Ed Mann and I attended again the Astrofest amateur Astronomy conference in Kensington, London. As usual the talks were fantastic covering a wide range from being part of an astronaut rexperience in the antarctic to a review of Cassini and Juno to SETI, the radio universe, dark energy, Victorian amateurs by Allan Chapman, Libyan desert glass, New Horizons at Pluto and beyond and a range of others. One other attendee told memthat in her opinion the talks were betterthanb last year. I am not able to judge myself as they’re great every year in my opinion.
There were also plenty of visitors – this conference appears to be doing better than IAS in this respect. The final session was sold out.
However, the exhibitors were limited with virtually no bargains, hardly any stock and a generally depressive attitude which was a shame. Sadly this year this conference was not the place to come to find a wide range of kit.
Overall still an enjoyable experience and worth coming.
Andy and Ed
Video from Astrofest 2018 in London:
Andy tries to dock with the ISS on a Soyuz simulator:
In my typical fashion, the most ridiculous thing happened to me whilst operating this simulator. I gave up just before the end, believing I would not succeed. I got up and then my educator suddenly shouted, “I have never seen that!” After I let go of the controls, the simulated Soyuz spacecraft drifted sideways to a perfect docking! I don’t think I would have succeeded in doing this had I carried on trying to dock the thing……so I ended up with a certificate of successful docking!!
Allen Chapman talks about Victorian grand amateurs in the lecture theatre:
Photos from some of other talks:
Dallas Campbell, TV presenter from Stargazing Live and Gadget show, with Andrew (below) :
Dallas Campbell talks to Astrofest:
The only stuff I bought from Astrofest this year – truly! Two mission patches for Tim Peake’s mission to ISS – one for me and one for Damien.