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Old 03-06-2023, 08:01 PM
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Queensland Astrofest 2023 Aug 11 to 20

Hi everyone,

It has been a slow start for us in getting the Astrofest ball rolling, but we HAVE started it.

This year's Queensland Astrofest in the 30th anniversary year of the first one held in 1993. Ideally this should occur with a lot more fanfare, but you can't have everything.

Queensland Astrofest opens from 10:00 am on the morning of Friday 11 August and closes on the morning of Sunday 20 August.

Registration will be open in the next few weeks, but if you intend to attend you might want to plan and apply your leave now.

Pricing for accommodation is to remain the same as last year, with the exception that there will be no Early-Bird pricing. We are working with management of Lions Camp Duckadang on the menu, but we have been informed that their pricing structure has increased and there is a minimum seating of 15 persons per meal.

We have been lucky to have renowned astrophysist Tamara Davis accept our invitation to be our Guest Speaker on Saturday 19th August.

I want to apologize for the delay in opening the event, but I hope that the astronomy community will continue to support the Queensland Astrofest in its 30th year.

2023 Queensland Astrofest Committee
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Old 04-06-2023, 05:43 PM
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2023 Queensland Astrofest Guest Speaker Professor Tamara Davis.

Cosmology as a probe of fundamental physics
The last few decades have been a golden age for observational astrophysics and cosmology, with the power of modern telescopes revealing surprising features of our Universe in ever more detail. From explaining the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, to measuring the mass of the neutrino, or understanding nuclear physics through gravitational waves, modern astrophysics has established itself as a leading avenue to reveal fundamental physics. In this talk Tamara Davis will give a lightning tour of the latest techniques by which astrophysicists are pushing the boundaries of known physics, and discuss the cracks (“tensions”) that are emerging between different cosmological probes.

Professor Tamara Davis is an astrophysicist and ARC Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland with over two decades experience studying supernovae, black holes, and dark energy. She led the Dark Theme in the Australian Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics, is currently leading the Australian Dark Energy Survey (OzDES), and was recently announced as the Deputy Director of the upcoming Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery. Her accolades include the Astronomical Society of Australia’s Ellery Lectureship for career achievement, the Australian Academy of Science’s Millis medal for female scientific leadership, and a Member the Order of Australia.”

She is an avid communicator of science and occasional guest host of ABC TV’s “Catalyst”, including the episode “Black Hole Hunters” which won the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award. In addition, her scientific writing includes Nature News and Views, and a cover story for Scientific American; she’s made innumerable school visits, performed teacher training, presented shows at two music festivals (Woodford and Splendour), and given many radio interviews; her TV and movie credits include Q&A, the ABC Morning Show, Stargazing Live, the award-winning documentary ‘Carbon’, and playing the voice of an artificial intelligence on ‘Living Universe’.

When not doing science she loves playing sport — she’s competed at a representative level in seven sports, from surf life saving to gymnastics, and has captained Australia in the (albeit obscure) sport of Ultimate Frisbee.
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Old 19-06-2023, 03:27 PM
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It's going to be a blast! I'll be there almost certainly
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Old 20-06-2023, 09:36 PM
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Thanks Franco. Hoping to see you there.
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Old 20-06-2023, 09:47 PM
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We would like to amend this announcement and confirm that SkyWatcher Australia is Gold Sponsor alongside Astro Anarchy, well-known Brisbane astronomy retailer.

Thank you very much Will and Peter.
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Old 28-06-2023, 09:02 PM
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SkyWatcher - Gold Sponsor

SkyWatcher Australia has donated to the Queensland Astrofest raffle three Star Adventurer kits, each to the value of $749.

Tickets for the raffle will be available from the website (once registration opens), from the organising club representatives, and available at the Astrofest itself.
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Old 28-06-2023, 09:17 PM
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ZeroTech - Bronze Sponsor

ZeroTech has donated a pair of Thrive HD 8×42 binoculars valued at $749.00 RRP to the Queensland Astrofest raffle.

Tickets for the raffle will be available from the website (once registration opens), from one of the organising club representatives, or at the Queensland Astrofest itself.
  #8  
Old 28-06-2023, 10:37 PM
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Menu Update

Hi everyone,

It has been an epic saga to get this Astrofest up and running this year, but we have just been able to confirm the menu with Lions Camp Duckadang.

As we have mentioned before, the prices for the meals have markedly increased. We have been assured that the meals will be prepared by a qualified chef this year. Katie was previously the chef at the Linville Hotel and has promised that the quality and quantity will be improved over last year. Unfortunately there will be a strict minimum of 15 patrons.

Lunches are $25, Dinners are $30, AstroFeast Luncheon is $30, and there will be a simple sausage sizzle on the Saturday evening is $15.

Meals will be cancelled if the minimum cannot be confirmed by July 27th, two weeks prior to Astrofest. Anyone who had registered for cancelled meals will be notified and any payments reimbursed. We hope to have a "live" tally of booked meals on the front page of the website.

Alternatives include self-catering in the Rotunda, the Linville Hotel (full pub meals $18-$42), the Linville Store 7am - 5:30pm most days (Subs $10, Toasties $6.50, pies $7), or a cafe in Moore (one of the cafes has closed).

The Queensland Astrofest has a dedicated cold-room for food and reink storage as in previous years events.

We hope to have the Registration page up and running by Monday 3rd July.

Sincerely
Queensland Astrofest Committee
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Old 29-06-2023, 02:39 AM
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Great to hear things are progressing well! Looking forward to this.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 03-07-2023, 12:45 PM
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Well it's off and racing

All astrofesters start your engines, here is the link to book and pay, registrations are open
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Old 03-07-2023, 02:35 PM
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WOO HOO!!!

Had to shorten my stay by a couple of days (damn you normal life) but booking made! Looking forward to it.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 04-07-2023, 09:30 AM
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I'm looking forward to this. It's been too many years since I last ventured to Duckadang - mostly because I lived under reasonably dark skies on a farm and had a big ROR observatory. But now I'm back in suburban 'bliss' and am getting sick of struggling against neighbors, urban lights and seaside air. So a return to Duckadang for a few days is definitely on my agenda.

I tried a recent escape to Ballandean but found I was not equipped for sub-zero conditions. A timely reminder. So now, older and wiser, I am booking in for Duckadang.

I can't do the whole thing but will try 4 nights at the end. Now the big issue is which scope, which mount, how many batteries etc. Oh, the pain of indecision!
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Old 11-07-2023, 10:37 PM
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Erwin van der Velden Astro-photo Competition

Hi everyone,

If anyone wanted to enter the Erwin van der Velden Astro-photo Competition, listed below are the conditions of entry and rules. Substitute (at) with @ in the email addresses.
TWO CATEGORIES
THROUGH A TELESCOPE ASTRO-PHOTOGRAPHY CATEGORY
  • Photos must be taken though a telescope (400mm focal length or greater)
  • Photos may be deep field, wide angle, planetary, lunar or special interest involving an astronomical object or theme.
NON-TELESCOPE ASTRO-PHOTOGRAPHY CATEGORY
  • Photos must not be taken though a telescope or using a 400 mm focal length lens or greater;
  • Photos may be deep field, wide angle, planetary, lunar or special interest involving an astronomical object or theme.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
  • The competition is open to all Queensland Astrofest registrants.
  • All entries will be electronic and must be emailed to the Registrar (registrar(at)qldastrofest.org.au). Emailed entries MUST be received no later than the Friday 4th August. *Please keep in mind that there is no internet access at the venue. Images NOT be accepted at the camp after Friday 11th August.
  • Each entrant may submit a maximum of three (3) images for each category.
  • Photos submitted must be taken at or since the preceding Queensland Astrofest.
  • A digital copy must be additionally sent to the webmaster (web(at)qldastrofest.org.au) to facilitate any online use.
  • Entrants must state the subject matter/description, the telescope/lens used, the camera used, the number of images stacked if applicable as well as the exposure time/s of each photo. This information will be used when the photo is displayed on the web site, but not before.
  • All photos will be displayed in the Dining Room for the duration of Astrofest.
  • The prize-winner for each category will receive the perpetual trophy on which their name will be engraved as well as a smaller trophy that they will be able to keep. It is hoped that the winner(s) will present the perpetual trophy to the winner(s) of the following year.
JUDGING
  • The photos will be voted upon by the Astrofest registrants.
  • When registering, everyone will receive a voting form for each category.
  • The photos on display will be numbered and no names will be shown.
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Old 20-07-2023, 03:23 PM
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Duckadang Catering

Hi everyone,
We’ve finally been sent images of the “Amazing catered meals” offered by Duckadang.

Have a look and see if you wish to put in an order.

With current booking numbers and the inflexible minimum number of 15 required by Duckadang we will not be catering any Lunches except the “AstroFeast.”

We have yet to decide about cancelling all Dinners but will likely only organise catering for the last weekend meals Friday 18th and possibly Saturday 19th night.

We are investigating hiring a freezer as the one up there is very small (think hotel room size).

Self catering will be able to done in the rotunda where we have a microwave, two gas stoves and a large BBQ. Two other microwaves are in the kitchen.

More information will be shared as we get closer to the meal booking cut off date 26th July.

Sincerely
Registrar
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Old 21-07-2023, 06:13 PM
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Remember astrofesters, the cut off date is fast approaching, if you're thinking about going the book now. Remember you will need to self cater for the majority of the camp, but do book your astrofeast.

There will be a refrigerated cold room to keep your predone meals. And microwaves available
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Old 26-07-2023, 11:41 PM
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30 Years of the Queensland Astrofest

30 Years of the Queensland Astrofest

To help celebrate 30 years of the Queensland Astrofest the Committee would love to hear your stories and see your photos from Astrofest.
The intention is to use these stories and photos to form the basis of some posters that will be displayed at this year's and future camps.

We are looking for pictures of people, equipment, and general views of the camp to show how equipment and the camp has changed.
The Committee would also like to hear from anyone who would like to claim to have taken the last film based astrophoto from the camp and see the photo.

If you wish to submit something for consideration please email your stories and photos to registrar@qldastrofest.org.au with subject line of "30 Years".
It would help if you can label images in the following format YYYY_Your_Name_Description
where YYYY is the year the photo was taken, Your_Name is your name and Description is brief description of the photo.
eg 2015_John_Smith_Counter_weight_toss

Do not post your stories / photos here unless you want to share, but to keep track of everything we need the email.

Thanks Queensland Astrofest Committee
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Old 26-07-2023, 11:54 PM
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Duckadang Catered Meals

Duckadang Catered Meals

With heavy hearts we have to announce that due to low requests and Duckadang requiring minimums of 15 we cannot order any Catered Meals except for Dinner Friday 18th August, Astrofeast and the Sausage sizzle on the 19th August.

All payments already recieved for cancelled meals will be refunded. This will be done via cheque asap.

The cold room will have plenty of space and we recommend planning meals accordingly. There is a small freezer (bar fridge) onsite but please leave this available for those staying longer than 5 days.

Please contact registration if you have extenuating circumstances and need freezer access.


Self Catering - We are not paying the daily fee to access the Kitchen as all equipment requires training to use.
Registrants will have access to

2 microwaves in the Dining room
1 microwave in the rotunda
3 gas canister stoves in the rotunda
1 large BBQ in the rotunda
Toaster and kettle in rotunda
Zip boil in the Dining room.

BYO pots and pans and cooking implements

QLD Astrofest Committee
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Old 31-07-2023, 10:06 AM
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Erwin van der Velden Astro-Photo Competition

Hi everyone,
Just a reminder to send your entries for the Erwin van der Velden Astrophoto Competition this week to registrar@qldastrofest.org.au. We need time to put them in the rolling display at camp, and entries cannot be accepted after the Astrofest begins.
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Old 31-07-2023, 10:11 AM
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BinTel is continuing their proud support of the Queensland Astrofest which has spanned 30 years. Not only donating prizes to the raffle, but also but providing resources to maintain and improve the experience of the Queensland Astrofest attendees. As Supporter in 2023, BinTel had donated a Dwarf II Deluxe Smart Scope and is assisting the Committee to upgrade the light-shielding of the buildings at Lions Camp Duckadang.
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Old 31-07-2023, 10:15 AM
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Testar has once again been confirmed as Gold Sponsor to the Queensland Astrofest by donating a Skywatcher Evostar 80ED Pro Kit to the raffle. We offer a thank-you once again for their support.
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