Day 2 (part 2) at the Advanced Imaging Conference 2011

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Saturday, November 05, 2011

The second half of day 2 at the Advanced Imaging Conference (AIC), in Santa Clara, California, included (for me) more talks and more talking with vendors.

Alex Filippenko, professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, presented “Hearts of Darkness: Black Holes in Space.” His talk was a roundup of the properties of the various types of black holes.

After Alex, the AIC organizers alotted 1 hour and 45 minutes for its Spotlight Presentations. Three imagers, David Martinez-Delgado, Dean Salman, and Joel Hagen presented talks titled “Stellar Streams,” “Processing Tips Learned from the Sharpless Catalog Project,” and “Photoshop Tips from a NASA Image Processor.” If you’re a longtime reader of Astronomy, you may be familiar with Dean Salman’s images because many have run in the magazine during the past five years.

After supper, Adam Block of the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter would have conducted a “Remote Imaging Demonstration” from the observatory containing the 32-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope atop Mount Lemmon. The dome, however, had frozen shut and Adam could not free it remotely. Everyone understood, of course, and they still inundated Adam with questions.

One of the showstoppers this year was a 14-foot-wide durotran backlit transparency that showed the region of the California Nebula (NGC 1499). This project, which combines an incredible 128 hours of imaging, was a four-man collaboration among Rogelio Bernal Andreo, Bob Caton, Al Howard, and Eric Zbinden. I spent quite a bit of time talking with the imagers about this amazing project, and you’ll see it as a two-page spread in an upcoming issue of Astronomy.

You’ll find more about the AIC at the conference website. To see more than 100 images by many AIC members, visit Astronomy magazine’s AIC online photo gallery.


You’ll find my four previous conference blogs here (#1), here (#2), here (#3), and here (#4). What a great conference! And remember, we still have a report from Contributing Editor Tony Hallas to come. I’m looking forward to that.

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