Welcome to Queensland Astrofest
The Queensland Astrofest has been the major star party in Queensland since its inception in 1993, and is open to all amateur astronomers. It is convened by the South East Queensland Astronomical Society, the Brisbane Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Association of Queensland, the Amateur Telescope Makers of Queensland, the Southern Astronomical Society, and in 2013 we were delighted to welcome another local astronomy club, Star Gayzers, to take part in Queensland Astrofest and to inject some new energy into the event.
And that’s a wrap folks!
Well, Queensland Astrofest 2022 is finished for another year! Despite a shaky start due to the weather and floods, the event was held and appears to have been successful.
The Organising Committee would like to thank all those who attended, and especially those that volunteered at the event. Most notable of these was Brendan. Those that helped with backing up are also well appreciated.
Of course, planning for Qld Astrofest 2023 will be starting shortly (no rest for the wicked hey?). With that in mind, the Organising Committee is asking people to complete a survey about QAF 2022. To complete the survey, click on the link below.
This will open a Google Forms questionnaire. The information you provide will be kept in confidence and will greatly help the Organising Committee plan for our 30th Qld Astrofest!
Sponsors and Raffle
The cost of holding Qld Astrofest continues to increase each year, and our raffle is an important part of how we limit the impacts of these increases. Without the support of our sponsors, the raffle could not be held, and the cost would continue to increase.
The sponsorship rules changed this year with sponsors for the raffle able to choose which level of sponsorship they wish to hold: Bronze, Silver or Gold.
- Gold sponsors provide prizes with a value of $1500 or above.
- Silver sponsors provide prizes with a value of $999 to $1499
- Bronze sponsors provide prizes between a minimum of $250 to $999
*To find out more about becoming a sponsor click Sponsor Information
Prizes and draw outcomes
This year our sponsors were extraordinarily generous. See the list below for more information.
|Celestron||Starsense 5” DX||Dean Vickers||$1499.00|
|Luminos 31mm Eyepiece||Tom Jacobs||$749.00|
|NexYZ Phone Adapter||Guy Thomason||$124.99|
|Celestron 40” Telescope Bag||Marc Arganue||$249.99|
|Skywatcher||Star Adventurer Astro Kit #1||Robert Flatman||$699.00|
|Star Adventurer Astro Kit #2||Guy Thomason||$699.00|
|Astro Anarchy||‘NEW’ Star Adventurer GTi with GTi Tripod & Evolux 62ED||David O’Driscoll||$1997.00|
|Palmway Optical||1 x Mirror coating||Tony Piccini||$1000.00|
|SailPoint||Saxon 20×80 Binoculars||James Frazer||$295.00|
|BINTEL||Imaging Gift Card: this can be used against Cameras / guiding accessories, or even a down payment on that new mount you’ve always been wanting!||David O’Driscoll||$1000.00|
|Visual Gift card: this can be used against everything from a new telescope or that amazing eyepiece you’ve all wanted!||James Fraser||$1000.00|
|Swarovski Optik Habitcht 7X42 GA Binoculars||Kerry Holmes||$1390.00|
|UNIFY Solutions||iOptron SkyHunter Portable EQ/AZ GOTO System with iPolar||Mike Geisel||$1,299.00|
|Celestron Skymaster 12×60 binoculars||Tom Jacob||$175.00|
|Optolong||Optolong L-Extreme 2”||Linda Porter||$439.00|
|Optolong L-Enhance 2”||Linda Porter||$339.00|
|Planetary kit 1.25”(LRGB + IR pass 685nm)||Tom Jacob||$484.00|
|Badger Australia||Freezer Suit voucher to purchase one right for your size||Dean Vickers||$300.00|
|Australia Sky & Telescope||Annual subscriptions to Australia Sky & Telescope publication||James Frazer||$59.00|
|Annual subscriptions to Australia Sky & Telescope publication||David O’Driscoll||$59.00|
Please also click on the company name in the left column for each of the sponsors and read their profile – a small gesture for their generosity. If you are in the market for new astrogear, please keep these sponsors in mind – remember, if we don’t support them, they may not be in business long enough to support us!!
As always, we have photos from the event. Click on the images below to access the high-resolution versions, which you can download.
Erwin van der Velden Astrophotography competition
In 2006 this astrophotography competition was created in memory of Erwin van der Velden, a keen astrophotographer and Astrofest regular. The competition is open to all registrants to the Queensland Astrofest.
Up to 3 entries per registrant, and to be eligible, must have been taken between last year’s Astrofest (in this case 2019) to the beginning of this year’s.
There are two categories which are:
- Category 1 – Through a Telescope. A telescope is regarded as 400mm focal length or greater.
- Category 2 – Non-Telescope. As the name suggests, photos taken without a telescope or less than 400mm focal length.
Entries are voted upon by Astrofest registrants throughout the event, and winners announced during the AstroFeast on the final Saturday.
Another award, Best of the ‘Fest is also awarded on any subject, astronomical or otherwise.
And the winner(s) were…
Joe Cali cleaned the field. He won all three prizes! See his images below:
The Gerald Awards
Our guest speaker
The 2022 Major Speaker was Dr Vanessa Moss, Senior researcher from CSIRO. Vanessa presented on “Uncovering the hidden Universe with Radio Astronomy”.
Dr Vanessa Moss is a radio astronomer based at CSIRO, working at the boundaries between astronomy, telescope operations and data science. She oversees science operations for the ground-breaking ASKAP radio telescope, coordinating astronomical observations from survey planning to the arrival of the data at the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre. Prior to her current position, she worked overseas at ASTRON Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy in research and telescope operations and at the University of Sydney as a CAASTRO postdoctoral fellow. In her astronomy research, she studies phenomena across the Universe, from the hidden structure of the Milky Way to the shadows of gas against distant black holes.
Uncovering the hidden Universe with radio astronomy
The sky we observe with our eyes offers just one window on our complex Universe, one that mainly traces the light emitted by stars and galaxies. If we instead survey the sky with radio eyes, we glean unique views of astrophysical phenomena including the fuel that stars are born from, high-energy particles spiralling in magnetic fields, the dark mysterious edges of black holes, and flashes of radio light from rapidly-spinning cosmic lighthouses. From the birth of radio astronomy in the 1930s, Australia has played a key role in developing this field, with CSIRO leading the designing, building and operating of world-class radio telescopes such as Parkes Murriyang, ATCA and most recently, ASKAP. In this talk I’ll give an overview of radio astronomy in the global astronomical context and an introduction to the array of instruments operated by CSIRO as part of the Australia Telescope National Facility. Come on a journey into the world of radio waves, and discover what lies hidden beyond our normal view of the Universe!