a blast!
I can't remember everything I just typed before I lost the lot, but Sunday night and Monday nights were amazing!
I saw some great images by some from Saturday and Sunday nights :)
Due to the cloudy conditions, most people went to bed just after midnight on Monday night to get some sleep before their drive home on Tuesday.
But Jen and I saw some hope in the sky and waited just that bit longer, and . . . BINGO! The best seeing I have seen in about 3 years!
I was on the Clubs little 8" Dob and Jen was using her Johnny.
7mm EP's showed Saturn sitting absolutely dead still, with no sign of Atmospheric disturbances. Fantastic!
We did the usual tour of Globs in Scorpio, then onto Saggy for the Lagoon, Trifid, Swan, and Eagle Nebs.
Then, to test how good the sky was, we went and viewed Markarians Chain and some other galaxies throughout Virgo :thumbsup:
As an example of how good the sky was on Sunday night, I showed a couple of people how to see Centaurus 'A' Galaxy naked eye. They saw it :thumbsup:
Monday Night ended up even better. :)
But by 5am Tuesday I was too tired to keep observing so I left Jen to continue on her own.
After 5 months of not being able to use my Mallincam AstroVideo camera, John G accidentally solved the problem. It was in need of a driver, and in the act of trying Johns 'Plug-n-Play' cable instead of my disck-loaded driver, the whole thing finally worked :cool:
Only to have my mount die :lol: :sadeyes:
Thanks to everyone that came along and made the camp fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves again.
Thanks to Martin (mill) for his help and support throughout the whole Camp, to RobK for his massive clean-up after the Feast, and to Dazza (Desler), Daniel, and all the others that pitched in to help clean up at the end of the camp.
See you all in November, if not before at a Club night :thumbsup:
28-03-2012, 09:03 PM
Thanks very much Ken for another great camp. It's all very much appreciated.
I don't have much to report being the passive participant that I am.
Malcolm's jokes have done the rounds at work here to much laughter. I have not even tried to imitate Nicko's demonstration of sheep 5 abreast in lock step walking down the road under the command of one dog and a farmer and not to mention the rest of it; couldn't possibly do it justice, no one else could.
Looking forward to November.....
Cheers all and thanks for making it a great weekend,
28-03-2012, 09:04 PM
Well done Ken and Jen. Good to see someone managed some viewing. One of these days I'm going to be free on the Sanday of the Camp and apply for a 4 night leave pass, so I don't have to read any "you shoulda been here" posts! :lol::lol:
Glad you liked the jokes Doug.
28-03-2012, 09:16 PM
'Can I smell your feet?' :rofl:
The clean version :P
No feet must be ya??? lol..Too funny! I agree with Malcolm the "you shouldve been here" kinda sux. Now Im a member of SVAA hopefully Nov will be kinder to us lol. Hope to make it down for a few club nights too. Again, thanks for making the lil ppl and I feel welcome and for the tips from everyone.
Well, I had an absolute ball as per usual. A huge thanks to everyone for the friendship, good humour and preparedness to help out in a crisis. Thanks to Ken and Martin for steering the ship so well and to all those who cleaned up on Tuesday (sorry I wasn't there to help).
Great to see some new faces and I never tire of seeing the old ones. I missed out on my processing lesson from Doug but I think we all enjoyed just kicking back - there's always time for the more serious stuff.
I had a rotten time with the mount on Sunday night. John G valliantly taught me Alignmaster only to have the mount point off any old where it wanted to. Then I had a crew, ablely lead by Darren trying to get drift aligning going. It did but again, the scope just went off and pointed whereever the hell it wanted. I had tried PhD several times during the night only to see the graph go haywire.
At 3:00am I gave up and went to get a coffee turning PhD on again just for the hell of it. I came back half an hour later to see the PhD graph flat lining! I can only assume it did a self-diagnosis and repair!
Worried that the mount won't slew to an object and that I had aligned using the guide scope not the main scope I decided to head to Trifid anyway.
(When I left for camp on the Friday all I had wanted was a pic of the Trifid.)
Lo and behold there it was smack bang in the middle of the imaging scope!!! After frigging around imaging without the guiding running, pushing it a little to the left to avoid the amp glow I managed to get one 6 minute image and one 10 minute image. By that time the sun was almost up so I snapped a 6min dark and a 10min dark and then headed to bed.
Dramas back in town meant I had to leave on the Monday so missed yet another Monday night (...one of these days...)
Great fun and great company.
Thanks again to everyone!
A BIG thank you to everyone attending the camp.
It was funny as hell again and there was good company around and lots of laughter.
Sunday night was the best clear night and everyone was imaging or doing visual.
As usual some people had problems with their equipment but this was solved quickly with a hammer and chisel :P
I made 3 images on Sunday night and they will be posted in the imaging section.
29-03-2012, 10:25 PM
Come on Daniel, where's the group shot? :lol:
29-03-2012, 10:35 PM
and martin was amongst the lucky few who's guide scope and main scope didn't dew up even with no dew heater, whilst the rest of us were wringing towels wiping the dew off!!
I'm sure his scope was plonked in the bermuda triangle of snake valley where the dew falls and dissapears!
29-03-2012, 10:43 PM
Late much, Mish??
Arrived at SV on Sunday afternoon, bringing the fabulous weather. If you didn't wait til I got there... LET IT BE A LESSON TO YOU!! :)
Most important SV lesson learned - tis better to acquire your hangover AT camp than to arrive with one you prepared earlier - said a quick hello, then snored all afternoon in my tent!! Cleeeeeeeeewds disappeared with a bit of a quick chant (thanks Drew!!) and away we went :)
Had never heard of Ghost of Jupiter, so that, amongst others was a bit of a highlight. A visual tour of the Milky Way around Scorpius kept me busy for a few hours til I snuck off to bed before sunrise. Frankly, seeing the milky way at all is enough to keep me gobsmacked for a few minutes, even naked eye. Being a city girl, it gets me every time.
Big thanks to Ken for carting the club dob down for me, Jen for generously sharing her fabulous Johnny, the SVAA for a fabulous event per usual, and, erm, sorry for my v v early morning disappearing act - I got back to Melbs at 0900 Monday morning, and spent the rest of my day sleeping it off!
Can't wait til November :)
30-03-2012, 10:38 PM
What a great weekend it was and talk about laughed our heads off!:rofl: <-- That is actually my head there! Daytime was fun watching Doug and Drew battle there RC cars and even though Friday and Sat was a little clouded out the story's and laughs were priceless! But a stunning Sunday night had us all out on the field soaking up a magnificent night sky till sunrise.
Thanks Ken and Martin for another great camp and great to see everyone again and meet a few new faces.
Here are a few pics.;)
Pic 1 Rob K and the mighty Tasco.
Pic 2 group shot
Pic3 John G, Niko, Darren, Big Dave, Byron Paul and Doug.
Pic4 Dave, Rowland, Bo, Ken (nico13) Trevor and John G.
Pic 5 Almost Everyone!!
30-03-2012, 10:46 PM
And a few more!!
Pic 1 Cam and Malcom
Pic2 Jen, Barry, Malcom and Cam
Pic3 Jo and Cams little one
Pic4Niko kick'n back
Pic 5 A couple of many night shots I still need to go through.
30-03-2012, 10:56 PM
Great pics again Daniel :thumbsup:
31-03-2012, 12:46 AM
Great pics Daniel, thanks for the group shot! :thumbsup:
A very quick and dirty crop and level adjust on the one photo I managed to grab over the weekend.
Not bad at all Niko :thumbsup:
31-03-2012, 06:29 PM
That's a really nice Trifid image Nick!
The blue reflection neb is showing up almost all the way around the Pink Neb :)
31-03-2012, 06:56 PM
A few days late, but, after enduring a pretty intense fever on Friday and out of my head on cold and flu medicine Saturday, the rest of the weekend was fantastic!
Ken did his normal snesational job of running everything smoothly with the assistance of Martin, who surprisingly managed to actually image something!
The company as ever was great, thanks heaps to Doug and Marty for helping me out with my various problems. It was a pleasure to help Niko drift align and to see his triffid posted.
The pick of the weekend though was the jokes! I think it all may have been a conspiricy to get me choking, but well worth the sore stomache muscles!
All that's left to say is "Is it November yet?"
Hehe Snake Valley camps are a good way to get those hidden stomach muscles a good workout :)
01-04-2012, 12:21 AM
and bring tears to the eyes :rofl:
02-04-2012, 01:29 PM
Here's a couple of pics I managed to grab.
1. Some of the group outside the Dining Room
2. A stitch Mosaic of the western side of the Observing Field (depending on your screen res, you''ll have to scroll across to see all of this one)
:hi::hi: hey guys im back down to earth again and have finally recovered :) when i finally arrived home after three cans of redbull and loud music to get me home i got a message that i have to work the rest of the week from 8am till 5:30pm as two of hour staff are away so im it arrrrhhh just what i needed :mad2: i only usually work 9 to 3:30:lol::lol: so i had a very long week and managed to headbutt my desk quite a few times :shrug::lol: I still havnt unpacked all my stuff i just dumped it all in the spare room and closed the door :lol:
WOW well what can i say that hasnt already been said :question: these camps just get better and better :D
It has taken me a week to recover after having only 10 hours sleep during the whole camp :rolleyes: even with clouded out nights for the first two nights i still managed to stay up untill 5:30am friday and sat night just listening to stories and jokes all night long my stomach muscles were killing me :rofl::rofl:
Then Sunday night was clear as a bell wooohooo LMAO to all you lot that went home :lol::P (thank you) LOL
Johnny was having a great time scanning the sky for about an hour then the dredded dew stopped him in his tracks grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :( (note before i go to next camp im going to be loaded up with dew heaters) But i wasnt giving up so i mainly just did naked eye viewing and ran around annoying everyone went to bed @8:30am :rofl::rofl:
It was great to see the regulars :) and meet some noobies :thumbsup: Credit to Cam with the three kids (you rock) they were lovely kids :thumbsup:
Yes Eric, Paddy and Pete you were sadly missed (hugs)
And well Monday night everyone went to bed and Ken and i sad look at the sky lets go out on the field its clear :lol: with only the two dobs left on the field we put on a few tunes and scanned the skies till very early hours of the morning :lol: thanks Ken that was so much fun :thumbsup:
During the day we managed to do some solar observing playing hide and seek with the sun :thumbsup: but Drew and Douggies RC cars were the highlights during the day :rofl: they were so much fun even though i only got one turn for about a minute :lol: so if its cloudy next camp it will be Buggy Camp :lol: and im going to have my own purple buggy :P
Thanks again Ken for the time and effort in organising these camps and thanks to all you guys for making camp for what it is, you are like my other little family away from home :love: Take care all and im really sad that i will have to miss the November camp :(
IS IT MARCH YET :question: :lol: :rolleyes:
Thanks for the pics i was that busy (not sure what i was doing) :rolleyes: but i forgot to take any pics of you guys so i hope you dont mind if i pinch a few of them :thanx:
02-04-2012, 10:40 PM
Great report Jen. :thumbsup:
Good that you have finally 'sort of' recovered :lol:
Just read over this thread.. Thanks Trevor Bo and Jen for the kind words to do with the Lil ppL.. I was so worried if I could take them to something like this event.I had never been to one and werent sure what you guys would be like and how they would behave. Thanks for making us all feel welcome.. (except Doug!!! I have to buy 3 RC cars because of you lol)
02-04-2012, 11:11 PM
Classic????? That bites hard into the 5x powermate fund lol :rofl:
02-04-2012, 11:16 PM
Jake has already made me take hime to 3 Model shops in Ballarat!!!!! :rofl:
So Im not the only one... Too funny
03-04-2012, 10:02 AM
Hi Ken et.al.
Great shots there and sorry I missed it!:(
It's looking promising for November for me as I just got wind of some Spirit of Tas. discounts if I book early.
Is the camp going to be the weekend before or after New Moon?:question:
Hi Michael the November camp is from the 16th to the 19th :)
03-04-2012, 06:26 PM
04-04-2012, 10:33 AM
All booked for November!:D
Just got cheap tickets on the boat and the weekend coincided with my monthly 4 day break from work so all set:thumbsup:
05-04-2012, 09:44 PM
16th - 20th November :thumbsup:
This year the Moon is strange. New Moon falls on Mid week each time. We have been lucky over the last 7 years with it happening on weekends.
But for this year because of the midweek New Moon I made sure we had the weekend when the Moon sets early rather than late :thumbsup:
09-04-2012, 11:27 AM
Just a quick update of the group shot because I noticed that Doug's been blocked out by Neal's fat head!:lol: :poke: so I'm posting this one just in case anyone wanted to copy it or if you (Ken) want a better shot it for the SVV site.
09-04-2012, 01:01 PM
I liked the first one better Daniel! ;) :lol:
09-04-2012, 02:11 PM
[QUOTE=danielsun;840127]Just a quick update of the group shot because I noticed that Doug's been blocked out by Neal's fat head!:lol: :poke: so I'm posting this one just in case anyone wanted to copy it or if you (Ken) want a better shot it for the SVV site.
Well done Daniel, and I thought I was doing everyone a favour :D Neale.
09-04-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks Daniel, I can combine the 2 and get everyone behaving (niko) :lol:
09-04-2012, 05:57 PM
Here ya go, the 2 images together :thumbsup:
A few minor changes ;)
09-04-2012, 06:34 PM
but what about meeeeeeeeeeee?? :sadeyes:
09-04-2012, 07:15 PM
Sorry Mish, but you weren't there on Saturday evening :thumbsup:
The Group Shot always gets taken on Saturday Arvo or Evening :)
Others missed out too by arriving later on saturday evening or leaving during saturday, or just didn't walk down to the field when it was photo time :P
09-04-2012, 07:29 PM
hahaha i've missed out twice!! im going to make you a lifesized cardboard cutout for next time :)
09-04-2012, 08:30 PM
A handsome and happy group!
09-04-2012, 09:33 PM
Labelled so you know who is who :thumbsup:
I think I am still missing a few names :question:
09-04-2012, 10:47 PM
Thanks for posting the photo Ken. It's good to put faces to names.
10-04-2012, 05:47 AM
I didn't think Alios came up?
10-04-2012, 03:58 PM
Yes Dave, he and his wife came.
Actually his wife Jennifer was hit in the head with a flying bottle of Ethanol!
Don't ask :rolleyes:
10-04-2012, 07:07 PM
Must of came after I left, Damn wanted to chat to him.
Wont ask about the Ethanol, just guessing there was a RC involved???
10-04-2012, 07:12 PM
Where is the highlights from Saturday's time-lapse?
Oh i almost forgot my main mission at this camp was to get a pic of saturn :shrug: and i was going through my mobile phone the other day and i forgot that i took this pic with my mobile phone held up to the eyepiece while Ken and i were having a great old time on the last night with the dobs and our imaginary friends of japanese tourists buahahahhahaha :rofl::rofl:
My first pic of saturn awwwwwwww i can only get better from here hey hahahahhahha :P;) I will treasure this pic for ever :D
03-05-2012, 10:16 PM
and you can see the Cassini Division!!!!! That's one of the hardest things to capture with Saturn!
Yes, it's definately a keeper :thumbsup:
Onya Jen :)
Yeah, those blasted Japanese Tourists and all those cameras :rofl:
04-05-2012, 01:01 PM
Dat's what I thought! Cassini division with a mobile phone! Great capture, Jen! :thumbsup:
Duhhhhh!!!! Jen just Photoshopped that in :P
Bloody mobile phones getting better than cooled ccd's :rofl:
10-05-2012, 07:17 PM
Bit hard to fit in your pocket, with a heat sink bolted to your phone.
12-05-2012, 12:51 AM
Hey nice one Jen! Not bad at all for a mobile shot hand held!:thumbsup:;)
Here you go Dave, I put that timelapse together http://youtu.be/EMkVP-0LUBY and happened to find some evidence embedded in it of some people tampering with it!! Guess who?:lol:
Here are some stills.
Love the last one with the firey heads.:lol:
13-05-2012, 06:17 AM
Always good for a laugh when not much is happening in the sky!
Wondered how many attempts it took to spell 'SV' in mirror?
Thanks Daniel :thumbsup:
Hahaha oh there is always some cheeky buggers that like to tamper with timelapses at every camp isnt there :question:
LOL Dave if i remember i think we lost count how many times you tried to get that right :lol:
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