Previewing the Advanced Imaging Conference 2017

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This close-up image of the Cocoon Nebula shows the interplay between its stars, bright reddish nebulosity, and regions of dark nebulae. // Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
The tenth annual Advanced Imaging Conference (AIC) promises to be the best one yet. The 2017 event is being held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California, September 29–October 1. For the eighth straight year, Astronomy magazine is proud to be an editorial sponsor. And I will be there.

AIC for 2017 will feature more than two dozen workshops and general session presentations, all to help attendees master the art of astroimaging. This year’s speakers include regular Astronomy contributors Rogelio Bernal Andreo, Adam Block, Don Goldman, Tony Hallas, and Warren Keller.

Ken Crawford, one of the conference’s organizers, told me that he expects more participants than in previous years because the host facility is larger. Past AIC meetings have drawn approximately 300 attendees. And he was especially happy to report that AIC had 11 sponsors and 27 manufacturers would be setting up booths or displays.

During the meeting, the AIC Board of Directors will present its most prestigious honors — the Hubble Award and the Pleiades Award — to worthy recipients.

The organization bestows the Hubble Award “to those individuals who have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to the astrophotography community over a period of years.” As criteria, the board evaluates production of fine images, popularization through public outreach, technical innovation, scientific contributions, and selfless direct support of other imagers.

And AIC presents the Pleiades Award “on the very brightest, most exceptional imagers who are either youthful in years or relatively young to the endeavor of astro-photography. Its purpose is to recognize and encourage those few outstanding individuals who do not yet meet the criteria for Hubble status but demonstrate skills and personal qualities that were the early hallmarks of people who subsequently received astrophotography's highest honor after many years.”

To learn more about the 2017 AIC, visit the conference website at And watch for my blogs throughout the weekend.

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