I do have a love for astronomy and astrophotography myself and I don't really have many people in my circle of friends to share this with so I figured, what better way than to make a Meet Up group for this very purpose. I myself have several telescopes that I'm more than willing to setup for any interested people and anyone else is more than welcome to bring down their own if they own one. If not, why not just come down for some stargazing? This group is for anyone that has an interest in the cosmos, wants to chat with like minded people over pizza and soft drink (temporary place where I am going to hold it is an alcohol free zone) or just wants to have a look up into the heavens. Moon, planets, variable stars, binary stars, nebulas, whatever your passion or interest we can see it! For anyone that is interested in getting a better idea on the size of the solar system and the rest of the universe, I can set up a scale model of our solar system and believe me it is mind boggling just how small we really are!
At the moment I am putting this up for expressions of interest to see how many out there may be interested in doing all night Astrophotogrsphy evenings. Although I am still waiting for a couple of bits and pieces to arrive (and non raining skies!) what I am planning on organising is to have two tracking mounts both capable of holding two (or maybe three, have to do some playing with bits and pieces) for wide field photography. For this it would be similar to attaching your DSLR to an ordinary tripod BUT you would be able to do 1-2 minute exposures at 150mm or whatever lens you have. With two mounts we'd be able to have four (maybe six but doubtful) people doing wide field at any given point.
Still have another mount being built in Austria, hoping to have that arrive in Australia soon. With this we'll be able to attach a DSLR to 130mm F/5 fully corrected astrograph. This will be used for imaging emission and reflection nebula, open and globular clusters. The idea is to take 10x30s exposures at ISO1600, maybe 5x60s but anything more than that and you just start saturating stars and losing star colour.
I'd also be setting up a large telescope for visual work to get us through the night! I mean, we all need to be looking at what we have our cameras pointed out. Groups would be limited to a maximum of 10 so that everyone can get a good amount of time on the wide field trackers and the main telescope.
So, any interest? Comments? Ideas? Thoughts?
What about a weekend Astronomy Campout. Say we find a place where you can camp that has good Astronomy conditions. There must be a dark camping area somewhere. Not sure if this is a practical idea, as we might have to cancel and modify the date at the last minute if the forecast was not favourable