Scopes: 12.5" dob w/Lightholder mirror, Astro Tech AT8RC, TPO 8" Imaging Newtonian, Intes MK-67 Deluxe, Takahashi FS-60CB, Tasco 10TE, Coronado PST
Darren in Bakersfield
Quote: Also, even though it has traditionally been held on Memorial day weekend, this is also a bad idea a) For commuting to the event for either overnight or for single day (because of the extreme traffic throughout this particular weekend - get worse & worse every year), b) Sometimes inclement weather because it is a little too early in the season for the elevation, and c) Half of the Memorial Day weekends are no good for deep sky viewing because the moon is up. I don't know why they don't move the event to a non-holiday weekend in the Summer - perhaps it will go the way of the dinosaur sometime soon.
Quote:Boy are you mistaken!I've been there 24 of the last 25 years, all 24 on Memorial Day weekend. Moving the date to new moon weekend was tried in 2010 and attendance went from 1200 down to 400! The next year it was back on the normal weekend and attendance was back to 1000. RTMC isn't an observing party.
Quote:You complain about inclement weather. Well I've been snowed on 3 time in 24 years and had very high winds last year. Not a bad average.
Quote:Traffic? People drive in from Az, Nv, Ut, Or, every year so I guess the traffic isn't too bad.
JMI 18" f4.5 Newtonian, split ring mount 10" f4.5 Newtonian on GEM (was a DS-10 once upon a time) ST-2000XM camera
Quote:I sincerely hope that RTMC survives far into the future, but as with any enterprise, it must learn to change with the times if doing the same old thing is no longer working so well, and perhaps try to do a better job of promoting the event. If attendance continues to decline, perhaps an non-holiday weekend early summer event after school is out at a different location could save RTMC before it vanishes
Tom Polakis Tempe, AZ Visual observing, DSLR photography, lunar & planetary imaging http://www.pbase.com/polakis/
Quote: Here is a link to an attendees report from last year that paints a little bit different picture than what you described: http://theketelsens.blogspot.com/2011/05/rtmc.html
The report states estimated attendance under 800, telescope field deserted, as were most of the vendor spots along the borders of the lanes.
Quote:Greg we should try to get together at RTMC. I'd love to meet you. Ask anyone with a Kern Astronomical t-shirt, they'll know where I am.
Quote:Hi Darren,That sounds great. Are you planning to be up there all weekend? I will probably make it up on Saturday or Sunday early afternoon (depending on family logistics). I may even spend the night (Saturday or Sunday) after all, and bring my 10 year old daughter (who really likes telescopes & astronomy), depending on our families plans for the whole weekend.Greg
Perhaps it is because of the excessive single day daytime admission price ($25)
My gear: --Celestron 8EdgeHD & 11EdgeHD | 80mm F/6 Triplet | Modified Canon T1i | QSI683WSG-8 | Celestron AVX mount | iOptron CEM60 mount | iOptron ZEQ25 mount --- My skies:
14" f/4.5 dob. 6" f/8 dob.
Quote:A conference held on a weekend away from Memorial Day that is not at Camp Oakes might be a nice star party, but it would no longer be RTMC. Good luck finding a dark site with facilities for a thousand attendees.Camp Oakes is a pleasant place to spend a long weekend, but it is not a dark site. This fact was recognized by most of the people who didn't bother to show up when the organizers tried to turn it into a star party. If they moved the conference into summer, they would be competing with other star parties held at dark sites during the prime observing season.Attendance recovered from 400 to greater than 800 when they moved the dates back to Memorial Day weekend. It would certainly fall again if they moved it away from Memorial Day, whether it's in May or during Summer. A big reason for the rapid decline in vendor presence is the emergence of PATS as a trade show. Vendors would rather show off their wares in a climate-controlled room than a dusty field. In addition to the presentations and meeting old friends, the vendor field was one of the attractions of RTMC. I don't have an answer for how to get the vendors to return.Tom
"Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade, Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid." Tennyson: Locksley Hall
"The White Zone is for loading or unloading of passengers only. No Astrophotography." Cosmic Acres! Greatest restoration challenge: Tulley and Sons 3" achromat on Altazimuth mount, circa ~late 1820s
Quote:RTMC's problem, to the current observer, is that it isn't quite dark enough to be an observing event, and not well-enough attended by vendors to be an equipment exhibition, and not quite educational enough to be a lecture exhibition. Not quite just doesn't make it.
Quote:Now this is at the same time that star parties such as Julian, or NightFall are going up. And NEAF is doing fine as an equipment exhibition because it is well-attended by vendors.
Jeff Morgan - Wile E. Coyote School of Telescope Making