Artie Aardvark Absconds Around Ameland

Once again it is time from our faithful correspondent, Artie Aardvark, to give his account about an astronomical adventure! This time it’s the 2012 NAC, or Dutch astronomers conference.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Ameland!  It’s an island in the North Sea close to Germany so very, very far away from Amsterdam by Dutch standards.  It was a very pretty place, but most importantly I was excited to come and learn about Dutch astronomy while here!


Unfortunately getting to the conference wasn’t easy because despite promising to take me Yvette was silly and forgot me- how could she?!- so I had to stick out my paw and thumb a ride instead.  And because this was a Dutch astronomers conference the ride I hitched was on a bicycle for many, many kilometers…

And then I had to take a ferry across the Waddenzee Channel to the island itself…

But finally I arrived at Ameland and the NAC!  What was fun about this conference for someone like me who doesn’t know a lot about astronomy but really wants to learn is it was small but covered lots of topics.  So while my favorite of course is radio astronomy I got to hear about a lot of things I don’t normally hear much about.  Did you know the Europeans are building an Extremely Large Telescope in South America, for example, or that if you only considered the matter that we can see in galaxies they would fly apart, or that we can take pictures of discs around stars where planets are being formed?  Astronomers in the Netherlands are working on many different and exciting things!

But what really made the conference fun was how friendly the Dutch astronomers were.  They showed me all the fun things there were to do during the breaks and in the evenings…

Drink a coffee…

Sample some local cuisine…

Watch a chess match…

Guard the beer crate the winning team would receive in the rope-pulling contest…

… and even explore the bar at the end of the night!

The next day some were clearly still recovering…

… though the action-packed days even got to me, and I joined in on the napping on the long train ride home.

All told, the NAC was a great place to learn about astronomy and meet astronomers, and I’m really thankful for Evert and Antonia’s help in getting me up there to see it!  I was also really happy to make so many new friends, and look forward to meeting them again in the future and hearing what they’ve been up to.

6 responses to “Artie Aardvark Absconds Around Ameland

  1. Ameland isn’t very close to Germany. It’s is in the top middle of the Netherlands.

    In September I’m going to Ameland for a long weekend. I hope I get the same weather. Looks beautiful.

    • Yvette Cendes

      Haha my apologies- I just figured the German islands couldn’t be much further than 50-60km away, which for this American is like the next town over. 😉 Cheers!

  2. It looks like you had a lot of fun Artie and it’s good to see you did a good job of guarding the beer.

  3. Pingback: Artie Aardvark Looks into Lommel | Where is Yvette?

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