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2006 AstroImage Speakers
(alphabetical listing)



Chris Butler is an internationally renown artist and public speaker whose work focuses on science, nature, and maritime subjects. His illustrations have appeared in thousands of publications worldwide. Chris's humorous lectures have earned him the nickname "stand up comedian of the scientific world". Chris was honored to be the first live planetarium lecturer aboard Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 in 2004, and serves as a senior art director for planetarium and exhibit programs for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

Chris's unique art and presentation style reflects his diverse experience; he has been the director of a children's science museum, a tour guide on the Queen Mary, a technical illustrator, a representative for a telescope manufacturer, an amateur astronomer, and a financial analyst on the space shuttle program.

The 2006 recipient of the Western Astronomical Association's G. Bruce Blair Medal for service to astronomy, Chris was also recognized in 2002 by having an asteroid named in his honor by the International Astronomical Union.

Web page: http://www.sciencecenter.net/butlerart/

Ron Dantowitz is an aeronautical engineer, an astronomer and an educator, specializing in making science accessible and exciting to students of all ages. In support of his educational and outreach programs, Mr. Dantowitz has spent more than a decade developing techniques for ultra-high resolution astronomical imaging. The methods he uses have successfully produced some of the sharpest ground-based optical images of the moon and planets to date, with resolutions approaching 0.1 seconds of arc.

Mr. Dantowitz is also the president and owner of Celestial Computing, Incorporated, the company that developed the ground-based tracking systems used to photograph the X-Prize launches of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne. His telescopically tracked videos of the X-Prize flights were seen by more than one billion people worldwide, and were carried LIVE on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BBC and television stations around the world.

Web page: http://www.astrovid.com/mtw

Rob Gendler has been interested in astronomy since childhood, but did not begin imaging until 1996, when he started with 10" SCT and CCD camera. After several years of pushing the imaging envelope from his driveway in Connecticut with a 12.5" RC scope, he recently upgraded to a remotely controlled 20" f/8 RC located in the dark skies of New Mexico where he continues to produce spectacular views of the sky.

Web page: http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/

Tony Hallas is a professionally trained custom lab technician who owned his own custom color lab for 20 years ... 15 years ago he discovered astrophotography and was able to apply some of his professional knowledge to the avocation. He has been involved in astrophotography through the three main eras ... film only, film plus computer enhancement, and pure digital CCD. Color printing remains his specialty but instead of an enlarger and chemicals, he currently prints with an Epson 9600 pro with pigmented inks.

Web page: http://www.astrophoto.com/

John Laborde has been an astro imager since the 60's. He has always had a passion for high resolution wide field astrophotography. This usually requires mosaicing 2 or more adjacent sections of sky together into one seamless image.

As an ATMer, he first made a Schmidt Camera, and then an 8.8" Wright camera and several other wide field instruments to acquire his images. Lately he has been using a Takahashi FSQ-106 and medium format film as his main imaging tool.

He is one of the original founders of the San Diego Astronomy Association and was one of the main designers and fabricators of the SDAA's 22" RC observatory scope. He and his wife built their own observatory on the SDAA site where he does most of his imaging.

Web page: http://aisig.sdaa.org/astroblog/Astroblog.asp?UserId=67

Robert Reeves began experimenting with lunar photography in the 1950's. He achieved high-resolution lunar images in 1961 and soon expanded his astrophotography to include wide-field deep-sky work with 35-mm cameras. After completing military service, he continued solar system photography with an 8-inch SCT. In 1977, he acquired an 8-inch f/1.5 Schmidt camera and began specializing in high resolution wide-field astrophotography.

Robert has co-authored two books on space exploration and has contributed photographs and over 100 articles to seven astronomical magazines. He has also written three books on astrophotography:

  • Wide-Field Astrophotography
  • Introduction to Digital Astrophotography
  • Introduction to Webcam Astrophotography (due out in the summer of 2006)

Web page: http://www.robertreeves.com/

Alan Smallbone has been interested in astronomy since he was a child. He works as an engineer but has always maintained an interest in astronomy and lately has found the time to pursue it on a more active basis. He has been interested in photography for over 25 years with numerous images in print and marketed through a stock agency, specializing mostly in landscape and nature photography, leading to a natural blending of the two hobbies. The addition of astroimaging has been fairly recent, and has included the recent dslr revolution and low cost ccd imaging. He is currently imaging with an 80mm refractor, 8" cassegrain, 10" SCT and smaller refractors and camera lenses for wide field work.

He is currently residing in southern Orange County and is an active member of the Orange County Astronomers and the AstroImaging SIG of the OCA. He is currently serving as a trustee in the organization and is active at the club's dark sky site.

Web page: http://www.pbase.com/snowlep/astrophotography/

Chuck Vaughn became interested in astronomy as a kid in the 1960's. A separate interest in electronics led to a career as an Electronic Test Engineer for GTE Government Systems in Mountain View putting astronomy on hold for 20 years. His first experiments with astrophotography began with Halley's Comet in 1986. He graduated shortly thereafter to a C8 and off axis guiding. He tried a series of telescopes and camera lenses and is currently using an Astro-Physics 6" refractor and an Optical Guidance Systems 12.5" Ritchy-Chretien.

He was introduced to hypered Tech Pan film the late 1980's and stuck with through until its demise. He took early retirement in 2002 and moved to a dark sky site in Calaveras County in Northern California, built an observatory, and is now finding success using a Canon DSLR for astrophotography.

Web page: http://astrophotography.aa6g.org/

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