Astrofest 2007

The last two days have been hectic. On Friday and Saturday I attended European Astrofest 2007 at Kensington Town Hall in London. Astrofest brings together amateur astronomers, telescope retailers and manufacturers, universities/science centres, the British Astronomical Association, the Society for Popular Astronomy and many others for everything astronomical. As well as displays from all of the above, there were also a lot of talks by astronomers and space scientists.

I think the busiest talk was "An Audience with Patrick Moore (the one and only), Brian May (of band Queen) and Chris Lintott (Sky at Night)" who co-authored the book Bang! I couldn't attend partly because I was supposed to be working on a stand but also because I couldn't get a ticket; they had sold out. Patrick, Brian and Chris were definitely the astro-celebs of the event with security put on especially for them (or at least for Brian May). At the end of Saturday I saw Brian walking around the telescope stands with his entourage. On the off chance I asked his PA if I could talk to him for a minute or two (literally), for the Jodcast, but apparently he was too busy. Ahh well, the busy life of a celebrity. Personally, I found the whole celebrity thing a bit odd having never really experienced it in astronomy before. Perhaps I lead a sheltered life!

The best thing about Astrofest, in my mind, is meeting up with people that you know but might never have met in person before. I kept spotting people I know from different places such as astronomical societies, weblogs and various university groups. I even found two people who have actually listened to the Jodcast! On Friday lunchtime I bumped into Will Gater who is linked to in my side bar. The only reason I spotted him is because he had a name badge on and I thought I vaguely recognised him from his website. At the end of the day we caught up again and he pointed me to his fantastic new stacked images of Saturn. Will seems to be a very busy person helping out with Astrofest, writing for AstronomyNow magazine and getting ready for his impending finals. Good luck with those Will.

Having bumped into so many people it did feel as if the entire UK amateur astronomy community was there. I even discovered that one of my comment spammers (Kevin Wilson) was there telling people about his supermassive blackhole theories.

Hopefully, I'll see everyone again at Astrofest next year.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 11th Feb 2007 (18:54 GMT) | Permalink
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