Baader Planetarium and 10Micron at the Practical Astronomy Show UK

Saturday March 11th saw the welcome return of the one-day Practical Astronomy Show (PAS) which was held at its usual venue at the Kettering Conference Centre located in the heart of England. The event hosts a large number of retailers and manufacturers and the event is free for the public to attend. Alongside the trade exhibition there are also a number of free talks spread across the day. Exhibitors usually set up the day beforehand, but storm Larisa hit large parts of the UK on the Thursday and Friday with heavy snow and cold temperatures leading to treacherous travel conditions for some (including our UK representative). Luckily all exhibitors who planned to attend did so and the weather improved considerably for the public attendees to the show on the Saturday.

Our stand with our accessories and 10Micron mount

The GM2000 HPS II all set up on its Centaurus II tripod

Baader Planetarium were pleased to be part of this event and we had on display for show and demonstration a range of our accessories including the Universal Filter Changer (UFC), some of our Tilters, ClickLock eyepiece clamps, M68 accessories, Diamond Steeltrack and Steeldrive II components, our popular Laser collimator MK III, ready-made ASTF AstroSolar filters, Hyperion eyepieces, Q-Turret eyepiece revolver and FlipMirror II Star Diagonal. Joining our selection of accessories was the 10Micron GM2000 mounted on its heavy but very sturdy Centaurus II tripod.

There was already a big queue outside the venue just before the doors opened at 9am and it was busy all day even between the free-to-attend talks and up to near the time the exhibition closed at 5pm. A lot of discussions and questions were had about a wide range of our accessories "across the board", but we found lots of interest particularly aimed at our AstroSolar ready-made filters, the ClickLock adaptors and our Baader Calcium GEN-II 1¼" (#2961590 , € 285,-) and the new Baader 2" Cool-Ceramic Safety Herschel Prism Mark II – (Visual / Photo) (various versions available) which features our new 7.5nm Continuum filter and a rotation mechanism for easy image brightness adjustment when using polarising filters. The GM2000 also drew a lot of interest leading to lots of questions about its capability as well as that of its smaller GM family relative - the GM1000.

The event was a great success with extremely good attendance overall (despite the worry of the British weather prior to the event) and with a great atmosphere. We look forward to being part of PAS in 2024.

For more details on PAS check out their website, with links to their social media pages, for future event announcements.

About the author: Lee Sproats

Lee Sproats

Dr. Lee Sproats has been interested in astronomy since watching Star Wars in 1977 and has appeared on the UK Sky at Night TV programme. He then went on to study Astronomy where he obtained a degree and then a PhD in the subject at University College London/Mullard Space Science Laboratory. He has worked in Australia in radio astronomy and used optical/infrared telescopes on Hawaii and La Palma and Lowell and Kitt Peak observatories in the USA. After working for the University of Surrey to promote the use of computers for teaching in UK higher education and then as an IT trainer for a stock market company, he went on to work for Greenwich Observatory Ltd where he ran their northern branch and then worked for David Hinds Ltd dealing with our and Celestron products. He is often involved in flight excursions that take passengers to observe the northern lights, has led trips to see the great USA 2017 eclipse near Hopkinsville and was lead astronomer onboard a specially chartered 737 to view the 2015 total solar eclipse at 38,000ft. Lee`s astronomical interests include Lunar observing, astrophotography, photometry and pro-am collaborations.

Since David Hinds stopped operation in December 2020, Dr. Sproats works for Baader Planetarium as our UK representative/consultant and is responsible for looking after our UK/Eire dealers, dealing with Baader Planetarium/PlaneWave/10Micron product support, writing articles and also is involved in our large telescope and observatory instrumentation projects.

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