Well, here we are at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield for the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS), incorporating the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) - one of the most exciting weeks in the UK astronomical calendar.
Joining us are hundreds of astronomers converging on Hertfordshire, and early birds to the event were treated to a delightful evening reception of wine, music, comedy and astronomy, starring the many characters of TV impressionist Jon Culshaw, and hosted by Alice Williamson and Robert Priddey of Hertfordshire with musical accompaniment by the Alwyn String Quartet and Phillip Mead on the piano. The audience was entertained by the likes of Gordon Brown, Barack Obama, Tom Baker and of course Sir Patrick Moore, all courtesy of the talents of Jon Culshaw, who is apparently also a keen astronomer himself.
It was a fun evening, priming the pump for fun of a different kind over the next four days as we delve headlong into the varied areas of astronomical research, news and discoveries. We'll be posting news stories and interviews on our homepage www.astronomynow.com as well as blogging throughout the day. You can also get updates on Twitter and Facebook too!