With the summer behind us, the observing season is now well and truly under way. This issue of the Atik newsletter includes news of a change of personnel in our production department, reports on several recent astronomy shows, and the official announcement of the Atik 2012/2013 Imaging Competition. Finally, a picture from Vince proves that he has been making the most of the recent improvement in observing conditions here in the UK.
A Change in Production
A farewell to one of us and a warm welcome to another! One of the members of the production team, Vitor Pereira, has left Atik Cameras to pursue a career in the IT/Telecom industry. We would like to thank Vitor for the help he has provided during our recent period of rapid growth, and wish him all the best in his new career. Meanwhile we have a new member, Mr João Correia: an IT guy by nature, who loves astronomy and science in general, and is just starting with astrophotography. A perfect mix. 🙂
Users of ASCOM will be interested to know that a new version of the Atik Cameras ASCOM camera driver, version 6.1, is now available. The new driver uses the ASCOM camera V2 specification and can support two cameras. It also allows bias frames to be taken with the Atik 383L+ camera. The new driver requires ASCOM platform 6, and runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. Many thanks to Chris Rowland for providing the software.
To install the new driver, download and run the core software installer (which is also available at the top of our downloads page), and select the “ASCOM driver for Atik cameras” option in the “Select Additional Components” window.
South West Astronomy Fair
In August we again exhibited at the South West Astronomy Fair, which is held at the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Devon. This was a very well attended event, going by the number of people both at our stand and circulating inside the exhibitors’ marquee. The weather helped, being one of this summer’s few dry days, though it was blustery: our leaflets had a life of their own and had to be frequently retrieved. The local astronomy society is very active and we enjoyed many interesting conversations about the many Atik cameras that were much in evidence on the telescopes in the society’s display area. Our dealers First Light Optics also had a busy stand with a good display of many components, and three people to ensure that nobody had to wait long to be helped. Many people who visited our stand were interested in trying astrophotography for the first time, or moving on from a DSLR, so we hope that they will have chosen to use Atik cameras. Undoubtedly the most popular item on the stand was the Atik 11000, with its visibly huge sensor being on many people’s wish-list; certainly visitors enjoyed the opportunity to pick up and examine the products as well as take home the leaflets. The event itself is definitely worth visiting given the historical nature of the site; all the various telescopes were open for visitors, with society members answering questions and entertaining children whilst there was a full program of seminars in the lecture theatre for fellow
Kelling Star Party
The autumn star party held at Kelling Heath is the UK’s biggest astronomical out-door event. Once again Vince and myself made the 20-mile journey from our homes to the star party; it was certainly nice not to have to negotiate airports to get there! As well as our normal display cameras and other products both Vince and myself brought telescopes. Vince managed some imaging while I enjoyed some quality time on the dark observers’ field with my 12” light bridge surrounded by the 18+ inch dobs of our local astronomy society. As always at Kelling, a thoroughly good time was had by all.
As you will probably be aware, astronomy has been my hobby for 15 years or so. However, to fill the long summer days I have recently taken up flying small aircraft, gaining a licence earlier this year. Kelling managed to bring both hobbies together when I encouraged a couple of people I fly with to take a plane over the camp site on the Saturday afternoon and grab some pictures. So while most of the pictures taken at Kelling were looking up, here’s one looking down.
AIC 2012, San Francisco
Another year, another AIC! Being the most well-known conference in the world of astrophotography, AIC is the kind of event where the best astrophotographers in the world can share their experiences and techniques with the rest of us mortals. Ken Crawford and his team did their best to make sure everyone got the most out of this event, and we’re thankful for their effort. It was up to Rui to represent Atik this time, with a nice booth where the complete line was on display. Of course, it was the 460EX that attracted the most attention. A lot of Hyperstar owners were impressed by the densely packed performance, and mobile astroimagers wanting the best camera for their field trips. No wonder the 460EX is this year’s hit product.
RCE 2012 – Paris, France
It’s only held every other year, and it’s always a pleasure to attend! RCE is the number-one conference in France, where the most diverse themes in Astronomy are debated, from visual astronomy to astrophotography, to scientific collaborations between amateurs and professionals. Once again, Atik was a guest of our French dealer Optique Unterlinden (thank you for the hospitality!), and attended the show. It was great to witness the fantastic momentum Atik has in France, with numerous customers just coming by to say “I love your cameras”! It was also impressive to hear of the number of amateur astronomers who are participating in scientific projects, mostly using the 314L+ with a Shelyak spectrograph. The 460EX is becoming the new kid on the block among these “amateur scientists”, with rave reviews from specialists in the area praising the incredible data quality that it is possible to get, surpassing vastly more expensive cameras. And of course, it was fun to attend!
The Atik 2012/2013 Imaging Competition
We are very happy to announce that once again we will be running the Atik Imaging Competition. This is an opportunity share the great pictures you have been taking with other Atik camera users and astronomers in general. All the images will go into the gallery section of the Atik website together with full credits and information. This allows online voting later in the year but is also a great resource for people to see what they might expect from different camera/telescope combinations. As well as an online gallery we aim to print all the images submitted for display at the London Astrofest event in February.
For such a big competition we need a big prize. This year we have excelled ourselves, and are offering an Atik 11000 mono for the winning entry!!!!!
Runners-up can choose filterwheels or off-axis-guiders.
Once again the competition has three categories –
- Atik Titan, 16IC and 16
- Atik 314E, 320E, 420E, 428ex, 450ex and 16HR
- Atik 460ex, 383L+, 11000 and 4000
The overall winner will be selected taking into account the camera and telescope used.
Please visit our competition page for details of how to submit images.
I would encourage everyone to submit an image as this is very much a community
event and – you never know – you might have the winner. I very much look forward to
seeing this year’s images.
Here’s a picture of NGC7000 taken by Vince using an Atik 460ex camera on a Takahashi FS60C – one hour each in Hα, OIII and SII.
We hope you have enjoyed reading the newsletter. If you wish to receive future copies by email please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With best wishes from all of us at Atik Cameras.