Sutherland Astronomical Society are doing a great job of hosting all the visitors to NACAA2016. We had a brilliant first day. Some of the moments around the campus were very "Harry Potter".
The workshop has been running in two streams such is the volume and quality of the many presentations, but its not like we are divided up into Slytherin and Gryffindor, we all came together after morning tea for the Keynote given by Prof Joss Bland-Hawthorn.
"Fireworks at the Heart of the Galaxy" started with the history of the Dover Heights Radio telescope and its early work on the galactic center through to the latest research on Sgr A and the galactic center. Who would have thought you could build a Radio Telescope out of the discarded metal straps of packing crates - #aussieingenuity
Before morning tea we started out with some great presentations on Amateur Spectroscopy and some amazing work on Betelgeuse in the near infra-red. I was very interested in this session being a pround new owner of a Star Analyser 100 who had recently imaged Betelgeuse.
I'll get into trouble here for not mentioning all the great presentations a full list of them is available at the NACAA 2016 website.
Jacinta and Mike presented on the latest work with Telescope in Schools and the Great Southern Variable Star Hunt, a collaboration that has evolved out of at the previous NACAA in 2014.
One of the highlights of the conference this year is the mascot who has delighted at least one international guest. Mr Wiggles has been keeping a careful eye on proceedings and diving back into his own "black hole" consisting of a simulated pouch/saddle bag carried by our general sectretary Donna Burton.
The Perdrix address covered the history of NACAA over the past 50 years, including all the award winners over the past half century. In the evening we all gathered together for a wonderful meal and another brilliant talk by Prof Fred Watson. Fred has a real passion these days for the rich history of observatories that you don't often hear about, all their amazing stories and obsure history.