The 2007 Riverside Telescope Makers Expo was a good time had by all! Amateur and Professional Astronomers alike blew into Big Bear, California this past weekend to eat, sleep, and drink the wonderful San Bernardino Mountain dessert skies (and dust). Although I must confess, this is the first RTMC I have attended, it will defineatly not be the last.
The Expo included well-planned hands-on activities, superb talks from renound speakers, and countless product raffles from contributing vendors. In the daylight, participants could view the Sun in many different wavelengths with the help of the Coronado folks and their solar telescopes. At night, the Beginners Corner tutored new stargazers to star-hop, to align, and to collimate their own personal telescopes, some of which they had just purchased. Those attendees that were present only by association, had many activities both inside and outside the Camp Oaks location thanks to the conference organizers, the various outlet malls, and the numerous local pubs and eateries.
From the SAS conference preceeding the Expo, to the keynote talk from famed galactic astronomer, Dr. Alex Filippenko of UC Berkeley, the RTMC at Big Bear was an overwhelming success. Though quite dry (and very dusty) for this East Coast Stargazer, I recommend all attend the 40th annual RTMC next Memorial Day weekend! Profjohn and The Imaging Source astronomy cameras will certainly return.
On a personal note: Thanks to all who made my first RTMC an overwhelming pleasant one and cheers to my new Mexican friends who tip the Tequila as they image the night!