HERSTMONCEUX OBSERVATORY ASTRONOMY FESTIVAL

Friday 6 - Sunday 8 September 2013

With the field in the foreground of these historical domes replete with tents and the neighbouring car park full, clearly word continues to spread about this great three-day national astronomy event sponsored by the BBC's Sky at Night.

I go every year, ostensibly to catch some great speakers and soak up the atmosphere but, particularly, to watch renowned astro-imager, Nik Szymanek, deliver his sell-out presentation. With a fabulous projector and large screen he thrilled us all with his latest images captured with Ian King (of Ian King Imaging) using their remotely operated telescope in Nerpio, Spain.

Stunning, literally jaw-dropping stuff.

As always, there were amazing activities for all, young and old, and, with some stunning clear skies on the Friday and Saturday evenings, amateur telescopes were turned skyward to capture some incredible astronomical objects and views of the Milky Way.

On a personal note, I was invited to be a Guest Speaker on the Sunday, the title of my presentation, 'Basketballs and Beyond' seemingly hitting just the right note. How fantastic to have a sell-out audience join me in the historic Dome B - dark, cosy and so atmospheric beneath the 36-inch Yapp reflector telescope. We shared a journey from the tiny to the truly tremendous. The feedback was amazing and, as always, it reaffirmed for me why I love the subject so much.

Roll on my next private presentation at Winchester's Intech Planetarium to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Can't wait!

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