Saturday, November 10, 2012

Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo!

Today was the first day of the inaugural AZ Science & Astronomy Expo.  It was great!  I heard absolutely no advertising other than some talk on the local astro club's forum pages a few weeks ago, but obviously the word got out.  The vendor areas and talks seemed well-attended, and I was very impressed by the lineup of manufacturers and dealers of astronomical equipment of all kinds coming to vie for our attention.  Given that I recognised almost as many friends that made the trip down from Phoenix, as locals here in Tucson that attended, my question was "why is the event in Tucson"?  We hardly seem worthy!  I literally did not go to any of the "big name" lecturers, which included Phil "Mr Bad Astronomy" Plait, one of my favorite bloggers, and Don Pettit, who has spent over a year in space over a couple Space Station stays.

Here are a few of my favorite snapshots taken today.  At left, Richard Buchroeder, local lens designer extraordinaire, checks the view through some Explore Scientific eyepieces with and without glasses.  At right is the buffet table of other of their wares to touch and try out on a telescope.
In the photo at left, Roger Ceragioli (holding his new book on telescope optics), Margie and Roland (Mr Astro-Physics) Christen, and me (of little to no note!), next to AP's 7" APO and AP1600 mounting (Photo taken by Richard Buchroeder).  Roland is having difficult getting glass for this size, so there may be no more!  At left is the only talk I attended - buddy Bill Wren of McDonald Observatory presented at the International Dark-Sky Association annual meeting on some excellent examples of retrofitting bad lights and fixtures to control skyglow in West Texas.
Here at left, an impressive display of most every type of Tele-Vue Nagler eyepieces is available from Woodland Hills Camera.  At right, our buddies Claude and Teresa Plymate made the trip over from Big Bear to visit the Expo and their TAAA friends!
And just a couple more - at left, CCD cameras and filter wheels make for a colorful display at the Apogee Camera table.  At right, Tom Taylor of A Shooting Star Inn from near Flagstaff checks out a very fine $850 Leica zoom eyepiece at the ASA booth.
It was a great day - I'd gladly spend Sunday there too, though I've got obligations that will take me out of town.  Hopefully there will be enough interest for vendors and attendees that it will become a regular event!

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