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Thread: Back from Astrocamp - what a great weekend

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    Default Back from Astrocamp - what a great weekend



    If anyone is wondering about visiting a star party, I can heartily recommend Astrocamp, which takes place in Spring and in September at the Cwmdu campsite towards the Eastern end of the Brecon Beacons in S Wales.

    One feature of Astrocamp is that the middle field is kept clear so that people can set up their scopes all together, so you can have a break from using your own and have a look through someone else's.

    Don't be worried if you're not long in the hobby, there will usually be a fair few people there who are using their first scopes, and you could get a lot out of the weekend if you haven't bought one yet, and were wondering which type to get. There'll be quite a variety in use, and people very happy to tell you about them.

    Use of the middle field isn't mandatory, and people who take advantage of the weekend to take some images under Dark Sky Park skies usually set up near their own tents instead.

    For this Spring meeting, we had a great evening observing on the Saturday night, up to about 1pm, when it rapidly clouded over. Unfortunately, the Sunday was a total wash out, but there's always an afternoon of entertainments planned at the nearby village hall, with two quizzes and a talk - this year's was by a young PhD student talking about the development of a new type of Infra Red detector that she's helping to develop. Maybe a bit out of the ordinary for some, but it's always good to be challenged!

    The weekend extends into the Monday, usually with a communal 'tea' on the middle field for people who are still there; unfortunately we had a long journey home, so we weren't able to stay for that, but we really appreciated a demonstration by one of the camp who was using the iTelescope network to image comets using a telescope at Siding Springs in Australia. She demonstrated how she extracted the ephemeris details for her target comet from the MPC website, created it as a Script file which could be uploaded to the iTelescope server with details of the imaging settings required. Fascinating stuff, and definitely something to consider for UK observers starved of clear dark skies as we are.

    It's a real community, and there's a lively Astrocamp Facebook group, which means you can get involved before you go, and keep in touch after you've left. We've certainly made some new friends that we'll be very happy to meet up with again.

    Very much recommended.
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    Default Re: Back from Astrocamp - what a great weekend

    Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing the information.
    Michael
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