February 2009 Archives

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.

Telescope House turns on the Light Switch

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Telescope House are showcasing Meade's new ETX-LS ACF Telescope which features their new Light Switch technology - the first time this 'scope has been seen outside the US. 

Nearly there...

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The finishing touches are being made to the exhibition! 

Transport Tips

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We know that those of you traveling from outside of London might experience some adverse weather conditions, but here are some travel tips for once you get into the town centre.

AstroFest is held at the Kensington Town Hall, a short walk from High Street Kensington. The full address is Kensington Conference and Events Centre, The Town Hall, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX.

The exhibitors arrive...

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The smiley happy faces of your favourite astronomy magazine will be here to meet you tomorrow from 9am! 

The conference hall awaits

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The conference hall awaits! From tomorrow, this room will see distinguished speakers from all over the world take to the stage to present their research and share their passion in astronomy. 

We'll be catching up with some of the speakers as they arrive over the next three days. Keep watching for video exclusives and interviews!

Watch AstroFest take shape!

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Straight from our time lapse camera, here's how things are taking shape as of Thursday lunchtime. 
Stay tuned for more video updates throughout the day!

House of Optics showcase 14" Deluxe Maksutov

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The largest 'scope to come to the UK from Russia, the 14" Deluxe Maksutov Intes-Micro is on display at House of Optics' stand in the upper floor exhibition (left image). This will be showcased alongside the UK-built 152mm super apochromat (right image)!

The Widescreen Centre's Hyperstar

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IMG_0116.JPGThe Widescreen Centre has just set up their Hyperstar with Starizona and Starlight Express cameras at AstroFest. It'll turn your Schmidt Cassegrain into a hyperfast F2 camera!

The Widescreen Centre display is located in the upper floor exhibition. 

AstroFest stands are going up

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The snow is staying away from Kensington and the exhibition stands are going up this morning at the Conference and Exhibition Centre. The halls look bare right now but within hours the three floors of Kensington Town Hall will be transformed into an astronomers dream toy shop. The exhibition doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday morning.

AstroTrac launches new products at AstroFest

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Many of you will have experience using a camera tripod with the AstroTrac, and it's perfectly adequate with a camera lens or small refractor. For bigger lenses and 3-6 inch refractors or small reflectors, something more substantial is required. With this in mind, AstroTrac Ltd are aiming to launch three new products at AstroFest this year to work together with the TT320X to provide the ultimate portable tracking system:
  • A special wedge for mounting the TT320X on a tripod or pier
  • An ultra portable field pier
  • A rigid head to mount larger instruments on the TT320X
Furthermore, there'll be a 10% discount on the TT320X and Polar scope for all AstroFest attendees! 

For more information on AstroTrac Ltd products, visit www.astrotrac.com

SCS Astro's answer to capacity and portability

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Ioptron MiniTower.jpgSCS Astro (upper floor exhibit) will be displaying the iOptron MiniTower GoTo Mount and Tripod - the perfect combination of capacity and portability, with a standard payload of just 25lbs and assembly time of less than 10 minutes. It is also equipped with the most advanced SmartStar GoTo technology. The standard 8401 hand controller offers the superb navigation experience with an 8 line LCD back-lit display, a 130,000 object database and a USB port for easy connection with ASCOM compliant PC planetarium programs.

Available to order at AstroFest for £799 (+£10 shipping and insurance). To browse SCS Astro's catalogue visit their website at www.scsastro.co.uk 

Springer's sneak preview

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Take a sneak preview of Springer's special AstroFest booklist complete with 20% discount for all AstroFest attendees! 

New titles include John Hicks' Building a Roll-Off Roof Observatory; Greg Parker and Noel Carboni's Star Vistas, A Collection of Fine Art Astrophotography; Govert Schilling's The Hunt for Planet X; and Martin Mobberley's Cataclysmic Cosmic Events and How to Observe Them.

Springer will be located in the upper floor exhibition.

Showguide hot off the press

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The Official AstroFest Showguide has just arrived at Astronomy Now HQ! 

Including exhibition floor plans and guides to each exhibit, conference programme, lecture synopsis and speaker biographies, you can pick up your Showguide on entry to the exhibition.

Entrance to the exhibition only is a credit-crunch- busting £5 and the Showguide is included in the entrance fee.

To purchase tickets visit  www.astronomynow.com/astrofest

David Hinds Ltd to display CGEM 1100

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CGEM.jpgDavid Hinds Ltd will have the first CGEM 1100 telescope to hit these shores on their display (Ground Floor) at AstroFest this year, and will be taking orders for both the CGEM 925 and CGEM 1100. 

For more information on these models and for other David Hinds Ltd products visit www.celestron.uk.com

Orion Optics AstroFest brochure

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Download Orion Optics' AstroFest brochure to see how you can make hundreds of pounds worth of savings on the latest telescopes with their special show prices.

Orion Optics can be found in centre of the ground floor exhibition and more information on their products can be found at www.orionoptics.co.uk

Altair Astro's AstroFest specials

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One of AstroFest's exhibitors that can be found on the lower floor of the exhibition hall is Altair Astro. Be sure to check out their SkyShed POD (Personal Observatory Dome), a concept based around the need for astronomers to be able to use their telescopes without wasting time setting equipment up for each observing or imaging session - only to see the clouds roll in! 

Two days to go!

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With just two days to go until the UK's biggest astronomy conference and exhibition of the year kicks off, the excitement is enough to melt even the biggest snowdrift! At Astronomy Now HQ we're busy preparing our own merchandise exhibition; you'll be able to pick up back issues of the magazine all the way through to the latest issue, as well as yearbooks and specials, and of course the faces behind the articles will be on hand to answer any of your questions, too. You'll also be able to sign up for subscriptions and take advantage of our AstroFest special offers. 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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