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23 October 2012

Astronomy club stories: Annual Astronomy Reunion 2012


Annual Astronomy Reunion cover picture
Credit: Stefan Lamoureux/KTY Toutatis
Ahlainen, Finland
The Annual Astronomy Reunion was held in Ahlainen, Finland a little village on the Baltic sea. These 2 days of retreat permitted us to reflect on the year that had past in our astronomy club and decide which way we will continue for the year to come. The mayhem of the arrival, food, provisions, equipment, and car unraveling proved to be more "relax" than the other years, which was a good sign.

The sky was full of stars and everybody just wanted to set their gear to what was happening in the night sky. Not long after, the sauna was hot and ready. Our friend who took care of the sauna had all ready set his camera to full mode startrail 1-2 hours and had no hurry to get to his camera.

This year we had one of the members "wife" with us, she is a friend and we know her well, but she is not into "astronomy" to much, so we left her in the upper cottage to watch some good old TV as we enjoyed the sauna.
As we were discussing astronomy and space with good refreshments in the sauna, we remembered that Felix Boomhauer as we called him (Felix Baumgartner/redbull Stratos) was attempting his jump from the edge of space. So in a heart beat, we had the computer outside on the window of the sauna and streaming the jump as it went. We saw when he jumped but we had to have a window-whipper every 2 seconds, in another word, Me! As I whipped the window from the humidity, Felix was falling to Earth. Great achievement!

As the night came to morning, the disco began and the festivities continued. My camera was clicking it's life away as i set it to timelapse mode with 35 seconds interval with an exposure of 30 seconds. I probably took a 1000 shots. My goal was to take a few nice timelapses of the night sky and within the shots a nice picture to remember the event. Of course half of the shots where blur as the lens took humidity over time. Never the less, i manage to take a couple of nice shots and little shorter timelapse than I anticipated.

The next day, we set our gears for more night action, but we soon realized that it would be cloudy and no chance of shooting the night sky. We sat in the warm cottage and talked the night through with good food and company. We attempted to go shoot  in another location 30 km from the cottage, but the clouds and strong winds where there as well. So we called it a day.

The Annual Astronomy Reunion was very nice even if the second day I went to sleep early. I enjoyed every moment of it and hope to go to next's year reunion. I invite you to look at our pictures on our gallery HERE
Thank you guys! it was precious!

Watch new astrophotos Annual Astronomy Reunion 2012 HERE