Im back with Photoncollector from IISAC Lostock, (got back early last night,)and what a great time we had. Skies were good, albeit dewy, but next time dewcaps and heaters will be the go. The camp was run very well, the nightly dinner MOST appreciated. I got to meet some great people. At the meeting area Ive never stood amongst so many astrophotographers before, it was amazing
Many thanks to Mike and all those who worked hard to make it the sucess it was. Many thanks to the owners of the big dobs who gave us such great views of the skies through their light buckets. Thanks to the presenters at the talks and the donors of the prizes.
The amenities were good, and the river MOST appreciated in the hot weather.
Well done everyone!!
Yep, I'm just back from Lostock. I arrived on Friday night, so I was there for the Friday and Saturday night observing sessions. Last night there was not a drop of dew, absolutely fantastic conditions, Friday night was quite dewy, as Tornado 33 reported.
The skies at Lostock are darker than at Ilford (SPSP). At times I found myself just gazing with my eyes rather than using the scope. Mindblowing!
By all accounts, Thursday night saw the best viewing. John Bambury (ausastronomer) was able to get sharp views of Saturn at x400 in his 10" dob!
The best moments for me were seeing NGC 1365 in Hector, and a rising Omega Centauri, which looked absolutely spectacular in the 22 Pan in my 10 inches. I also enjoyed lots of star clusters in the Puppis area.
For those interested in learning, there were some fantastic sessions presented. Anthony Wesley (Bird) gave a ripper of a talk on astrophotography. His self-made newt is georgeous, and it was very interesting to hear how he has come to the conclusion that 13" is ideal for imaging.
One thing my two kids (aged 7 and 4) particularly enjoyed was the chance to play with other kids. They had a ball at the swimming hole. Oh, and Noah (aged 4) was particularly chuffed at winning the 12" Dob in the lucky door prize competition!!
I am absolutely exhausted, so I will add some more detailed comments later, but in short, the location was beautiful, skies very dark, a great gang of amateurs of every level of experience from newbies without scopes to people with 30 and 40+ years experience. A wonderful event, not to be missed next year.
Thanks to Mike, HOughy, Brendan, and the others who helped with putting the event together. It ran like a Swiss clock - testament to the hard work of the committee, and possibly also an indication of just what a fine bunch of people amateur astronomers make when they get together!
Yes I made it back too. And what an amazing long weekend it has been. This was my first star party, and I couldn't fault it. Everything went smoothly. I don't think I have been anywhere before where I could walk up to anyone and just start talking, the atmosphere was that friendly. Highlight for me, finally getting a decent astrophoto, plus seeing my first comet (C2006 A/1).
Many thanks to Mike, Houghy, and everyone else who helped in every way possible. And a big thanks to everyone who came, and shot the breeze. Same time next year??
I second all the praise given to those hard working organisers of the event.
What a great weekend.
By the way, Erik and I just got home after a 10 hour drive. even with getting caught up with those Tamworth Festival morons pulling caravans.
I am now enjoying a well earned
Hey Iceman, How do I change my username to Sausageman.?
If anyone wants the sausage recipe's to make hamburger patties let me know and I will post them.
A special thanks to Erik, who I roped into helping me make the snags. It's the best way to clean under your fingernails. Hahahahaha. joking of course.
Its great to have a hobby that you can eat the results. Next year could be cheese making under the stars 101.
Congratulations to all those who took part in the inaugural NSW IceInSpace AstroCamp!
Special thanks to the organizers for helping make the event a huge success.
The weather provided some very welcome observing opportunities at night
and the right temperatures for a refreshing dip in the river during the day.
AstroCamp was a fabulous chance to put a face to the many monickers, to renew
existing friendships and to strike up some new ones - plus see and look through
a large range of telescopes and to chat day and night about the universe's
No. 1 hobby.
There was a surprise visit by Ron Knight (aka Astroron) who drove from Perth via
Victoria (including a 1000km detour near Esperance due to road closure). Ron was
en route to Queensland but couldn't miss the chance to catch up with the IceInSpace
community and to get some observing in. Now that's dedication!
Special thank to iceman, h0ughy and the many people who worked behind the
Hats-off to the local RFS members and their families for the catering.
This time of year is always a good reminder of the work these fabulous
volunteers do to help protect our communities and families, so please be sure
to donate to the RFS if you haven't done so this year already.
IceInSpace has put Lostock on the astronomical map and what a great find
and a beautiful venue.
Mai and I would like to thank you all. Our two young nephews also had
a great time.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mike and all involved in organising the camp. It was a fantastic oppertunity to meet everyone and put a face to the names.
I'd like to thank the sponsors who generously donated the prizes, I'm still stoked in winning the Argo Navis, cheers Gary and Mai.
And also to the RFS for the usual FANTASTIC job that they do.
Lostock was a great place and the skies were unbelievable but what made it all worthwhile was the company and mateship that existed and was nurtured by all involved.
Thanks also to Louie Atalas for letting me use his equiopment all night long to image the heavens and for all his advice and freindship.
Ditto to all the praise directed at Mike and Houghy for organising such a great weekend. Also thank you to all the behind the scene people who helped as well.
This was my first experience of a Astro meeting of any kind. I literally received my first real scope the day before the camp. As a new comer there was no shortage of approachable people willing to chat, advise, assist and even demonstrate on their own equipment.
I especially want to thank Eddie for the Sky tours, Wazza for giving me so much time and teaching me about the night sky, and Andrew for giving me a one on one late night session with Hector.
The location, amenities and food was great. The swimming hole really topped it off.
Big thank you to Mike and Houghy for putting on a fantastic camp.
Ron and myself had a blast and we would like to thank Paul for generously donating the Star Atlas Pro we won. Im using it as I type this. Although I didn't get to use my scope too much I really enjoyed the tour John B gave me on Planetary Nebula( about 40 in as many minutes) Mikes sausages are to die for and and I'm sure Erik is an expert at making them now also.
The RFS done themselves proud and kept the entire clan well fed each night.
I also got a new focuser and I can tell you it is 300% better than the one that came with the scope (anyone who has ever used it will know what I'm talking about)
It was great to catch up with the centel cost new moon mob again ( weather and fires have made my visits there few and far between) I also found out who was blasting the camp with a laser pointer on the last night... It was Mark Latham...he thought the red lights were cameras.
All in all we both had a grand time and can't wait until the next one.