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I've been going to star parties for about 10 years now and more recently have taken up time lapsing - partly to get around the lack of clear skies (time lapsing isn't as dependent on completely clear skies as regular astro-imaging is) and partly as it means less kit to cart around... although I now seem to have accumulated too much again. Attached is a time-lapse I've put together of several timelapses taken at Kielder Star Camp last year, spring and autumn, and this years spring event we've just had. Star parties are about the stars/astronomy of course, but are also social events (it's usually cloudy after all) and it' always great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. But... if the skies are clear get things get very busy! The most recent star camp was warm and sunny over the Saturday and Sunday (rather rare!). When it's looking pretty likely it will be clear everyone is out making sure their setups are working, batteries are charged and so on and there's usually a general sense of anticipation that builds as it gets dark. These timelapses show the red lights used by astronomers (red light doesn't ruin your night vision) and if you are sensitive to flickering lights maybe don't watch the time-lapse :) I hope you enjoy this... it's been enjoyable (albeit cold!) capturing the timelapses although processing them afterwards can be a time consuming pain ;) If you've got a fast internet connection its best to watch the time-lapse in at least HD (1080p) - 4K is better. Detaily stuff... Most taken with a Canon 6D, 25 second exposures at ISO3200 using a Samyang 14mm lens. Orion picture taken with an astro-modded Canon 650D. Processed in Lightroom with LRTimelapse. James PS Looking forward to the SGL star party in the autumn
Provisional dates for the 11th Kielder Forest Star Camp in Northumberland are 2 - 7 October 2013. Bookings will open on 1 March 2013. If you are wondering why we chose this early slot it is to give Galloway Star Camp a clear run in November - there's a healthy cross-over of folk going to both. We have also updated the image gallery for the 2012 Autumn event - check it out at http://bit.ly/TIRWNP Any queries please PM me. Thanks, Richard
Last year we ran a novices star camp the weekend before the main Kielder Star Camp and it went down so well we are doing it again. Dates are 9 and 10 October at the improved Kielder Campsite (we now have warm room and much better drainage). We'll be deploying our telescopes, offering guidance and staging talks up at Kielder Castle. If you would like to come along bookings are via the campsite (who are the organisers with our help) - http://kieldercampsite.co.uk/peoples%20star%20party%20october%2015.html
....and as summer slips by thoughts are cast forward to the dark nights of October. The 13th Kielder Autumn Starcamp is being staged from 26 - 31 October. The recent CPRE night blight report found the darkest spot in England to be a Kielder hillside just a stone's throw away from our venue - Kielder Campsite. Talks on the main day (29 Oct) are all free - in fact all you need to do is pay for your pitch and you're done. Currently we have non-hooks ups available, but we do have a wonderful new warm room to escape the chill, with multiple charging points, tea/coffee making, armchairs and open 24/7. We'll also be running our free Friday night mulled wine/cider get together. All the details you need are at kielderstarcamp.org We hope you can join us.