A video tour of AstroFest 2009

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Maurice Gavin has posted this excellent video tour of European AstroFest 2009 on YouTube.

Until next year!

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Well, it's the end of another fantastic AstroFest - "The most successfull AstroFest yet," says conference organiser Steven Young. Thousands of you braved the bad weather and made it to central London for the two day astronomy extravaganza, and it was wonderful meeting you all, particularly this lady who had her nails specially painted in AstroFest colours! So all that remains to be said is thank you to all our exhibitors, speakers, and of course you the attendees for making this a great IYA AstroFest. See you next year! 

Another busy morning

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It was another busy morning on the trade stands. Entrance to the exhibition area is just £5, and many exhibitors are offering special AstroFest discounts on their products, from telescopes to society subscriptions! 

Apollo remembered

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The highlight for many people at AstroFest today was the appearance of Patrick Moore, Garry Hunt and Reg Turnill, who looked back 40 years to the first manned lunar landings. A question and answer session followed with many interesting questions from the floor covering everything from the future of lunar exploration to methane on Mars!

AstroFest and IYA celebrations continue on Saturday

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The first day of AstroFest may be over, but it all happens again tomorrow with another spectacular line up of speakers. In keeping with the International Year of Astronomy lunar theme we have Sir Patrick Moore, Garry Hunt and Reg Turnill appearing together to remember Apollo 11 (Session 3); a forward look at what we can expect from the Constellation Programme that will see humans eventually living and working on the Moon (Session 4); and, rounding up proceedings on Saturday afternoon, The Allan Chapman Lecture, which celebrates the work of Thomas Harriot who beat Galileo to the post in observation the Moon through a telescope, but who never published his work. 

Doors to the exhibition open at 9am, and the conference programme begins at 10am. Exhibition tickets are available on the door; please call our ticket hotline on 01732446106 to check conference programme availability. 

New range of Skywatcher at Optical Vision

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Optical Vision are displaying the new Skywatcher Flex Tube Auto-Tracking Dobsonian, demonstrated here in two configurations. Available later in the year the 'scope is fully motorised on both axes and can track celestial objects automatically. It is easily upgradable to GOTO with a Synscan handset. Available as 8, 10 or 12 inch. 

QSI demo

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Kevin Nelson demonstrated the new QSI 583 at AstroFest this morning. 

A busy Friday morning

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It's been a busy Friday morning at AstroFest. The day kicked off with Astronomy Now's very own graphic designer Greg Smye-Rumsby presenting a tour of our Universe... in 3D! Thanks to the 3D glasses, images of the planets and star clusters really jumped off the screen, enveloping the audience. Next up was Dutch astronomy writer and journalist Govert Schilling, who presented 'The Hunt for Planet X', based on his new book of the same title, for which he travelled all over the world to interview the major protagonists in the search for new planets. Carolin Crawford took the audience on an illustrated journey through the Galaxy, showcasing some of the most spectacular images of the dust and gas that lies between the stars to tell the story of stellar birth and life. Finally, for the morning session, Richard Dunn summarised the invention and development of the telescope. 

The doors are open!

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The AstroFest doors are finally open! The snow didn't put off these keen attendees who were queueing at the doors to be first into the exhibition. 

AstroFest at lightspeed

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See the exhibitors set up their wares in the video captured by our timelapse camera. It took several hours for the stands to take shape we've squeezed it into 29 seconds.