National Astronomy Meeting – NAM 2011

The UK Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2011) was held last week (Sunday April 17, 2011 to Thursday April 21, 2011) in Llandudno, North Wales. I wasn't at the meeting, but it sounds like it was outstanding. Listed below are links to some articles I thought were interesting:

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NEAF 2011 – Final Thoughts

I'm sorry to say that NEAF 2011 is behind us and it's time to start thinking about 2012. I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed looking forward to this year's NEAF and I'm going to miss the anticipation that I've felt everyday for the past couple months. Anyway, before moving on to other things, here are some random thoughts about NEAF 2011 (please feel free to add your own comments below):

  • Alan Traino is an amazing guy. In case you haven't heard his name before, Alan is the Chairperson of NEAF. Every year he outdoes himself and this year was no exception. NEAF 2011 had about 140 vendors, probably around 15 speakers and almost 6,000 attendees. NEAF is the largest astronomy expo in the world. Organizing an event of this size can't be easy but Alan makes it look easy. We all owe a big thanks to Alan for a job exceptionally well done.
  • The diversity of exhibitors and the wide range of products at NEAF 2011 was amazing. We were able to see:
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NEAF 2011 – Pictures – Set 3

Yesterday was cloudy, rainy and cold at NEAF 2011. Today was mostly sunny which was good news because the Solar Star Party was able to proceed as you can see from the image below (remember to click on any image to see a larger version):

NEAF Solar Viewing

While the Solar Star Party was in full swing outside, the exhibit hall was filled with activity inside. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog posts there are a lot of different types of vendors at NEAF. The following image is good example. This is an 11.5 foot ExploraDome II with an optional bay extension.
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NEAF 2011 – Pictures – Set 2

Welcome to Part 2 of Share Astronomy's continuing coverage of NEAF 2011. Please remember that you can click on any image and see a larger version. Our first image shows a 14" Celestron EdgeHD SCT mounted on a Celestron CGEPro mount.

Celestron EdgeHD 14 inch at NEAF

The image below shows a Planewave 24" CDK mounted on an Astro-Physics 3600 GTO GEM also known as "El Capitan" at the Astro-Physics booth.

PlaneWave CDK 24 inch at NEAF
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NEAF 2011 – Pictures – Set 1

Hello from NEAF 2011. It's a grey, grim, rainy day outside in Suffern, New York but that's OK. Everyone is having a great time indoors. With approximately 140 astronomy vendors in one location who wouldn't have a good time? This is my first post from NEAF 2011 and like last year, I will be focusing on pictures (no pun intended). Please click on any picture below to see a larger version.

In case you're wondering what this year's show looks like, here's a quick view of part of the exhibit hall:

NEAF Exhibit Hall

Our first booth stop this year was the Teeter's Telescope booth. This is a 20" f/3.5 scope complete with ServoCat.

Teeters Telescope at NEAF
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NEAF 2011 – George Normandin Interview

NEAF LogoAs I write this, there are only 12 days left until NEAF 2011 (the Northeast Astronomy Forum). As you can expect, people are beginning to get really excited about what is arguably the largest amateur astronomy expo in the world. (NEAF 2011 will be held on April 16th and 17th at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY.) Recently, it occurred to me that it would be fun to try and find the person who has attended the most NEAF events and do a short interview. So, I submitted a post to the NEAF forum on Cloudy Nights and asked who had been to the most NEAFs. The winner of this informal survey was George Normandin who has attended "at least 10 times". Congratulations George! Our email interview is included below:

Are you located near Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY (the venue for NEAF) or are you traveling a long ways to attend?
I drive, but it's a 3 hour trip one way over mountain roads, plus a stop for breakfast and supper. I amuse myself by cataloging the observed road-kill (2 foxes, 1 bear, 2 skunks, 5 deer, 10 woodchucks, etc). This year I plan on staying over Saturday night to make a two-day event of it. I've done that twice in the past, and it's the best way to do NEAF.
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Girls Speak Out on Physics Education

Do you think there are as many women astronomers as there are men? Did anyone out there in blog-reading-land answer yes? I doubt it. At least in the United States and Great Britain it's no secret that there are more men than women employed in science, technology, engineering and math-related (STEM) fields. Why? Well, that's a good question and many explanations have been advanced.

Recently, I watched an outstanding video on titled KS3/4 Science – Physics – Girls Speak Out. This video features a visit by three women to the Haydon School in London. Their goal was to determine why so few girls choose to study physics. They wanted to know what girls themselves have to say on this important topic. As I expected, there were multiple explanations:
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