The NSW regional city Parkes, home to the CSIRO radio observatory, will host the National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers in 2020.

The premier Australian amateur astronomy conference, the National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers (or NACAA; pronounced ‘Nakka’) is only a few months away.

Hosted every two years in a different city by the local astronomical society, in 2020 it is the turn of the Central West Astronomical Society, based in Parkes NSW.

Parkes, of course, is home to the CSIRO’s famous 64-metre radio telescope, otherwise known as ‘the Dish’.

NACAA 2020 will be held across the Easter weekend, April 10–13. The venue will be the aptly named Starlight Lounge at the Services Club on Short Street, Parkes.

A preliminary program is already available, with the final program to be available on the website by March.

The event will comprise technical sessions, scientific presentations and workshops, the latter including introductory and advanced workshops on how to use PixInsight software.

Headlining the speaker program for NACAA will be Dr Stella Kafka, Executive Director and CEO of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO).

Dr Stella Kafka from the AAVSO, will headline the speaker program at NACAA 2020.

Dr Kafka is a strong advocate for pro-am collaborations, and will speak about how astronomy has benefited from the contributions of non-professionals.

She’ll also outline some of the latest opportunities for amateur astronomers to get involved in cutting-edge astronomical research.

The event will also incorporate two other significant amateur astronomy conferences: the Variable Star South Symposium 6 and the 14th Trans-Tasman Symposium on Occultations.

Plus there’ll be a half-day session on the PACA Project, which is a program of collaborative professional-amateur scientific astronomy campaigns.

If you’re serious about your amateur astronomy, make sure you check out the NACAA website and plan to be in Parkes at Easter time in 2020 if you possibly can.