Being an unapologetic Anorak of the First Order, I was thrilled to be treated to a trip to both days of this year’s AstroFest (never let it be said that men are rubbish at getting you what you want for your birthday!)
It was an excellent two days, with lots of different papers covering everything from the contextual (the history of the telescope and the hunt for Planet X), to the scientifically specific (the evolution of galaxies and activity cycles in stars), via a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 (which will be this July).
If you want to see more about the papers and speakers, have a look at http://www.astronomynow.com/astrofest/
Truthfully, a lot of the conference papers went over my head, but it was great to see high quality speakers from all over the world and from all disciplines within astronomy.
The exhibition and trade stands were also excellent, with representatives from Sussex’s Observatory Science Centre, the SPA, BAA and Armagh Planetarium, as well as publishers and optical retailers.
Would have been nice to have a spare £6K to spend on a new telescope, but it probably wouldn’t have fitted into the boot of the car anyway!
The conference was very busy – even when the auditorium was packed to capacity, there were still hundreds of people milling about the stands, especially on the Saturday.
I know it’s easy for me to say, since London is just a couple of hours’ car journey away for me, but if anyone can get down to this event next year, I thoroughly recommend it.
So maybe see you there?!
Coverage of astronomy in newspapers, magazines, TV and online.
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