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Riverside Astronomical Society
PATS

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

May 17, 2012

 

I am a beginning imager. Will there be something for me?

Yes, most definitely. Even if you have never taken an image, you will see how it is done, what the general concepts are, and get an idea of the equipment.

Will this be a hands-on or a theater style workshop?

The actual content and style of the presentations have not been determined. The advanced talks will be mostly presentations (with no follow-along). The more general talks, especially those for beginners, may involve sample files that you can work through. However our experience has shown that unless you are already quite familiar with the software, it can be frustrating trying to follow along exactly with the presenter. You are better off taking good notes to lead you along when you are at home.

How many people will be there?

Our initial planning (and what we saw in previous years) is for sessions of between 20 and 40 attendees, with perhaps 70 to 90 people in attendance overall. We are purposely keeping sessions small enough to make questions and interaction workable.

Should I bring my laptop?

Power strips and tables will be provided. So, you are welcome to bring your laptops along. There is no wi-fi in the hall. Our experience is that unless you are fairly familiar with your computer and the software, it is better to pay attention to the presenter than to try to follow along keystroke for keystroke.

Who are the presenters?

We have secured the top level speakers in the field. They are flying in from throughout the US. They have spoken at other workshops such as the Northeast Astro Imaging Conference, Advanced Imaging Conference, Nightfall, previous RAW's, and others. They have designed the equipment, written the software, found the supernovas, and taken the images that you are familiar with. Follow the links on the RAW homepage for more information.

Can I buy PATS tickets here?

Yes, you may purchase as many discount tickets as you need for yourself (and family, friends, etc.) at $15 per ticket. You may purchase more $15 tickets at the workshop itself, even if you did not pre-register for them initially. If you are planning on attending PATS both days, you need two tickets. The regular at-the-door price is $20 per day, plus the facilities use fees ($1) and any Ticketmaster fees if you buy there. You may purchase tickets through the workshop only if you are attending the workshop. You are free to purchase tickets for those not attending the workshop. You will pick up the tickets the day of the workshop.

What about this RAS membership include?

The Riverside Astronomical Society is a very active group of about 325 amateurs in Southern California. It owns a ten acre site, Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS) in Landers California, about an hour and a half from Riverside. There you will find dark skies, a clubhouse (with dorm), a place to pitch a tent or park an RV, a telescope field with 110 volt power, and lots of other amenities. Saturday afternoons at the Star-be-cue, we have real good food. A number of members have built observatories and concrete pads. Our 22 inch Dob is available at Goat Mountain for anyone's use. Last year we had more than 70 outreaches at local schools, malls, and such. Our Prime Focus newsletter is about forty pages long monthly, and is written by the members. We help run Nightfall in Anza Borrego every fall. If you choose to become a member on registration, you will be a full member until June 2013.

Will there be doorprizes at RAW2012?

We are in the process of arranging for doorprizes. So far we have collected at least $5000 worth thanks to our generous sponsors.

What is the schedule?

The schedule has not yet been determined. However, Thursday will have registration starting at noon, and the session lasting approximately four hours from 1:00 to dinner time. After dinner (on your own), we return to an evening session. Friday starts with arrival/registration/coffee about 8:00, and two morning slots (9:15, 10:30), followed by lunch (on your own--but we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the catered lunch), and three afternoon slots (1:15, 2:30, 3:45) with a wrap-up to follow.

Will I get a registration confirmation? Ticket? What?

You will get email confirmation on registration. After that, you need only show at the Pasadena Convention Center. On check-in at the conference, you will be given any PATS tickets you have ordered and a nametag. Your nametag is your ticket for the rest of the day at RAW. You need no confirmation of registration, or tickets, or such.

Where should I stay? Eat?

Pasadena has many fine restaurants and hotels. The FAQ page for PATS has most information.

Will there be vendors at the workshop?

Some vendors may have displays, but most of that will take place later that weekend at PATS itself.