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  #21  
Old 11-12-2009, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerg View Post
I'd like to come along to such an event.

One problem I have, being over in WA, is that all the good astro events in the east are spread out. For example I'd love to go to NACAA and IIS Astro Camp, and the SSP, and this potential imaging conference, but none are near each other. Combine any two events together (a week apart is OK) and it makes it a lot easier to justify the plane flights etc.

Roger.
Combine SIC with Astrofest in QLD?
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  #22  
Old 11-12-2009, 11:34 AM
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From an astro-newbie, what's the biggest event on the Australian astro-calendar that draws the biggest attendance of imagers?
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  #23  
Old 11-12-2009, 01:03 PM
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IISAC or QLD Astrofest I suppose?
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  #24  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:09 PM
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On another note, As Troy mentioned, Mark has been sending quite a lot of PM's to most of the people who have already shown intention to support and help out in the organizational aspects of this.

I've had quite a long think about it...

As Mike said earlier, we require confirmed support from the big names, vendors etc.. He has spoken to quite a few people, as have I.

I would really love to see this all go ahead, and i definitely see it as viable. It just takes time to get the ball rolling...

Once Mark gets back from LA we'll be getting together to cover most everything that he and I have found out/organised thus far.

More info to come.
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  #25  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:34 PM
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Sounds very interesting. I'd be definitely interested too.
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  #26  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:15 PM
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I'd be a starter as long as it's not the weekend of my daughters wedding in October 2010. I think I should go to the wedding, it's costing me enough.
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  #27  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:29 PM
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We will certainly try to work around your schedule Doug haha
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:59 PM
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I'd be a starter as long as it's not the weekend of my daughters wedding in October 2010. I think I should go to the wedding, it's costing me enough.
Bring her along, boosts the attendance numbers. And the wedding party.
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  #29  
Old 11-12-2009, 05:15 PM
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Barring anything unforseen I will be there. Make it happen Guys!!!

Brett
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  #30  
Old 11-12-2009, 05:30 PM
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Sounds like a great idea count me in from the West as well
Second the idea of making it close to another astro event.
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  #31  
Old 11-12-2009, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troypiggo View Post
SIC, fully SIC bro! I like it.
lol, my work department is called SIC (Sydney Integration Centre).

We got high visibility vests the other day with "Fully SIC" imprinted on the back

Regarding the conference, I am partially interested. I feel as though my skills are well below what many of the other people interested would have, but I am sure you would cater for novices as well
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  #32  
Old 11-12-2009, 07:00 PM
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Andrew, The plan is to cater for everyone right from the absolute beginner through to advanced imaging and processing techniques...

We very much hope to be able to cater for everyone, and no matter what your skill level, **Insert conference name here** will be of interest.

If you like astrophotography, there'll be something for you.. Be it information on capture methods, software or guiding.. Equipment, technology and advancements or processing...

Well.. Thats the plan so far..
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  #33  
Old 11-12-2009, 08:57 PM
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Absolutely. Not much point if everyone that shows up is already an expert.
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  #34  
Old 11-12-2009, 09:29 PM
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From a practical point of view, can I suggest you hold it centred around a weekend - eg. Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun (with a mid afternoon finish on the Sunday - gives those who travel a chance to get back to work). Minimising time away from work is important for many who are self employed. Unfortunately the bills still have to be paid and astrophotography creates very large bills.

Just my two cents worth.

DT
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  #35  
Old 11-12-2009, 09:40 PM
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I agree completely David... Astrophotography is expensive enough without worrying about time off work...

I do have to say I really liked the Idea of having the conference close to some other astro event like astrofest/IISAC/SPSP etc... That way we could learn a thing or two, then apply our new knowledge at a star party the following weekend... That would be fantastic I think... (It would give me an excuse to get to one of the southern star parties too) hah
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  #36  
Old 12-12-2009, 12:42 PM
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Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolts_Tweed View Post
Gday

Ive had the idea for a while and Jases recent postings re AIC in the US have prompted me to put it to you guys amongst others to judge interest

I am a Engineering Lecturer at Griffith University on the Gold Coast and we run between 2 and 4 conferences / workshops per year - my point here is that we have experience running conferences and facilities such as lecture theatres and computer labs for workshops etc.
Hi Mark,

Thank you for putting forward this proposal and I think you can see from the
initial response that such an event would be enthusiastically received by Australian
imaging enthusiasts.

Though I have never seen any official statistics, it would not surprise me if
Australia had the highest number of astronomy enthusiasts per capita in the
world and some of the major star parties here are the equal to that found
anywhere else in the world.

Based on your experience in hosting conferences and workshops and given the
existing facilities available at Griffith University, it sounds like the perfect venue.
Astroimaging has a large technical component and so the venue of a University
campus compliments that.

Plus as you were the one to put your hand up and I suspect in so doing have
just volunteered to put in a lot of the hard work that goes into making such
events happen, it is fitting that it be on your home turf and hopefully this will
make the logistics a little easier for you.

South East Queensland has a very large number of amateur astronomers and
the amenity of the Gold Coast, its range of accommodation, its ease of access
from most other parts of the country plus the fact it a competitive airline destination
with cut price airfares there now very common - all these combine to make it a
compelling home for such an event.

There are even direct budget flights between the Gold Coast and New Zealand
so we might well attract some of our Kiwi enthusiasts as well as you mentioned.

You also mentioned enthusiasts from Japan and invited/paid for presenters from the
U.S.

In fact, based on first hand experience with helping host visitors from overseas,
if it definitely were to be held at the Gold Coast and the program had some
truly compelling content, it would attract enthusiasts from as far as the U.S.
and Canada.

Every year for the past few years we have helped host up to a couple of dozen
North American enthusiasts at a time. For example, in 2010 we are helping
host groups of visitors in March and in November and possibly a smaller group in July.
What they always do when they fly into Sydney is rather than jumping on another plane
or getting in a train is they have a day or two layover in Sydney. It is not uncommon
for these visitors to bring their spouses and to combine it into a holiday.

Add into the mix the Gold Coast's reputation of sun, sand, surf and fun, then as
you suggest, irrespective of where they are coming from. there may be some who
wish to attend the conference but use it as an opportunity to bring the family along
for a holiday as well.

The Australian astro calender is already very crowded and so one of the
problems is always finding a time when it does not clash with another event.
However, an imaging conference need not correspond to a New Moon period
and in fact the event is more likely to be better attended if it does not correspond
with a New Moon period and is not held during the same week as another star party.
There might be a temptation for some to try and dovetail it with a star party, but to
be honest, though I appreciate the motivations, that might be a "bridge too far".
The logistics become all the more difficult and given that much astroimaging
demonstrations at night can be held from places as humble as a university oval or
car park, though not ideal, will be likely to be sufficient. Many attendees are also
likely to be interested in social dinners and gathering in the evenings rather than
setting up their rigs then and there immediately after the last presentation.
Given what sounds like to be one of Mark's other interests, I would not be surprised
if he recommends dinner at Jupiters.

For those enthusiasts coming from afar but on limited budgets, given the large
number of enthusiasts who are in the Brisbane and Gold Coast region, it would
not surprise me if some volunteered to host fellow enthusiasts with a home
stay program. IceInSpace would make a perfect place to match up those with
a spare room available with those seeking one.

The nice thing is that the Gold Coast offers every type of accommodation from
the Coolangatta YHA to luxury resorts.

Finally, having watched the amount of hard work that people like Mike Salway
and the many people that help volunteer their time and money into hosting events
such as star parties, I wanted to thank you for putting your hand up.

I am sure it will be a huge success and we can certainly assist in helping attract attendees.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au

Last edited by gary; 12-12-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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  #37  
Old 12-12-2009, 01:47 PM
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Gary, Im sure Mark will be very happy when he reads your post... I don't know if he has access to the net from where he is staying in L.A., But I dare say he will be in contact with you as soon as he reads it..

I agree, the Gold Coast presents the opportunity for families to enjoy a holiday in one of Australias most renowned holiday locations... It is also a cunning way to convince SWMBO that going to an imaging conference is a good idea... Rather than asking "Honey, can I take time of work, fly interstate and talk telescopes with some of the worlds experts" you can say "Honey... Lets go on a family holiday to the Gold Coast... You and the kids can go about your days having fun and playing in the sunshine... I'll disappear to an imaging conference etc.. It'll be fun!" Maybe leave that last sentence out...
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  #38  
Old 12-12-2009, 02:45 PM
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Gary, Im sure Mark will be very happy when he reads your post... I don't know if he has access to the net from where he is staying in L.A., But I dare say he will be in contact with you as soon as he reads it..
Thanks Alex!

As you can appreciate, we get to talk to quite a few enthusiasts and a common
theme we have seen over the years is generally how supportive spouses are
of their partner's hobby.

Some have even gone as far to say that they support their spouses interest
in amateur astronomy as they would prefer them to be out at night with the
telescope rather than out on the town elsewhere!

Many have also expressed how proud they are of their spouses in being
so smart with their knowledge of the stars, planets and universe.

Anyone who has attended a star party will know that the demographics of
amateur astronomy is currently you are more likely to be male. However,
as we know here on IIS, there are quite a few very active women enthusiasts.
One of our most regular visitors from the U.S. is a fabulous lady from Texas.
She comes to observe from Australia once or twice a year and in her case her
husband who is not an enthusiast attends to running the business back home
whilst she comes down. A very high percentage of the guests we get from
North America come with their spouses.

For those here in Australia with young families, the very mention of theme parks
like Sea World, Dream World and Movie World tends to get the kids excited
straight away.

For the grown ups whose better halves aren't imaging enthusiasts, there are
diversions such as warm beaches, relaxing spas, great cafes or even just plain
reading a book by the pool and doing nothing for a change. It's arguably an easier
"sell" than convincing them that a weekend away in a tent with a 50% predicted
chance of precipitation is really the relaxation they were looking for.

Anyway, amateur astronomy certainly seems a lot more spouse friendly right now
than some other endeavors, say for example, pro golf.

Last edited by gary; 12-12-2009 at 03:01 PM.
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  #39  
Old 12-12-2009, 10:31 PM
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Keen to attend and if you want present a paper on whatever topic you deem fit. I don't care where the event is held but Gold coast would fit some of my plans.
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  #40  
Old 12-12-2009, 10:37 PM
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Anyway, amateur astronomy certainly seems a lot more spouse friendly right now
than some other endeavors, say for example, pro golf.
Hehehehehe!! Devious comment indeed
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