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Old 21-01-2007, 01:28 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Exclamation IISAC2007 Writeups!

Hi guys

Post all your writeups/comments here!

I'll post my own when I get some spare time.. going through 300+ emails right now.. luckily most of them are spam (quick delete!)

GREAT WEEKEND! OMG Comet McNaught!

More later.
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  #2  
Old 21-01-2007, 01:37 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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Comet? What comet? Welcome back mate. Sounds like you had a great time.
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Old 21-01-2007, 01:51 PM
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glad you had fun! welcome back!
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Old 21-01-2007, 02:09 PM
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Id like to sincerely thank all those who worked so hard setting up ISSAC 2007! I had a great time there. Looking fowards to the next one in October, as the heat was very oppresive, thankgoodness for the beaut swimming hole in the river there. Words cannot describe Comet Mcnaught. Also had a good time looking through Andrews 25 incher and the other dobs all manned by friendly operators giving the sky tours. Was great to catch up with people, listen to informative talks, get some really good equipment bargains, and generally have a good time.
Many thanks
Scott
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Old 21-01-2007, 05:23 PM
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Sausageman (Mike Boggan)
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I learned a valuable lesson at Lostock, don't forget to put the lenscap on the finderscope when looking at the Sun.
It was a great weekend, and great planning on Mikes part for giving us a Comet to look at.
David, (Son of Sausageman) was overwhelmed by Andrew's 25 inch Dob, he now wants one of his own.
Sorry we didn't get to say goodbye to everyone, but it was an 11 hour drive home, and none of you were up.
The talk on SETI seemed to go down well. Noel did a great talk, I was very impressed with the interest shown by all who attended.
He actually stayed at Lostock for about 3 hours longer than intended, answering questions. He was on his way to Sydney to visit his daughter who has been hospitalised.
If you thought the heat was oppressive, try cooking 22.5 Kg's of snags on that dodgy BBQ, I hope it gets fixed for next time, The hairs on my hand might have grown back by then, It was scary when the leaking gas blew up.

But it was a fantastic weekend again. Thanks Mike.

Sausageman.
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Old 21-01-2007, 05:49 PM
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Striker (Tony)
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Welcome Back Guys and Girls,

Looking forward to some feedback on what sounds to have been a great weekend.
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Old 21-01-2007, 06:41 PM
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It was indeed a fantastic weekend, with remarkable timing on the comet. That in itself was worth the price of admission! Big ups to Mike and the organizing committee, and everyone who played a part in making it happen. Great to put some faces with the names too.

Clear skies,
Shane
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Old 21-01-2007, 06:43 PM
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Lucky Buggers, and all we get is rain and clouds, but i suppose we need the rain. welcome back, hope you all had a great time and safe trip home

Cheers Leon
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Old 21-01-2007, 09:14 PM
tornado33
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With a bright naked eye comet, for the next one we will have to organise a naked eye supernova or something
Scott
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Old 21-01-2007, 09:25 PM
Gas Giant (Andrew)
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The camp sure was hot, both literally and astronomically. Comet McNaught was so COOOL!

Thanks to Mike and all the other organisers; and to the local Volunteer Fire Brigade - what a fantastic bunch of people.

Speaking of fires, glad I managed to get down the F3 before it closed due the Kuringai bush fire. Hope everyone else had a safe trip home
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Old 21-01-2007, 11:57 PM
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gaa_ian (Ian)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Giant View Post
Speaking of fires, glad I managed to get down the F3 before it closed due the Kuringai bush fire. Hope everyone else had a safe trip home
Like you "Gas Giant" I was lucky to get down the F3 & catch my plane back to Cairns before it was closed off.
As I said in an Earlier post:
What an absolute blast, it was so good to finally meet so many from the IIS community.
Best things: The People, Near perfect skies, 12" Binoviewer, 25" Dob, Comet Mcnaught ( words are not enough to describe that experience!), but most of all the people & the shared experience of all of the above & more.
Not to forget the waterhole, an absolute godsend and it was especially good to be able to swim in a waterhole without having to think about Crocs
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Old 22-01-2007, 09:20 AM
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sheeny (Al)
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Well I thoroughly enjoyed IISAC again this year as did Lyn and the girls.

Highlights for me were being able to put faces to names, being able to leave my scope set up from one night to the next, and comet McNaught. The waterhole is, of course, an oasis during the day!

The only imaging I did was on the comet. The 20 x 80s were great for finding the head of the comet early, but the real show was the naked eye view of the tail as it set which so many others have captured so well in images!

A quick summary of my observing list:

18/1/07:
Comet McNaught
M42
NGC2022
Mintaka
M44
NGC2024
Tarantula Nebula
Omega Centauri
Eta Carinae
Jewel Box

19/1/07:
Comet McNaught
M42
47 Tuc
Eta Carinae
Jewel Box
Saturn
NGC1999 (not found)
NGC1924 (not found)
M78 (with a satellite pass through the FOV)
NGC2071 (not found)
NGC2112
Rigel
NGC1980

20/1/07:
The comet again
M42
IC405 Flaming Star
M38
M36
M37
Saturn
M104 Sombrero Galaxy (declared before it rose! Shattered unit!)

I forget all the things I looked at in other peoples scopes...

I've attached a couple of sketches I did. I haven't sketched in over 25 years but Sidewinder's sketches inspired me to have another go. I haven't put the same amount of work in that he does, but I have scanned them, inverted them and tidied them up a little.

Al.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (M45SketchI.jpg)
146.9 KB81 views
Click for full-size image (NGC1980SketchI.jpg)
148.7 KB88 views
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  #13  
Old 22-01-2007, 10:10 AM
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h0ughy (David)
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For me the whole experience was Comet McNaught (2006 P1), thatís basically all I imaged, after that everything else was second rate despite the clear skies. The following are the ravings of a heat affected sole!

We set up in oppressive heat on the Wednesday, with help (and I mean a lot of help) from Eddie Roca and family, Al Sheeny and Co, Alan Meehan, John, Anna, Dave and Petra. There was so much to get going and do. They were the backbone to the event, especially when packing up as well. I did forget a few items, which I had to chase up on the Wednesday afternoon, and I wish to thank Ed for putting up my tent while I was gone. A true gentleman in the oppressive heat!!! I lugged half a tonne of gear, goods and equipment up to Lostock and they helped to get it all going!

As well as the aforementioned, the invaluable help from Gary (singing 4-0, 4-0 ,4-0 on the Saturday for some reason, and thanks for my first hedgehog!!!), and to the others who helped put up the main tarp and Mike B's marquee! Well done. Mike and his son should have had a medal, he cooked in oppressive heat to feed the multitude, stunning snags - they were a hit!!!

It was great to meet with some big names in the astro community and I enjoyed the experience and discussions with Dr Malin, Mike Sidonio, Gary and Mai, and all the others present who made it a learning experience.

For the record the only real hit for me was the comet, I took (and forgot some bits) my astrophotography gear, used it only once - and then my heart wasnít in it. All I could think of was the huge plume of cometry debris lit up on a dark sky. Then the meteor showers that were entertaining us with high numbers of flashes all night!!

Wednesday Night was the best night sky wise, after that it deteriorated as each night followed by smoke haze blown up somewhere. There were no fires near us at the time. But having the ground lit up by starlight was a treat.

Unfortunately my cameras' were affected by the heat, most of my shots are very noisy, and dark frames were forgotten in the heat of the moment - never make that mistake again. We experienced 44 on the Saturday, 40 on the Friday, and 38 on Thursday, with Wednesday pulling up to a 38 degree day and 13 overnight was an experience! We had great clear days - but at a cost of not being able to sleep during the day due to oppressive heat.

I enjoyed the company and meeting others, I am sure I must have been a strange sight, but they still talked to me!! The social event would have to be the comet toasting we did on the Saturday night. The comet of the century, well only time will tell but it was good enough for me?

We did a rip around with the red bucket on the Saturday night as for the past 3 nights we were using one of the Volunteer Fire fighters land on top of Mount Disappointment, so it was only just to give a donation to the brigade. Although I didnít count it there would have been over $100 in change and notes handed over to Alwyn who appreciated the gesture. I am sure someone has posted pictures of over 80 people all looking west with cameras on the ridgeline of Mt Disappointment (didnít disappoint me at all the views were spectacular))

Also to the vendors that made the effort, thank you! I spent more money that I wasn't expecting to!! But GTB-owl I am sorry, No way on this wide earth was I going to try on a freezer suit in that weather (LOL).

In short, the Iceman got his event, comet and a good turn up all packaged into a few long days! BTW Mike how was Jupiter?

The speakers were excellent, and did a great job! I did think the Prize draw was rigged, but thatís what you get for having your family there eh Mike? Look out when Rocket Boy brings the entire contingent next time (LOL).

I will be spending the next few weeks to unpack everything and put everything away. I look forward to the next one, and my wife talking to me some time in the future!

Last edited by h0ughy; 22-01-2007 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 22-01-2007, 10:59 AM
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sheeny (Al)
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Good report, Dave!

Quote:
Originally Posted by h0ughy View Post
For the record the only real hit for me was the comet, I took (and forgot some bits) my astrophotography gear, used it only once - and then my heart wasnít in it. All I could think of was the huge plume of cometry debris lit up on a dark sky.
I think a lot of people were like that... the observing field seemed surprisingly quiet a lot of the time!

Al.
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:30 AM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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It's great to hear that everyone enjoyed themselves. Wish I could have been there.

On a totally different note, I'd like to suggest that for the next Lostock T-shirt that a suitable image of McNaught, taken at Lostock, be used for the shirt graphics.
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:35 AM
bird (Anthony Wesley)
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I had a great time, same as last year. The heat was the only negative, maybe we could all chip in and sort that out for next year - start a fund to buy some silvered tarps to go over the roof on the presentation area, bring some pedestal fans, etc.

Highlights for me - the comet (hard to top that!), the talks, the fantastic seeing on Friday night (best saturn data for me. ever.), meeting new people and catching up with friends.

cheers, Bird
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
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the fantastic seeing on Friday night (best saturn data for me. ever
Oooooooooohhhh!!!!!

I want to see the pix
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:39 AM
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h0ughy (David)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [1ponders] View Post
It's great to hear that everyone enjoyed themselves. Wish I could have been there.

On a totally different note, I'd like to suggest that for the next Lostock T-shirt that a suitable image of McNaught, taken at Lostock, be used for the shirt graphics.
well we did pose for a shot pointing to the comet.............................w ait and see
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:42 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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I'll see if I've got a spare 10 minutes to write this now while my wife is on the phone and the kids are playing happily

Yes it was HOT! Damn hot. The next IISAC will be October 2008. Unfortunately I don't have the time, energy or browney points to hold another IISAC this year. So it's unfortunately a 21 month wait between events, but we definitely need to get to a cooler time of year. Even though we're 100% for clear nights (6 out of 6), it's hard to recouperate during the day when it's so hot.

Despite the heat, it was another great event - 3 clear nights in a row, unfortunately again with 3 incredibly hot days. The water hole was a blessing, and got a lot of use throughout the 3 days.. sometimes with up to 40 people at a time cooling off.

The guest talks were great, and very interesting. Next time we'll definitely do some more work on making the presentation area darker (and cooler) so that the screen can be seen properly. David Malin's talk was very interesting and I learnt a few things about photography!

The lucky door prize was interesting, with a lot of the kids getting prizes. Take your family next time! It also appeared that paying early was a benefit for some people, as they doubled their chances and it paid off. My son Jacob chose the 20x80 binoculars from Astronomy Online.. unfortunately they seem out of collimation as the view was just not right - couldn't get the images to merge. I'll talk to them tomorrow.

My family surprised me by coming up on Friday afternoon (they weren't expected until Saturday lunchtime), so it was nice having them there - although it started badly with Jacob kicking his toe, getting bitten by green ants (on his bum!), and Eliza and Abbey tripping over and scraping a knee It improved after that They loved the view of the comet from the top of the hill. The girls fell asleep up there on the picnic rug on Saturday night.

The comet was magnificent - the most amazing thing i've ever seen. And it got better each night. It was awesome seeing 80-100 people on the top of the hill all facing west with tripods, cameras and binoculars. Once a few people saw the images each night, they weren't going to miss it the next night! Many thanks to Alwyn from the GRFB for allowing us to use his property!

Like some of the others, I didn't do a lot of observing each night. Thursday night was imaging night for me, hanging with Anthony (Bird) and Markus (KISA) doing some imaging of Saturn and Jupiter. It was my first go with my EQ6 mount.. I had my 10" on top and while my goto's weren't accurate (didn't level or align properly), it was accurate enough tracking for high-res planetary imaging with only minor adjustments every 20-30 seconds. I enjoyed just sitting down pressing buttons instead of crouching by the platform to keep it centered! I went to bed when the sun came up, and only got about an hour of sleep thanks to Markus who snored like a freight train!

I ran on adrenalin most of Friday, with the night starting with the comet (again), followed by some observing through Mark's 12" binos.. absolutely AMAZING! Easily the best view through a scope i've ever seen. It literally looked 3 Dimensional. Just great. I hit the sack around midnight to try and catch up.

Saturday was a busy day, with lots of people showing up, lots of talks, and probably the hottest day of the 3. The comet was again amazing.. we got a group comet shot at the top of the hill, which i'll superimpose with a comet shot for a t-shirt.. "I saw Comet McNaught at IISAC2007"

The rest of Saturday night was spent yacking with John, Anna, Dave, Petra, Rod, houghy, Al and others while eating chocolate, bickies and dip etc.. I spent a little while looking at some objects through the 18" and 25" obsessions.. very nice indeed. Although I think they suffered from large temperature differences due to the hot mirrors and relatively cooler nights (after 11pm).

I didn't touch my scope after the first night.. the comet just took it out of me and nothing was going to beat that

It was great to meet Remus and his friends from Singapore.. they were very friendly and his talk was very interesting.. also great to finally meet Ian Maclean (gaa_ian) from the NT - a great guy, very friendly and very helpful around camp.

Driving home this year was similar to last year - a real relief.. Such a long buildup, such a lot of work, it was physically, mentally and emotionally draining and it was a huge relief when it was all over.

It seemed everyone had a great time, and I know it was very hot and exhausting during the days.. that's why we're moving it to October in 2008. Only a week before it was 25-27deg.. lucky or unlucky? The skies were clear again at least, 3 great nights in dark skies with great company.

Thanks firstly to my wife (who I forgot to thank at the event ) for putting up and supporting me with my obsession. Many thanks to the IISAC organising committee (h0ughy, sheehan, Rodstar, sausageman+son, Orion, cahullian, rocket boy, and anyone else who contributed), plus those who helped out at the event (gaa_ian, dick everett, KISA and others).

I literally could NOT have done this without you.. so thankyou from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks to the generous sponsors who provided prizes for the lucky door prize competition. I appreciate your support of IceInSpace and IceInSpace events, and for the community, make sure you support the sponsors who support you!

Thanks to Mike Boggan and his son David, who cooked and provided the (very yummy) sausage sizzle lunches on Friday and Saturday, and also for bringing and putting up the small marquee and 2 gazebo's which gave some much needed shade on the northern side of the undercover area.

Thanks to Gresford RFB who catered again each night. It's a real weight off my shoulders to know that they'll come and cook, clean up and take it all away each day. We'll arrange more undercover areas next time too.

21 months is a long time to wait before the next IISAC, which is a shame, but most of us will catch up again soon at SPSP and BSG in 2007 and 2008, and we'll meet again at IISAC2008 in October 2008!

Last edited by iceman; 22-01-2007 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:44 PM
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Great write up there Mike. Thank you for putting on such a fantastic weekend. What special treat do you have organized for us next year? Naked eye Supernova perhaps? I for one applaud the decision to move the next IISAC to Ocotober 2008. It was just too hot to catch up on sleep during the day. I'm so very tired, I must sound awful to the customers on the phone this morning lol.
The event worked out very well for myself personally as an astronomer, but also for the company. The boss is pretty happy so I think I can safely say we will be involved again next year.

Clear skies,
Shane
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