Re: re 2007 East Coast Conference on Astronomical Imaging

Feb 11 2:34 PM



#27529 Feb 11 2:34 PM

2007 East Coast Conference on Astronomical Imaging

We are pleased to announce the 2007 East Coast Conference on

Astronomical Imaging, to be held in Philadelphia, PA on the

weekend of September 28-30, 2007.

We already have an impressive lineup of speakers, and while we may yet

add one or two speakers before the actual event, wanted to share these

details so that you can mark your calendars and make your travel

plans. Registration will be limited to the hotel's meeting room

capacity, and we will have to honor conference registrations in order

of receipt, so you'll want to sign up early to guarantee your place.

Our list of speakers (so far) is:

Adam Block (Expert Astro-Imager and Founder of Caelum Observatory)

Richard Crisp (Renowned Astro-Imager and Emission-Line Imaging Pioneer)

Terence Dickinson (Editor of SkyNews Magazine)

R Jay GaBany (Remote Astro-Imager and Creative Writer)

Doug George (Founder/President/CEO of Diffraction Limited)

Paul Jones (Star Instruments Founder/Owner/Master Optician)

Robert Nemiroff (Astronomy Picture of the Day co-editor)

"Dr. Clay" Sherrod (Arkansas Sky Observatory Founder)

Andrea Tamanti (European Astro-Imager)

A brief outline of the topics they will be presenting follows:

Adam Block (Expert Astro-Imager and Founder of Caelum Observatory)


Virtually all astro-imagers are aware of Adam's incredible body of

work, both from his days at the Kitt Peak Advanced Observer's Program,

and from more recent images as well as his popular (and expanding)

line of image-processing tutorial DVDs.

Due to the popularity of Adam's pre-conference workshop in 2006, he

will once again be conducting a Friday afternoon session covering the

basics of image processing, including image calibration with Dark and

Flat Frames, color combining of RGB frames, adding Luminance to form

an LRGB image, applying Levels and Curves to achieve proper image

density and contrast, and various image cleanup and enhancement

techniques, such as Gaussian Blur, Unsharp Masking, and using Layer

Masks and Color Range Tool features to selectively apply image

enhancements. This optional pre-conference workshop is being offered

separately for anyone who believes they would benefit from it, but

there is a separate fee of $50 to cover the costs of conducting the


Adam will also be speaking during the regular conference session,

sharing with us some of the many techniques he brings to bear in

advanced processing of astronomical images.

Richard Crisp (Renowned Astro-Imager and Emission-Line Imaging Pioneer)


As a practicing electrical engineer with over 30 years design

experience in the semiconductor industry, Richard knows a lot about

what's inside those CCD cameras we (mostly) take for granted. He is

widely known for his firmly held convictions, and his willingness to

engage in vigorous debate about the foundations, equipment, and

techniques of our hobby.

An early practitioner of emission-line (or narrow-band) imaging,

Richard will be presenting some of the history and science behind

these techniques, as well as practical pointers in the capture and

processing of these images. Richard will also be discussing some

original research he has been doing in this area, which may well point

the way to new and exciting techniques in the near future.

Not content to just use off-the-shelf equipment, Richard has also

fabricated some of his own optical equipment, and will discuss the

goals, design, fabrication and testing of two different but highly

cost-effective optical systems he uses for astronomical imaging: a

widefield system based on the use of surplus medium format camera

lenses and a long focal length classical cassegrain telescope based

on a low-cost 18" f/12.6 optics set and a home built OTA made from

welded aluminum tubing with carbon fiber trusses.

Terence Dickinson (Editor of SkyNews Magazine)


Terence was a staff astronomer at planetariums in Toronto

and Rochester, N.Y. in the 1960s and 70s before becoming a full-time

astronomy writer and editor. For the past 13 years he has been the

editor of the Canadian magazine SkyNews.

He will share some thoughts on the characteristics of images that

publishers and photo editors tend to find appealing, and how our

attendees might go about maximizing their chances of getting their

images placed in magazines and books, or selected for on-line


R Jay GaBany (Remote Astro-Imager and Creative Writer)


Many of us are familiar with the incredible images that Jay produces,

as well as the marvelous prose introductions to them that he provides.

As one of a new but growing cadre of remote astro-imagers, Jay gathers

his raw data from telescopes a thousand (or more) miles from his home.

He will discuss the pros and cons of imaging from his remotely

controlled observatory in New Mexico, describe processes he uses to

noiselessly enrich color information that can be used to tint and to

filter hidden details trapped in pictures and review some recent work

he has completed with a team of professional astronomers who research

tidal streams associated with many galaxies.

Doug George (Founder/President/CEO of Diffraction Limited)


Doug founded Diffraction Limited in 1992, with a mission to develop

high quality software and hardware tools for scientific imaging

applications. They produce hardware/software solutions in many areas,

but most of us are familiar with their flagship astronomy image

processing products MaxIm DL and MaxDSLR.

Doug will be sharing with us many of the insights, tips and techniques

he has developed over the years to make the most of our image capture

and processing efforts.

Paul Jones (Star Instruments Founder/Owner/Master Optician)


Paul established Star Instruments in 1976, and manufactures

professional-quality custom optics, specializing in Ritchey-Chretien

optical systems. Their customers include manufacturers of quality

tube assemblies and complete telescopes, universities, government

agencies including NASA, aerospace companies and discriminating

amateur astronomers throughout the world. (If you are in the U.S. and

have a Ritchey-Chretien telescope, the odds are overwhelming that Paul

is the master optician who produced those exquisite optics!)

Paul will be sharing with us some of the insights he has gleaned over

the years on the optical design and manufacturing of mirror-based

optical systems. He might even give us some insight into the

background and expected performance of his new line of

Ritchey-Chretien Astrograph optics!

Robert Nemiroff (Astronomy Picture of the Day co-editor)


Robert, an astrophysicist at the Michigan Technological University and

NASA Goddard, is a founding co-editor (along with Jerry Bonnell) of

the Astronomy Picture of the Day site (APOD).

Once again he will be sharing with our attendees some of the

characteristics of images that he looks for when selecting an image to

become an APOD. To demonstrate the points he makes in his talk,

Robert presents a truly awe-inspiring series of former APODs that is

sure to elicit more than a few "ooh's and aah's" from the attendees.

"Dr. Clay" Sherrod (Arkansas Sky Observatory Founder)


Dr. Clay has a long history in research and educational astronomy,

having devoted over three decades to the advancement of public

knowledge and appreciation of the pure and applied sciences.

He will be taking us well beyond the capture and processing of "pretty

pictures," and showing us how to do real science with those

instruments many of us already possess. Several of the specific

topics he will cover include 1) astrometry of NEOs and comets;

2) photometry of asteroids to determine multiplicity or shape;

3) photometry of cataclysmic variable stars, novae and supernovae; and

4) patrol monitoring of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Mars for

transient meteorological changes.

Andrea Tamanti (European Astro-Imager)


Andrea is an accomplished imager who lives under the Rome, Italy light

dome, and yet produces exquisite astro-images on a regular basis.

He will be discussing with us the techniques he uses to image

in this highly light-polluted environment, and special processing

routines he uses to overcome the inherent challenges of this

type of imaging. He will also be sharing with us his design

and construction notes on his 12" Ritchey-Chretien OTA, a

carbon-fiber and aluminum assembly that he created in his own

workshop, yet looks like it came from a high-end manufacturer.


While we are still working to finalize the hotel facility, and have

commitments from several in the Philadelphia airport area, we have not

yet made our final selection.

In about a week, we will post another announcement listing the hotel

so that you'll be able to make lodging reservations, and will have our

registration process up and running on our web site. While the

meeting room and food service costs have increased from last year,

we'll have the same registration costs as last year: $225 for

conference registration (includes meals on Saturday and Sunday), and

$50 for those who want to attend Adam Block's pre-conference workshop

on Friday afternoon.

We're looking forward to a bigger and better conference than last

year, and we hope to see you there!

ECCAI Board:

Bob Benamati

Steve Mazlin

Jim Misti


#27713 Mar 3, 2007

Fellow Imaging Enthusiasts:

We have completed the hotel arrangements and updated our

website, and both are now ready for you to sign up for the

2007 East Coast Conference on Astronomical Imaging.

The conference will be held on the weekend of September 28-30

in Philadelphia, PA, and will feature an outstanding lineup of


(including Diffraction Limited founder Doug George!)

We're expecting capacity attendance, so you may want to

register early for the conference:

and make your reservations at the Renaissance Philadelphia

Airport Hotel:

(Mention ECCAI to get the conference room rate).

Jim Misti

Steve Mazlin

Bob Benamati

(Conference Organizing Committee)


#27724 Mar 4, 2007

I get no replies to any mails sent to Jim and his address does not exist, nor

modified ones.

Lawrence Harris


#27731 Mar 5, 2007


I'm not sure why your email isn't going through - I just tried one to

the "send email" at the right side of the original posting and it got

to my email within a few minutes.

Here's an alternate email address:


If you don't get an answer from me some time shortly after sending an

email, feel free to post your question here where I'll be sure to see it.


- Jim Misti

--- In, Lawrence lawrence@...> wrote:


> I get no replies to any mails sent to Jim and his address does not

exist, nor

> modified ones.


> Lawrence Harris


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