“Astronomy All-Star” Team
Who Are We?
Our Astronomy All-Star team is our group of closest and oldest friends. We have been observing together for many years, with friendships dating back in the case of Geoff Carstairs and myself over 25 years.
A little history, our group had its origins back in the late 1980’s starting at an Astronomical Society of Victoria (when we were members) summer astrocamp. It was there that Geoff Carstairs and myself met Roger Vodicka, then then director of the ASV’s Meteor Section and Lance Kelly. Since that time, over 22 years now, we have all been close friends.
The group ticked over that way for the better part of 10 years, and at about that time we met Marty Rudd just before the start of the Leonids campaigns from 1998 to 2002. Marty has been with the group ever since. We also met Richard Pollard, through Marty Rudd and the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society. He has been a member of our group for about the same time.
Phil Snelling is Richards Nephew and has been with the group for a similar length of time. My brother, Shane Majoros, has also been with the group from the beginning.
Of recent times we have met another member of the group, Chris Grummett who lives in Deniliquin. I have become mates with Chris through the recently formed Deniliquin Astronomical Club and Chris has attended out Toc Fests on a few occasions.
As Roger Vodicka has been in the USA for work since the inauguration of the Toc Fests, he has not attended one yet, but we are planning a big Fest around #18 for his return.
So basically the groups members are:
9 observers in total.
Adam Marsh’s Astronomy Pages
What Do We Do??
Pretty much any aspect of amateur astronomy, including but not limited to:
Deep Sky Observing
Astrophotography (Planetary, Lunar, Meteor Deep Sky)
Solar and Auroral Observing
We also enjoy our astronomy on a social level incorporating BBQ’s campfires, movie nights (if cloudy), a few drinks and some great conversations. Astronomy for us is a time to “Nerd Up” as well as having some fun. No use doing it if you don’t enjoy it.
What Gear Do We Have?
Well, lots of neat stuff. Lets got the run down by observer. I won’t do it here, I will do it below in detail in the observer profiles.
A brief rundown however sees out inventory include:
TMB 5” APO refractor (Geoff)
Losmandy G11 (Geoff)
10 “ Bintel Newt (Geoff)
Canon EOS 40D - Huetec modded
12 “ GSO Dobsonian (Adam)
8 “ Saxon Newt (Adam)
12 “ Meade Schmidt Cass LX200 EMC (Adam / Chris Grummett)
HEQ5 mount (Adam)
4” Newtonian Solar Scope (Adam)
Canon EOS 1000D unmodded
4.5 inch Vixen APO (Richard)
HEQ5 Pro with Synscan (Richard)
Nikon DSLR (Richard)
6 “ Intes Maksutov Cass (Lance)
10 “ Newt with German Equ (Marty)
Canon EOS 40D unmodded (Marty)
Various laptops, computers, other cameras, meteor observing gear, digital recorders
Above: Richard and Phil with some of our scopes on the observing field at the back of my property at Tocumwal. Scope on the left is Geoff’s 10” Newt on the Losmandy G11 mount. The scope in the middle is my 12 “ GSO Newt / Dob.
Right: Geoff enjoying a glass of wine sitting around the fireplace. The fireplace is adjacent to “The Barn” which is a converted American Barn used as a two bedroom self contained guest quarters / astronomers quarters.
Below and Below right.: We don’t always stay at Toc and observe, depending on the event, we travel, this time we travelled to Deniliquin to Chris Grummett’s property to do some deep sky, planetary and meteor observing. This was in May 2008 and the maximum of the Eta Aquarids. Observed the Etas in the end from Mathoura, NSW.
Meet The “Astronomy All-Stars” and their gear - Put some faces to the names and see what we use....
To the left, Marty Rudd on his laptop, or my old laptop, cant remember. This was from one of the first Toc Fests. I hope The Rudd Man is looking at astro images, but with that smile, who can be sure.
Below, Chris Grummett with a rye smile about the enormous telephoto lens on the table......
Below left, Richard Pollard behind his Forrester. Packing up at the end of another great trip. The white box does not contain a grenade launcher.
Right, Geoff Carstairs and his setup. The setup is a 5 inch TMB APO refractor on a Losmandy G11 mount. His t-shirt says “This conversation is being recorded” in case you are wondering, and i know you are....... Geoff has been my best and oldest friend for over 25 years now.
Below, My brother, Shane Majoros. Never mind the last name, we look alike don't we?? Shane has attended many observing occasion with the group, and is sporting 17 inch guns under the 70’s retro shirt.
Above Left, The Rog Man - Roger Vodicka.
Above, Phil Snelling aka Lucky Phil
Left, The Lance Man - lance Kelly.
Left Below, Me...!
All four of the above photos and the photos to the left were taken when we sued to go to the LMDSS at Heathcote. Can’t remember which trip this was, but everyone looks pretty happy, so as always, we would have been having a great time.
Above, a red light shot of the observing field at night. This shot was taken by Chirs Grummett. Seen set up here are to the right, Richards HEQ5 pro and his 4.5 inch vixen refractor. In the middle behind the tables is my 12 “ GSO Dobsonian. To the left, in the foreground is Geoffs Losmandy G11 supporting his 5” TMB APO refractor. Behind this is my 8” dob before i started using it on my guided mount.
Below Left, The 12 inch Meade LX200 EMC as set up at Chris’s house at Deniliquin.
Below Below Left, Another shot of the observing field at Toc and some gear.
Below, Hero shot of Geoffs 5” TMB on the Losmandy at night. The bright star is not a star, but Jupiter in the background.