I've sent everyone coming a personal message with the details, though I expect most of you know them already. If you'd still like to come, or are unclear about anything, or didn't receive the message, please let me know! Thanks!Update:
Lectures are now all confirmed - and Sir Patrick Moore and Brian May have a slot on the Saturday morning (Session 3). Look up lectures here
. You have to buy lecture tickets in advance; if you just want to attend the exhibitions it's £5 on the door. Both are well worth it.
ZookeeperChris may be joining us for lunch on the Friday, but we're not sure yet.
Jules is putting together a list of people who'd like to go out to dinner on the Saturday evening. Let me know if you're going to be around on the Friday - there will be a smaller group of us then.
You can join us at any time of the day, and go to as much or as little as you wish. It's not too late!
Original, main details, etc
To all zooites, anywhere in the world . . .
For the last 2 years, zooites have gathered at Astrofest - a yearly astronomy exhibition and lecture series held in High Street Kensington, London. This year will be Friday 5th and Saturday 6th February
. (Sadly, for commercial reasons, I have to state that Galaxy Zoo does not endorse Astrofest or anything involved - we won't be taking part or anything, it'll just be some zooites attending.) It's been great both years - you can read our memoirs of 2008
if you need any encouragement. We usually combine it with at least one meal together!
The exhibitions are usually astronomy equipment such as telescopes and binoculars; cool books and posters; astronomy societies; occasionally a quiz or something. Definitely enough to keep you occupied. The lectures are often excellent - some difficult, some not.
Here is a photo of us after our first ever get-together back in early 2008. We'd all been kicked out of the pub for bringing 3 kids, having been originally told it was OK to bring them - a uniquely bonding experience! Where, what, when, how:
Here is the link to Astrofest: http://www.astronomynow.com/astrofest/index.html
If you click on that link and look hard at the picture, you might see some familiar faces near the front of the further-away seats . . .
The address of the place is Kensington Conference and Events Centre, The Town Hall, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX. They have information on how to get there here
are open from 9am to 6pm, and the lectures
are from 10am to 5:30 p.m. There are 4 sessions - morning and afternoon on each day. You can buy your tickets for them here
. Getting to and staying in London
Trains to London are usually not too bad, and I also recommend booking a ticket on the Internet (thetrainline or nationalrail or similar) well in advance as you often get a discount for booking early. If you're not familiar with the UK, I may be able to help you find somewhere to stay, certainly places to look. The nearest Tube station is High Street Kensington, though there are several more nearby ones.The social bit
We'll see who's coming when, and arrange specific places and times to meet as numbers grow - watch this space for updates!
I'm sure we'll be booking a restaurant or pub to eat lunch and dinner at at least on the Saturday, and probably the Friday as well if enough people come (I am going both days). Probably we'll have a poll or three to vote on nice places to go. There is a Cafe Nero nearby, and a few excellent pubs and Italian restaurants. I don't recommend trying to buy lunch there - the cafeteria is expensive and really not equipped for Astrofestish numbers.
You are welcome to bring friends, family, etc.
If you've never met any of us before and are feeling a bit daunted, don't worry. It's a very public place, and you are free to leave any time!
Yes, a few people's family members etc really did have this worry that such-and-such was going out with a bunch of people from the Internet . . . But we got on like a house on fire. It was strange, at first, meeting people you'd written so much to online, but forum personalities soon began showing through. If anyone needs me to, I'll provide a photo of myself so you can recognise me, and I'm sure I won't be the only one.Arrangements!
Update No. 1
Everyone who says on the topic, or sends me a message, to say that they are coming: I will make a list of you all, and we'll make arrangements between ourselves - the nitty-gritty via e-mails - about exactly where we're meeting. Watch this post and your inboxes for details! Lecture TopicsFriday, February 5, 2010Session 1 (morning)
10.00 Comets and meteorites - bringers of life? - Monica Grady, Open University and Durham University
10.35 Demon stars - the devilish secrets of eclipsing binaries - Alastair Gunn, Jodrell Bank Observatory
11.10 Coffee break
11.40 Space debris – danger in orbit - Richard Tremayne-Smith, Former Head of Space Environment, British National Space Centre
12.15 New light on the cosmic distance scale - Alan Penny, University of St Andrews and South African Astronomical Observatory
12.50 Lunch breakSession 2 (afternoon)
14.30 The Galilean satellites of Jupiter: 400 years on - William McKinnon, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
15.05 Why is the Universe accelerating? - Mark Sullivan, University of Oxford
15.40 Tea break
16.15 First SETI talk, title tbc - Jill Tarter, SETI Institute
16.50 The Allan Chapman lecture: Aliens, a history from Selenites to ET - Allan Chapman, University of Oxford
17.30 Conference adjourns
18.00 Exhibition closesSaturday, February 6, 2010Session 3 (morning)
10.00 Weathering solar storms - Jim Wild, Lancaster University
10.35 Discovering and observing supernovae - Tom Boles, Coddenham Observatory, Suffolk
11.10 Coffee break
11.40 Did the Earth move for Henry VIII? - Mike Edmunds, Cardiff University
12.50 Lunch breakSession 4 (afternoon)
14.30 Welcome back Polaris the Cepheid - Alan Penny, University of St Andrews and South African Astronomical Observatory
15.05 Moons to rings and back again: the latest from Cassini - William McKinnon, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
15.40 Tea break
16.15 Living in a cluster of galaxies - Richard Bower, Durham University
16.50 Second SETI talk: title tbc - Jill Tarter, SETI Institute
17.30 Conference ends
18.00 Exhibition closes
(I think I'm going to Sessions 2 and 4; I know I booked one session on each day anyway.
Hope to see as many as possible of you there!