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Supporting IISAC Sponsors!

IISAC2013 is only 4 weeks away now, and we have over 80 registrations which is great to see! Keep them coming in!

What can you do at a star party?

  • Observe under beautiful dark skies
  • Photograph nightscapes, solar system or deep space objects
  • Chat and mingle with other like-minded amateur astronomers and night-sky enthusiasts
  • Learn heaps about telescopes and astronomy
  • Learn from some fantastic guest speakers
  • Perhaps win one of the great lucky door prizes!

I'd like to shout-out to our generous sponsors who have donated prizes to IceInSpace AstroCamp 2013. They provide prizes for YOU to win! Thanks very much to:  


Please support our sponsors because they support the amateur astronomy community through events like IISAC2013, but also by providing great products and great service all year round.


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The Grand American Astronomical Experience Closer Than You Think

Astronomy takes on a new meaning for the amateur enthusiast with a customised specialist tour visiting the world’s most important observatories, a chat to an expert astronomer or even better, chance to participate in a viewing session with the Hooker 60” telescope – the world’s most powerful visual telescope – located at Mt Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles.

Well known amateur astronomer, Cris Ellis, founder of Astronomy Alive and founder and president of the Astronomical Society of Melbourne, has joined forces with Cox and Kings Travel to put together this amazing 23 day tour of the best astronomy enthusiast experiences in America.

The tour departs on October 4 2013, and visits amazing places such as the Keck and Subaru observatories on Mauna Kea Hawaii, Meteor Crater and the Kennedy Space Centre. The tour also takes in more famous sight-seeing destinations such as the Grand Canyon.

This article on IceInSpace has some more information, or you can download the Cox and Kings PDF which explains the full itinerary and everything you need to know.

It looks like a great tour! I wish I could go!

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CWAS "David Malin Awards" for 2013

The CWAS "David Malin Awards" has been launched for 2013. The premier astrophotography competition for Australia, the awards has categories for :

  • Widefield
  • Deep Sky
  • Solar System (hi-res)
  • Solar System (widefield)
  • Animations (including timelapses)
  • Junior section (under 18)
  • Open theme

The Open theme for 2013 is "People and Sky" which is a great choice given the increased popularity of nightscape images in the past year. It's more accessible than ever!

Canon Cameras sponsors the awards, and the major prize is a 5D Mk 3 with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens! An amazing prize!

Each year we see the cream of the crop of Australia's astrophotographers vying for the title. Check out previous entries and awards at the official website, as well as rules and more information for the 2013 competition.

Good luck!

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IISAC2013 Registration Open

The IISAC2013 star party is only 6 weeks away, and registration is now open!

If you book on or before the 10th March and use the coupon code IISAC-EARLYBIRD, you'll receive $15 off the total price. So get in quick!

The IISAC2013 T-Shirt will look like this:

I'd love to see you there, and time is running out fast! So please go ahead and register! :)

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IISAC2013 Launch!

Apologies for the long time between updates. There's been heaps going on and I haven't been able to keep on top of it all, but I'm going to change that now!

The great news is that IISAC2013 is only just over 2 months away. After a break in 2012 because of the Total Solar Eclipse, it's been moved to April is being held from the 11th - 13th April 2013, again in the beautiful Hunter Valley region of NSW, at Lostock.

If you've never been to a star party before, if you've never seen the Milky Way under a dark sky, you just have to come along. It's a great event for the whole family - you don't need to own a telescope, and you don't need to be an IceInSpace member. Everyone is welcome, and I hope to see you there.

Click on the picture above to find out more information about the star party. The registration form is coming very soon.

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Post-Eclipse Wrap, Calendar Sale and more!

Post-Eclipse Wrap-Up!

What can I say about the eclipse? It was just an amazing experience - something I'll never forget, and a feeling and a sensation that words fail to accurately describe.

At Palm Cove, we had clouds from sunrise right until 3 minutes before totality when we saw the sucker hole approaching. Then it cleared, and then the Moon covered the Sun.

Diamond Ring. Credit: Mike Salway

It was a surreal experience - the sky got considerably darker in the minute or two before totality, then it was very dark, sort of like early twilight - you could see planets and stars and it got quite cool too. The bright corona was extending out from the sun and it was amazing to see, like a ring of fire in the sky. The crowds were cheering and hollering. I just get goose bumps recounting the story.

There's so many great images and stories - here's just a small selection:

There's many many more on IceInSpace, so head to the Solar System forum and browse around or use the search form.

Feel free to share your eclipse experiences and images on the IceInSpace Forum or Facebook page.

Xmas Special on Calendars

Stuck for XMAS Gifts? Something to give your kids school teachers? Something for your boss or work colleagues?

We've got you covered here - as a XMAS special, if you order 4 calendars you'll pay for only 3!

All you have to do is put 4 calendars in your cart, use the coupon code FREECAL (click Apply Coupon), and you'll receive a discount making one of those calendars free! That makes it just over $45 for 4 calendars. Great value!

The normal 20% discount for buying 2 or more calendars still applies, and shipping is still a flat rate $3 within Australia no matter how many calendars you buy. The coupon can be used for both the Astronomy Calendar and the Sea and Sky Calendar.


Simply add 4 or more calendars to your cart, and then on the cart page, enter the coupon code FREECAL and hit 'Apply Coupon'. You'll then see the discount applied below.

Now's the best time to order, to ensure you receive them in time for xmas.

Check out the calendars at the IceInSpace Shop -  Astronomy Calendar 2013 and Sea and Sky Calendar 2013.

Learn Timelapse over the Holidays

We've been selling the book, "Time-lapse Photography : A Complete Introduction" by Ryan Chylinski, through the IceInSpace Shop for a while and the feedback has been excellent. If you haven't bought it yet - how about 20% off to sweeten the deal?

As a holiday promotion, use the coupon code HOLIDAYLAPSE at the checkout screen to receive 20% off. Now's a great time to get the book and learn how to shoot timelapse over the holidays.

The book is a great intro to shooting, processing and rendering time-lapse movies with a DSLR camera.


The guide covers the art and science of time-lapse photography and contains both detailed explanations and immediately actionable summaries in a colourful easy to understand and fun to read package. The book contains tons of photographs and diagrams (over 350) as well as printable summaries and checklists.

At only $14.99 it's very affordable. It's available from the IceInSpace Shop, or from Ryan's site.

Don't forget to use the coupon code HOLIDAYLAPSE to get 20% off.

After purchase, it's immediately available to download and is delivered as a 146 page PDF eBook. It can be read on your computer or imported into the Kindle reader or iBooks on your iPad.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your movies posted on IceInSpace!

Interview with Jeanette Dunphy (jjjnettie)

Jeanette Dunphy is part of the furniture around here! Having been a member of IceInSpace for over 7 years, she's known by all and is always happy and always smiling. But let's dig a little deeper into the mind of jjjnettie!

Mike talks to Jeanette about her passion for astronomy and astrophotography, what it's like being a girl in a very male-dominated hobby, and how forums and social networks have changed the enjoyment of astronomy for the better!

Read the interview here.

Australian Astro Imaging Conference 2013 (AAIC2013) update

The premier astro imaging conference for the southern hemisphere is growing bigger and better. I don't know how Mark Bolton does it, but he's organised some incredible guest speakers and workshops featuring:

Don Goldman, Ron Wodaski, Adam Block, Jay Gabany, David Malin, Brad Moore as well as our own Paul Haese, Greg Bradley, Marcus Davies, Ivo Jager and more.

FLI are back as major sponsor and Apogee are now on board as Gold Sponsors. Apogee will be donating a camera worth $4000 US for as a lucky door prize, and Ron Wodaski has donated 5 hours on the Tzec Muan 1 metre telescope. Sky & Telescope are also on board again so keep an eye out in AS&T for info too.

Keep up to date here:


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Eclipse Countdown - Final Days!

Wow with only just over a week to go, the excitement continues to build. Some people making road-trips to Cairns have already left and no doubt others will be leaving later this week to get there in time.

Everyone is watching the weather, hoping for clear skies on the morning of the eclipse.

Here's a selection of some new and interesting threads for this week:

If you're still in need of eclipse glasses, I still have stock but it's running out fast. All orders must be in by midday on Friday 9th November, and any orders this week will be sent express post.

Eclipse Glasses for $4 each or $3.50 each if you buy 4 or more.

Image credit: Steve Russell.


2013 'Astronomy' and 'Sea and Sky' Calendars look great on any wall

These two calendars are a visual treat - full of beautiful images and packed with resources for star gazers, amateur astronomers or anyone with a casual interest in the night sky.

Both calendars feature bonus pull-out centre pages with planet and moon rise/set times, and the Astronomy calendar has 2 great posters featuring the finalists in the IceInSpace Calendar Competition. The Sea and Sky calendar also has tide charts for NSW, QLD and VIC.

Order online at the IceInSpace Shop -

If you order 2 or more calendars (including mix and match), you'll receive a 20% discount, as well as free IceInSpace Stickers for every calendar!

One for you, one for your friend. One for work, one for home. One for each of your seventeen brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles ;)

Buy online at the IceInSpace Shop.

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Eclipse Countdown - 4 weeks to go!

The excitement is building! People are starting to make checklists, testing and checking their gear, doing practise runs for a photography sequence, planning how to fit all their equipment in carry-on luggage and more :)

The Eclipse is now only 4 weeks away! Here's a selection of some new and interesting resources and more to get you going:

Do you have Eclipse Glasses for yourself and your family yet? Avoid the late rush and order with plenty of time to spare. I'll be heading to Cairns too, so don't leave it too late or I may not have time to ship them!

Catch up on the latest chatter on IceInSpace:

Articles to get you up to speed -

Whether you're travelling for Totality, or observing the Partial Solar Eclipse from home, don't forget your safe-viewing solar eclipse shades. They're in stock and ready to ship. Avoid the late rush and order with plenty of time to spare.

IceInSpace is selling them for $4 each, or $3.50 each if you buy 4 or more. Schools or groups, please contact me for bulk discounts.

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Solar Eclipse for the Capital Cities of Australia

by Mike Salway

Much of the talk about the Solar Eclipse in November, is travelling to Cairns/Port Douglas to see the Total Solar Eclipse - where the Moon completely covers the Sun, day turns into night, etc.

But what if you can't travel to Cairns? What will you see from the rest of Australia?

You'll see a Partial Solar Eclipse. A partial solar eclipse is where the Moon covers part of the Sun. Partial eclipses are still great to view using safe eclipse glasses, but you don't get any of the effects of the total solar eclipse and unless you're viewing the sun (safely), you may not even notice the partial solar eclipse is happening.

So how much of the partial solar eclipse will you see from various capital cities in Australia? The AAQ have put together a great infographic showing the amount of the Sun covered by the Moon in each of the capital cities.

Image credit: Astronomical Association of Queensland.

I've also written an article specifically to talk about the Partial Solar Eclipse, for those who won't be travelling to Cairns. It covers where and when you can see it, as well as tips for viewing and photographing it.

You can find it here:

Partial Solar Eclipse for Australian Capital Cities, 14th November 2012

Don't forget though, you can't view a partial solar eclipse without safe eclipse shades. IceInSpace is selling them for $4 each, or $3.50 each if you buy 4 or more. Schools or groups, please contact me for bulk discounts.



IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar 2013 Now Available!

This is your calendar! The IceInSpace Astronomy Calendar 2013 is made up of images captured by and chosen by the IceInSpace Community as part of the IceInSpace Calendar Competition, and it's now available for sale.

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 2013 or the 2013 Sea and Sky Calendar) and receive 20% off! You’ll also receive a free IceInSpace Sticker for every calendar you order.

BONUS: This year, the calendar features bonus pull-out centre pages making it more than just a calendar – it’s a feature-rich resource with information for everyone. The bonus pages include:

  • Planetary rise and set times, visibility charts and planetary alignments in the pre-dawn and post-sunset sky
  • Fold-out Moon map and Milky Way chart
  • Moon rise and set times, phases and sky darkness charts
  • 2 posters featuring all of the finalist images 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.

Buy online at the IceInSpace Shop.



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