The RASNZ Occultation Section is pleased to announce that it will be sponsoring the First Trans-Tasman Symposium on Occultations, to be held in in Auckland, New Zealand over 2007 July 1-2 in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the RASNZ. The RASNZ Conference will commence on Friday June 29 and conclude about midday on Sunday July 1. The Symposium will run from early afternoon July 1 until the evening of Monday July 2.
Registrations for both the RASNZ Conference and Occultation Symposium are now open. You can book online from the link here.
The purpose of the Symposium is to provide a venue where occultation observers, and those interested in the field, can meet and discuss a wide range of relevant topics. Special guest speaker will be Dr David Dunham, President of the International Occultation Timing Association. Dr Dunham will also be a feature speaker at the RASNZ Conference.
In recent years occultation observing has been revolutionised by techniques such as video and CCD drift-scanning. But although these have allowed previously undreamt-of accuracy in results to be attained for only a modest outlay in expenditure, they have also brought with them a steep learning curve for observers. As became clear after the 2006 RASNZ Conference in New Plymouth, there are now many people throughout Australasia capable of using these new techniques (e.g. over 80 low-light video cameras have been distributed), but a good number of potential observers need instruction in how to obtain the best value from their equipment.
This meeting will provide an opportunity for everyone interested in the topic to discuss and learn the art of occultation observing, as well as to present and talk about their best results to date. Discussion will be kept at a level where all – even those new to the topic – are able to participate fully.
Speakers and Venue
As well as Dr David Dunham, the programme will also feature the participation of many prominent occultation personnel from the Australiasian region. These include David Herald, Dave Gault, Brian Loader, Steve Kerr and John Broughton.
The Symposium venue will be same as for the RASNZ Conference - i.e. The Quality Inn, 477 Great South Road, Manukau, Auckland. This is 15 km to the south of Auckland City and within a few kilometres of Auckland Airport. Reservations for the Quality Inn can be made online, by email or by phone to 0800 700 477. More details of the venue can be found on the Quality Inn website.
The meeting will comprise six sessions:
Session 1: Win-OCCULT Software
Session 2: Overview of Occultation Observing Techniques
Sessions 3 & 4: Video Techniques and the observing process in detail including
Session 5: Using the CCD Drift-Scan Technique
Session 6: Presentation of Results, and Q & A
Total, Grazing and Minor Planet Occultations will all be discussed amongst the above.
Sessions 1-5 will take the form of a guided discussion, with an expert presenter providing an introduction and overview, followed by questions and discussions with those present. However session 6 will include time for short presentations from anyone who has results they would like to discuss or on which they would like feedback. If you wish to make a 15 minute presentation on your work at the Symposium please contact Graham Blow now. Time spots are limited.
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