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  AIC Volume 5, Number 1
In this issue:
  • Adam Block reaches out for the 2012 Hubble more...
  • AIC 2012 Agenda begins to take shape more...
  • Supernova hunter scores AAS award more...
  • AIC board loses esteemed member more...
  • 2012 conference dates announced more...
  • Zone System bonus content available more...
  • 2011 AIC Image Gallery now on-line more...
  • 2011 Presentation downloads are available more...
  • The AIC Board of Directors
    Ken Crawford
    R. Jay GaBany
    Frank Barnes III
    Keith Allred
    Bob Fera

    AIC 2012
    October 26- 28
    Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, California
    AIC 2011 Sponsors



    Adam Block Steps Into the Hubble Award Spotlight

    The Board of Directors of the Advanced Imaging Conference is pleased to announce that Adam Block has been selected, by unanimous vote, to receive the 2012 AIC Hubble Award.

    Adam's life-long goal to be an astronomer began at the early age of 4 when his grandfather would show him the night sky over New England. After moving to Atlanta, his parents presented him with his first 4.5 inch telescope at age 9. A few years later, he attempted his first photographs through an 8-inch SCT. He experienced an epiphany during high school when he befriended the observatory director at Atlanta's Fernbank Science Center. Soon, Adam was a volunteer during the observatory's public nights.

    Following high school, Adam studied astronomy and physics at the University of Arizona. He volunteered to operate Flandrau's 16-inch telescope for public viewing each week during his freshman year. He then became lead telescope operator for the Steward Observatory's 21-inch telescope on campus, presided over the University's Astronomy Club and helped install the club's 16-inch Newtonian instrument. For his efforts, Adam received an undergraduate teaching award from the University.

    In 1996, after graduating from the Univeristy of Arizona with a bachelors in Astronomy and Physics , Adam was eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the night sky. So, he commenced his professional astronomy career conducting public outreach programs and private astrophotography sessions at the National Observatory on Kitt Peak over a period of nine years. Since 2007, he initiated and continues to conduct one of the foremost public outreach programs for astronomy and astrophotography at the University of Arizona's Mount Lemmon SkyCenter outside Tucson.

    The AIC Hubble Award is presented to those individuals who have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to the astro-photography community over a period of years. Production of fine images is only one criteria but certainly not the most important factor that is considered. Popularization through public outreach, technical innovation, scientific contributions and selfless direct support to other imagers also represent key criteria that justify designation as a Hubble Award recipient.



    Adam is well-known for his abilities to communicate complicated astronomical and astrophotographic concepts in easily relatable terms. Adam is also recognized as one of the world's premier astrophotographers.

    The images produced from his public outreach programs and work with amateur astrophotographers have been published in popular magazines, books, posters, and appear throughout the Internet. His images have appeared on NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" web site over 50 times and are considered references by both amateur and professional astronomers.

    Adam will present the 2012 Hubble Lecture at the beginning of this year's Saturday session on October 27. Please join the Board in offering Adam your heartiest congratulations!




    AIC 2012: Prepare to be Delighted

    This year's conference is promising to be the best one yet! Join us to see and hear many of astro-imaging's best and most brilliant stars!

    Our agenda is starting to firm and registration will be opening soon. In the meantime, here's a sneak preview with some of the speakers who will be appearing at this year's gathering, more speakers will be announced soon:
    • David Eicher, Civil War historian, author, blogger, astronomy popularizer and Editor of Astronomy magazine, will offer his unique perspective on the past and future of amateur astronomy and astrophotography;

    • Dr. Travis Rector, Professor of Astronomy & Physics at the University of Alaska and world famous astronomical image processor, will share techniques to produce aesthetic, presentation quality and scientifically valuable astrophotographic images;

    • Tony Hallas, world renowned astrophotographer, columnist and AIC 2009 Hubble Award recipient, will explore advanced image processing techniques with an artistic eye;

    • Bernhard Hubl, one of Europe's most popular astrophotographers and co-organizer of CEDIC, will examine the differences between long and short focal length imaging, overcoming their challenges and taking advantage of either;

    • Dr. Don Goldman, well known astrophotographer, lecturer and mastermind of Astrodon filters, will discuss the popularity of planetary nebulae and how to capture them photographically;

    • Rogelio Bernal Andreo, noted astrophotographer and recipient of the AIC 2010 Pleiades Award, will delve into advanced image processing techniques using PixInsight;

    • Alistair Symon, astrophotographer and cosmic muralist, will explain how to create compelling panoramic mosaics with wide field images and

    • Bob Fera, pioneering astrophotographer and AIC board member, will conduct a processing workshop for beginning and intermediate astrophotographers.





    Tim Puckett Receives AAS Chambliss Award for 2011

    Tim Puckett is a name that's familiar to many AIC Scintillion readers as the astronomy sales manager for Apogee Instrument products, one of the AIC's most faithful sponsors. Each year, Tim can be found manning the Apogee booth in the conference's Technology Showcase. Affable yet modest, Tim, like many other amateur astrophotographers, has a private passion for the night sky. In his case, Tim has spent years pursuing the discovery of super nova explosions in deep intergalactic space.

    A pioneer in the field of amateur CCD astro-imaging, Tim Puckett has built several robotic telescopes and is the discoverer of over 200 supernovae. His work has been featured on air at: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, BBC, Good Morning America, Discovery, and The Learning Channel. He's been published in 17 countries, and is a co-Author of The Art & Science of CCD Astronomy.

    Earlier this year, Tim's perseverance and ingenuity was recognized when he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award from the American Astronomical Society. AAS president Debra Elmegreen made the announcement at this years January meeting. Read more about Tim's effort that lead to this achievement at Sky and Telescope.

    The AIC board of directors expresses its heartiest congratulations! Well done, Tim!




    Al Degutis Departs AIC Board

    Sometimes the demands of career and family cause even the most avid astrophotography enthusiast to reevaluate their priorities. Such was the case for AIC board member Al Degutis who regretfully tendered his resignation earlier this year. Al will be remembered for his work as publisher of the annual AIC Program guides, logistical support during the meeting and his valuable judgement in decisions affecting the conference.

    Al's departure was reluctantly accepted by the board of directors. His enthusiasm, energy and skills will be missed.




    Plan to attend the ninth annual 2012 Advanced Imaging Conference

    Mark your calendars, set aside Friday, October 26 through Sunday, October 28, 2012 and plan to attend the next Advanced Imaging Conference! Next year's meeting will convene at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara- the same hotel where the 2011 gathering took place.

    Friday will be dedicated to workshops brimming with expert instructional advice covering image processing, data acquisition and the use of popular processing software applications. It's a treasury of information you'll find no where else on Earth!

    The Saturday and Sunday sessions also promise an exciting constellation of Astro-imaging's brightest stars and, throughout the long weekend, AIC 2012 will showcase the latest technology from our community's leading vendors, manufacturers and service providers.



    All meals will be included in the conference fee:
    • continental breakfast on Friday;
    • full breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning and
    • both lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday.
    Transportation between the San Jose International Airport and conference hotel will be provided free of charge and you'll be able to download each of the meeting presentations following the meeting.

    But, don't come alone! Bring your spouse, companion or your entire family and, for a small additional per person fee, they can tour the Bay area all day Saturday while you're at the meeting plus they can join you at every conference meal.

    Remember, there are other great gatherings where you can shop for better equipment but only the Advanced Imaging Conference equips you to create better images!

    Plan to be there!




    Ron Wodaski's Zone System Bonus Content Now Available

    Bonus content to accompany Ron Wodaski's Zone System book is now accessible online for AIC 2011 attendees.

    These tutorials include lessons covering:
    • Setting levels and curves to maximize each Zone in the image
    • Color balancing
    • LRGB processing using the Zone System
    • Correcting elongated and soft stars
    • G2V calibration
    • and much more!
    Hours of narrated information, from one of our community's greatest pioneering experts, with easy to follow step-by-step screen demonstrations are included. This package of valuable processing advice will save you time and immediately improve your next image!

    Due to it's size, this content is not downloadable but can be fully enjoyed with your web browser. To access this valuable material, please log onto the 2011 Conference Presentation Download site. Scroll to the page bottom for the link.





    The 2011 AIC Image Gallery Now Online

    The 2011 meeting offered attendees an opportunity to submit images for display during conference breaks, lunch and the Saturday night dinner. Again this year, the response was overwhelming to this invitation- we received dozens of beautiful pictures representing the current state of the art.

    To preserve this great gathering of talent, the AIC has posted the third annual on-line gallery of astrophotographic images. Each picture is displayed in a random sequence. A control is provided to navigate through the list. Click on any image to open a viewer that will display the full image with high quality. Here's the link:

    2011 AIC Gallery




    2011 Presentation Downloads Available to Conference Attendees

    A complete set of 2011 conference presentations is available for 2011 AIC conferees to download and review at their convenience. However, access to these files will remain limited to 2011 attendees until the second half of 2012 and require the submission of a username and password.

    All previous year's presentations remain unrestricted for download and study. Following is a list of links to each of the AIC's presentation archives.

    2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011




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