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No Mars Hoax Here!


It's August again, which means the emails and memes on social media about "Mars being as big as the Full Moon" are doing the rounds again.

IceInSpace member Tom Harradine (von Tom) has created this excellent infographic which highlights the reality - Mars will never be as big or as bright as the Full Moon from our vantage point on Earth!

Feel free to share this with your friends who send the 'hoax email' to you! Thanks Tom!

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25th Anniversary Celebrations! Open Day for the ATCA!


To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Australian Telescope Compact Array, CSIRO’s division of , Astronomy and Space Science invites you to attend their public open day at the Paul Wild Observatory, 20km West of Narrabri, on Sunday the 1st September.

  • Date – Sunday 1st September, 2013 (a great day out for Father’s Day)
  • Time – 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Cost – FREE
  • Website

The open day will offer a rare opportunity for members of the public to go behind the scenes of one of the most powerful radio telescopes on the planet. More than forty of their expert staff will be on hand to guide you around the observatory, answer your questions and bring you up-to-date with the latest research in radio astronomy.

The Australia Telescope Compact Array comprises six twenty-two meter dishes, spread along a three kilometre rail track. The six dishes work together, as one instrument, to study the structure and evolution of the Universe. During the public open day, three of the six dishes will be open to the public, as well as the control building and computing room.

Astronomy and space science talks by leading experts in radio astronomy and radio engineering will showcase the achievements of the telescope as a world leading radio astronomy instrument.

What to expect:

  • Guided tours of the Australia Telescope Compact Array antennas (Enclosed Footwear must be worn)
  • Guided tours of the Control Building
  • Astronomy and space science talks
  • Radio receiver displays
  • Ask an expert corner
  • Solar telescope viewing
  • Street performers
  • BBQ lunch (provided for sale by a local community group)

For more information on the 25th Anniversary Open Day visit their website or download the PDF.


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IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar On-Sale NOW!

by Mike Salway

The IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar 2014 is now available for sale via the IceInSpace Shop!

This is your calendar! With images submitted by IceInSpace members, and winning images chosen by the IceInSpace Community, the calendar showcases the brilliant talent we have on offer.

The calendar features 12 great images of our night sky, and provides a nightly guide to what’s visible in the sky. The calendar also includes a summary of the year indicating best time to view the planets, as well as maps showing planetary alignments in the pre-dawn and post-sunset sky. It also includes monthly star charts, moon phases, conjunctions, eclipses and other major events as well as school holidays for all Australian states.

SAVE: Order 2 or more calendars (of the Astronomy 2014 or the 2014 Southern Sky Calendar) and receive 20% off! You’ll also receive a free IceInSpace Sticker for every calendar you order.

BONUS: A free folded poster comes with each calendar purchased. On one side, a star map by Wil Tirion and on the other side, astrophotos featuring the finalists from the IceInSpace Calendar Competition.

The calendar makes a fantastic gift – for yourself, your friends and family. Whether they’re hardcore amateur astronomers, have a casual interest in the night sky, or just like looking at pretty pictures, this calendar will be a great addition to any wall, kitchen cupboard or workplace cubicle.

 

more…

IceInSpace Calendar Competition 2014 Winners Announced!


After running the IceInSpace Calendar Competition during May and June 2013, over 250 images were submitted and after a record breaking 1100 votes by the extended IceInSpace Community, the winning images have now been chosen by you!

View the Winning Images!

Your IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar 2014 will be on sale in the IceInSpace Shop from early August. So buy plenty of calendars for yourself, your family and friends, work colleagues etc :)

Congrats to all winners and thanks to the IceInSpace Community for your part in making this competition a success.

Many thanks to David at Astrovisuals for teaming up with me for another year and helping me to make this idea become a reality!

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Australian Astro-Imaging Conference 2013


The Australian Astro-Imaging Conference is on again for 2013. AAIC2013 takes place from the 23-25th August 2013, at Crown Plaza Hotel, Surfers Paradise in Queensland.

It's shaping up to be another fantastic event, with world-class guest speakers including Prof. David Malin, Jay GaBany, Don Goldman, Ron Wodaski, and a number of expert Australian speakers including Anthony Wesley, Greg Bradley, Ivo Jager, Phil Hart and more.

Register now to take advantage of the early-bird special. Find more information and register on the AAIC2013 website.

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Comet ISON in late 2013 - Will it live up to the hype?


Comet ISON (C/2012) is approaching for a close encounter with the Sun in late November and December, 2013. It's been hyped up on social media and other news outlets, predicted to be as "bright as the Moon".

Will it live up to the hype? The problem with those sort of predictions so far out, is that that may or may not be true. As amateur astronomers, we love it when mainstream media talks about astronomical events, but it's much worse if the event itself doesn't live up to the hype - people won't be as interested next time.

The bad news for us in the Southern Hemisphere, is that even if ISON does become a very bright comet, we won't get the best of it. This time it's the Northern Hemisphere's turn to get a bright comet, after we were rewarded with the stunning Comet Lovejoy at the end of 2011.

John Bortle from Sky&Telescope has a nice article which discusses Comet ISON and what to expect later this year. Read it here.

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2014 Calendar Competition Voting has Closed!


Voting for the IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar 2014 has now closed!

The winner of the voting competition is Patti Barrett. Patti was pulled out of the virtual barrel and wins $110 worth of prizes including 5 copies of the IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar 2014. Congratulations and thanks for taking part in the competition!

We had a record number of people voting for their favourite images. After over 1100 votes, the winning images have now been chosen by you! Over the next 3 weeks, David (Astrovisuals) and I will be in touch with the winning photographers from each category to get hi-res versions of their images as well as any other details required for the calendar and the prizes.

The actual winners and winning photographs will be announced on approx July 15, 2013.

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Voting for the IceInSpace Calendar Competition for 2014 is now open!


Voting for the IceInSpace Calendar Competition for 2014 is now open! Just by voting, you can win a prize pack valued at $110. Click here to vote!

So it's over to you! During May, we had some of IceInSpace's best astrophotographers submit their images. We had an amazing response, with 242 images submitted by 69 different photographers. The quality of images was absolutely stunning - we were blown away by the talent and will be pleased to feature ANY of those images in the 2014 calendar!

David (Astrovisuals) and I have now narrowed those images down to 5 in each category across 13 categories, and now it's up to you! You get to select your favourite images in each category, and the winning images will be used in the 2014 IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar.

So get voting, and please share the link with your friends via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.

http://iceinspace-calendar-2014.questionpro.com/

For more information, see the IceInSpace Calendar Competition Rules and Info Page.

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Announcing the IceInSpace Calendar Competition for 2014!


It's on again! Last year's Astronomy Calendar Competition was a huge success, with over 220 entries, 64 fantastic photographers, over 900 votes cast and over 3000 calendars sold (500 via IceInSpace!), so we're running the competition again for 2014.

The IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar for 2014 will again be made up of images captured by and chosen by the IceInSpace community!

Yes - you can submit your images for the chance to appear in the calendar, and you get to vote for the final images that will make up the calendar!

For more information about how to submit your images and how to vote, check out the article here:

IceInSpace Calendar Competition 2014

Image submission opens on the 1st May, so start preparing your images!

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IISAC2013 Wrap!


The IceInSpace AstroCamp for 2013 was a great success!

We had 3 out of 3 beautiful clear nights, with only some slight high cloud on the Friday night, but still with lots of clear sky. The clouds added some depth to the timelapses and nightscapes so it wasn't all bad :) The days were warm, the nights were cool and clear, and there was no wind or rain. I really couldn't have asked for better weather.

IISAC2013 was the 7th IceInSpace AstroCamp! I can't believe I've been running these since we had our first one in 2006. I was just a young man then ;) Each one ages me a little more, but I also start to enjoy each one a little more, because routine sets in and I worry less about the camp itself.

Every camp has its problems, and this one was no different. We had two guest speakers that couldn't make it and no catering this year, but if you get amateur astronomers under clear and dark skies, the rest pales into insignificance and people will have a great time anyway.

I was a little worried about how many attendees we'd have, because a lot of the regulars (people I was used to seeing there each year) couldn't make it - but a great thing happened.... lots of first-timers came along!

Over the course of the 3 days, we had 118 attendees, and based on the survey so far, almost half of them were first timers! This is great news, and a great sign of things to come for future years. It was great catching up with familiar faces, but I met a lot of new people and made some new friends.

There's some great writeups and field/candid shots on the IISAC2013 thread on the forum here, and if you have a look through both the Nightscapes and Deep Space forums you'll see lots of images taken by people at IISAC2013.

The date for IISAC2014 isn't 100% finalised yet, but hoping for late-April 2014. Keep an eye out on the IISAC page for more info as the year unfolds.

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