Baader Planetarium at European AstroFest London 2023

The European AstroFest returned to its usual London home last weekend, the first since 2020 which took place just before the start of the global pandemic.

AstroFest banner outside venue - taken early doors before the crowds arrived

This two day event was held at the Kensington Conference and Events Centre on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th February. The event featured 3 floors of exhibition space showing the latest astro-gear from a range of suppliers and retailers. Over the two day event a total of 16 talks were given by astronomers and space scientists, including historian Professor Allan Chapman and Queen lead guitarist (and astronomer) Brian May.

Baader Planetarium were invited to be part of the event by Dr Simon Bennett and Elena Kostyaeva from The Widescreen Centre and our UK representative attended on our behalf. We had a portion of their booth, located in a prime spot near the main ground floor entrance outside the large lecture theatre, which was dedicated to a wide selection of our products.

Thursday was the usual "set up" day which was done in good time ready for the opening. Friday dawned and many were unsure of how well that day would be attended as there was a continuation of industrial action by rail workers. As opening time drew nearer, a long line of attendees formed waiting to get in and overall it was a nice steady day. Saturday was, as is usually the case, a lot busier.

Our portion of the Widescreen Centre booth dedicated to a selection of Baader Planetarium products

Lots of good discussions were had and many purchases made over both days. Interest in our products was strong with many chats and demonstrations being had about our Universal Filter Changer (UFC) system, our ClickLock products, Astro T-2 and M48 accessories, Hyperion and Morpheus eyepieces and their accessories and our filters especially our new 7.5nm Solar Continuum and our CMOS Optimised Narrowband models.

It was great to be back to this event and and we do look forward to being part of AstroFest 2024....but wearing softer more comfortable shoes!

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.

Leave a Reply