After a couple of years break due to COVID, the International Astronomy Show (IAS) was held at the Stoneleigh Park exhibition ground near Coventry/Warwick on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October 2022. Our UK representative Dr Lee Sproats attended the event to represent us, exhibiting a range of our own and 10Micron products.
As is customary, preparations for the event began a few weeks before the show. After travelling the few hours to reach the venue on the Thursday, the setup day, it was time to fill the booth with our display accessories and the 10Micron GM2000 HPS II mount with its hefty but extremely stable Centaurus II tripod. The 10Micron mount head, which "splits" into two parts, is stored and transported along with its accessories in the dedicated 10Micron Professional Flight Case Set which not only keeps everything safe, but also makes it so easy to transport everything from the car into the building and to the stand too! Overall, set up took a couple of hours, with time to stop for a coffee or two and to talk to a number of the other dealers who were there setting up their stands. In addition to the 10Micron mount we had the range of the Universal Filter Changer (UFC), ClickLock eyepiece clamps, SteelTrack and Steeldrive and the M68 system on display along with a selection of the Hyperion eyepieces, ready-made AstroSolar Filters, and diagonals. After our booth was set up it was time for a well-earned rest, ready for the following first day of the IAS.
The event began at 9am and closed at 5pm on both days and each day had a steady stream of visitors, with Saturday being the busiest from the start. There was a lot of interest in our exhibit and plenty of discussions were had on a wide range of topics. Our UFC system, ClickLock adaptors and Maxbright binoviewer were popular discussion points followed by our range of solar filter accessories, probably due to the partial solar eclipse that is visible from the UK (and Europe - see a timely article here) being not too far away. The 10Micron GM2000 mount also got a lot of attention with people admiring its build quality and its overall specification.
The next IAS event is planned for the same month in 2023 and we look forward to being part of that event.
About the author: 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.