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  AIC Volume 4, Number 6
Quick links:
  • Agenda
  • Speakers
  • Pricing
  • Registration




  • In this issue:
  • Gendler and Malin Unveil Beautiful New Book more...
  • Conferee Presents Amazing Exhibits more...
  • Celestial Parfait Reinvents Astro-imaging more...
  • AIC Offers Final Discount Coupon more...
  • Submit your Best to the AIC Gallery more...
  • Alcatraz Highlights Saturday Tour more...
  • 2011 Hotel Discount Ends Soon more...
  • Discover What's Remotely Possible more...
  • 2010 Presentation Restrictions Removed more...
  • Friday Workshops Previewed more...
  • Stellar Lineup Planned for 2011 Weekend Sessions more...
  • 28 Exhibitors Confirmed for AIC 2011, More Expected more...

  • Limited time offer: Register Now & Save $10!

    AIC 2011 Sponsors



    AIC Hubble Recipients Pen Outstanding New Book

    AIC Hubble Award Recipients Robert Gendler (2007) and David Malin (2006) have collaborated on a beautiful new book about the southern skies that's now available for pre-order on Amazon at a 30% discount off its cover price.

    Working with Lars Christensen (ESO), the three authors focused their attention on the dazzling beauty and wonder of the night sky visible from the southern hemisphere. Treasures of the Southern Sky celebrates the remarkable beauty and richness of the southern night in words and with world-class imagery. In part, a photographic anthology of deep sky wonders south of the celestial equator, this book also celebrates the human story of southern astronomy with an engaging and detailed history of key contributors to southern sky exploration. The accompanying text provides the reader with intriguing facts and useful information about the featured objects.

    The stunning photos chosen for the book are from various published and unpublished sources, including Hubble, the ESO collection, the Danish 1.5-m Telescope collection, and Rob's personal collection.

    The Advanced Imaging Conference is extremely happy for our Hubble Recipient's latest success! We unreservedly suggest you add a copy of this book to your library!


    Conferee Exhibits Will Illuminate This Year's Technology Showcase

    Bob Caton relishes astronomy and, like many of us, he eagerly shares his enthusiasm with anyone who will listen. So, perhaps that's why he's regarded the Advanced Imaging Conference as one of the best venues to find a receptive audience. AIC attendees should consider themselves very fortunate. For example, last year Bob brought an amazing 3D presentation booth that was an immediate conference sensation.

    This year, his 3D booth will be back with exciting new vistas such as never-before seen stereoscopic views by the Mars Opportunity Rover and the orbital Hi-Rise spacecraft! These spectacular images are being processed by Joel Hagen, one of this year's Spotlight speakers. Joel is a Mars Exploration Rover (MER) collaborator and for many years has processed rover images for NASA Mars missions including Pathfinder, Phoenix and the current Mars Exploration Rover mission.

    This special exhibit will also feature Joel's 3D display of 2MRS Redshift data showing the local universe out to a distance of 380 million light-years. Other not-to-be-missed 3D images will include pictures produced through Bob's FSQ, half meter RC and Apogee camera. Hubble data will also undergo Joel's special process that conveys the volume and spatial relationships buried within two dimensional images of deep sky subjects.

    For our 2011 gathering, Bob has also constructed a new, gigantic 14-foot wide lightbox displaying a huge swath of the sky around the California Nebula. This 10 panel mosaic, requiring over 125 hours of total exposure time, was the result of a collaborative effort by Bob Caton, Rogelio Bernal Andreo, the 2010 Pleiades Award Recipient, Eric Zbinden and Al Howard. Exposed from several locations, this incredible image was produced through HaLRGB filters. Don't miss this!

    Finally, Bob's boundless generosity will be evident when attendees first enter the conference venue in the form of a 8X5 foot welcoming lightbox displaying a gigantic four panel, 70 hour mosaic of the Butterfly/Crescent Nebulae.

    The AIC Board of Directors is extremely appreciative of Bob's efforts and encourages other attendees to present a unique, non-commercial exhibit at next year's meeting. For more information, please contact the AIC web site administrator at: admin@aicccd.com.


    Celestial Parfait Scoops Out a Stellar Treat at AIC 2011

    Have you ever had family members or friends take a look through one of your telescopes only to be disappointed that the amazing galaxy or nebula in one of your pictures looks like a dull fuzzy blob when viewed through an eyepiece?

    Phil Beffrey, founder of Celestial Parfait, has a game changing solution that he's bringing to AIC 2011 at a price that's hard to refuse! Having launched and managed several successful start-ups during his career that included a stint working at Pixar, Phil decided to pursue his lifelong fascination with astronomy that started with his first small telescope at age 12. A software engineer by profession, Phil saw an opportunity to combine today's sophisticated goto amateur telescopes with automatic image processing. The result is the first truly plug and play deep sky imaging solution that anyone can use.

    Celestial Parfait enables an amateur astronomer to show deep space objects in only minutes and without the effort normally required to manually reduce, combine and process data. This solution is perfect for backyard observing sessions, star parties or a relaxing evening alone with your telescope. In fact, Celestial Parfait may help bring long abandoned telescopes out of mothballs or prevent telescope owners from experiencing the frustration and disappointment normally felt when the light gathering capabilities of small telescopes meets the high contrast expectations raised by deep space photographs.

    Using your laptop, goto telescope and digital camera or one of several popular astronomical cameras, Celestial Parfait will not only allow you to view multiple deep space splendors during a single session, but show your family and friends how truly amazing they really are!

    We encourage you to stop by the Celestial Parfait exhibition booth and pick up a copy of this revolutionary application at a price you'll find irresistible: it's free!



    AIC Offers Final Special Registration Savings

    From now through the end of October, you can save $10 off the regular $399 per person registration price for AIC 2011! Simply enter the following coupon code when you pay for your admittance: TAKE10OFF.

    So, register NOW!

    If you've been undecided, now is the time to act! Set aside the long weekend of Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6, 2011 and attend the 8th Annual Advanced Imaging Conference taking place at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California!

    This year, Friday will be dedicated to workshops brimming with expert instruction covering image processing for both novice and advanced astrophotographers, tips on keeping your equipment in top condition plus advice on the use of popular processing software applications. It's a treasury of information you'll find no where else on Earth!

    Saturday and Sunday sessions also promise an exciting constellation of Astro-imaging's brightest stars and, throughout the long weekend, AIC 2011 will showcase the latest technology from our community's leading vendors, manufacturers and service providers.

    For times and more information, see our meeting agenda.

    All meals are included in the conference price:
  • 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 conference.

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





    Live Demonstration Closes the Gap on Remote Imaging

    On Saturday night, following the annual banquet, conference attendees have the option of joining a special remote imaging demonstration through the 32-inch Schulman telescope, located atop Mount Lemmon, Arizona, hosted by Adam Block.

    According to the AIC 2010 post conference survey, remote imaging represents about 20% of the high-end hobby. This fascinating method of accumulating data experienced explosive growth during the second half of the last decade and has spawned a new industry of hosting facilities scattered around the globe.

    There are several ways enthusiasts can participate, some more affordable than others. These options include outright ownership of a remote observatory; renting instrument space at a hosted facility and hourly rental of remote setups. Gernerally, a common web browser or remote desktop software and access to the Internet is all that's needed to operate a distant observatory. Adam's discussion will focus on hourly rental situations and include a review of the benefits and challenges astrophotographers face from a practical perspective.

    Assuming the weather over Mount Lemmon cooperates, the demonstration will include live image acquisition of targets, based on attendee suggestions, from the deep, dark skies above this famous mountain top observatory. Hands on participation by a few members of the audience will also be highlighted.

    The demonstration will take place in the main conference venue where the weekend sessions occur. Please refer to the agenda for exact times.






    2011 AIC Image Gallery

    Let your light shine throughout the conference by sending us your best images for the AIC Image Gallery. Displayed throughout the conference during breaks, lunches and the Saturday night dinner, by the end of the meeting your work will have been seen over a dozen times by other meeting attendees- and they will become part of the AIC permanent collection on the AIC web site following the conference.

    This is not a contest, there will be no judges and no one will receive a blue ribbon. Instead, this is a celebration of our hobby and, as a result, everyone is guaranteed to be a winner! So, here's an opportunity for you to shine a spot light on your astrophotography talent! In fact, your most difficult challenge may be deciding which images to feature!

    This year, the AIC has partnered with Astronomy magazine so your images will also grace the magazine's web site. Some images will also be featured on the Astronomy.com homepage.

    To submit your images, click here and log-onto your Astronomy on-line account. If you aren't already a registered user, it's easy to create a new account at www.astronomy.com/register plus you'll get FREE access to all of Astronomy's Community areas. Magazine subscribers also receive access to exclusive on-line content.

    This year, there's no limit to the number of images you can submit! However, the AIC will select 4 to show throughout the conference and become part of our permanent collection.

    Once your images have been received, they'll be posted on Astronomy.com for everyone to immediately appreciate! Don't miss this very special opportunity to let your light shine!

    But, Hurry! We need your images no later than October 15!


    Discounted Hotel Rooms in Short Supply

    The AIC block of discounted rooms is about to expire. So, book your room now for this year's conference at the Four Diamond Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, located near Great America Amusement Park and just a few minutes from San Jose International Airport! The Hotel will attempt to honor the AIC special $99 per night rate as long as rooms are available. Thursday night is particularly tight.

    Mark your calendars for November 4 - 6, 2011.

    We've arranged for a special AIC room discount of just $99 per night- our consecutive fifth year at this price! This special rate is only available when you book your room through this private AIC Hotel link- bookings made through on-line booking sites, such as Expedia, Travelocity or others, will not feature this special rate.



    Santa Clara Hyatt Regency features:
    • Special conference negotiated $99 per night room rate (our room rates have not changed in 5 years!);
    • Free parking for local attendees;
    • Upgraded meals throughout the conference including sit-down hot breakfasts;
    • Reasonable prices at the three on-property restaurants featuring Sushi, classic American or Mediterranean cuisine;
    • Complimentary shuttle service from the San Jose International Airport to the hotel;
    • Newly appointed rooms- the hotel recently completed a $12 million renovation bringing it to Hyatt standards;
    • Quiet, restful nights- the hotel is situated far from major sources of noise pollution such as freeways;
    • Conference functions will take place at the adjoining Santa Clara Convention Center
    • ...and more







    32 Exhibitors Confirmed, More Anticipated

    Unlike other big name national and regional astronomy events, the Advanced Imaging Conference is built around the sharing of information, ideas and techniques about astrophotography.

    However, the cost of organizing, promoting, up-front funding and managing the annual get-together is greater than the attendee registration fees can support. So the AIC also features a Product Showcase packed with the world's leading manufacturers, retailers and service providers. Their fees help offset costs and make each AIC possible.

    This year will be no exception. 32 Sponsors and Vendors are planning to exhibit. More are expected.

    In past years, many have offered exclusive discounts to AIC conferees during the meeting- hopefully, many will do the same this year, too. The AIC encourages you to patronize these fine establishments, especially in between sessions. This year, the Product Showcase will be open during the Friday afternoon workshops for those who want to shop.

    Here' a list of exhibitors who have already registered:
    Founding Sponsors
  • RC Optical Systems
  • SBIG
  • Software Bisque

  • Editorial Sponsors
  • Sky & Telescope
  • Astronomy Magazine

  • Sponsors
  • Apogee Imaging Systems
  • Astro-Physics
  • Celestron
  • DC-3 Dreams
  • Oceanside Photo and Telescope
  • Planewave Instruments
  • Vendors
  • ASA Astrosysteme
  • Astrodon
  • Astrophoto Insight Magazine
  • Atik Cameras
  • BORG/AstroHutech
  • Canon
  • CCDWare
  • Celestial Parfait
  • Chroma Technology Corp
  • ChronosMount
  • Finger Lakes Instrumentation
  • Fishcamp Engineering
  • Meade Instruments
  • MonSTAR Prints
  • Mt. Lemmon Sky Center
  • Officina Stellare
  • Optec
  • Quantum Scientific Imaging, Inc.
  • Sierra Remote Observatories
  • Starlight Xpress, Ltd.
  • Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes





  • Voyage to Alcatraz Island on the AIC 2011 Saturday Tour

    While you're settling into the weekend general sessions, let your wife, family members or traveling companion take a trip they will long remember by joining our special, all inclusive Saturday tour to San Francisco. This year, getting there will be half the fun, because our unique event includes a round-trip ferry ride to Alcatraz Island! As they progress across the water, our guests will be treated to a breathtaking, picture post card view of San Francisco from the middle of the Bay!

    Following this nautical adventure, our guests will experience luncheon at world famous Boudin Bakery, on the wharf over looking the water. Following that, there's an insider tour of the bakery's back room operation and time to explore all the San Francisco waterfront has to offer: Pier 39, the outdoor markets at Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiradelli Square.

    Our private, chartered motorcoach departs the conference hotel at 9:15AM Saturday morning and includes tickets and ferry transportation to Alcatraz Island, lunch at Boudin Bakery and snacks. Our guests will return by 5:00PM Saturday afternoon in time to join you for the AIC Saturday evening Banquet dinner.

    Tour participation also includes all AIC conference meals- a $275 value for only $75 per person. (Joining this tour/meal package requires each guest to submit a separate conference registration.)

    Click here. to join the tour. Please note: This special, value packed opportunity is limited to the first 25 participants.




    AIC Friday Workshops Will Transform Your Images

    Like monks in a cosmic monastery, astrophotographers often work alone with their instruments and computers searching for the truth in their data. Our pastime is a unique experience that enables us to explore the farthest reaches of outer space, the depths of our talents and, yes, the extent of our patience as we process our images. The long, often circuitous path from novice to advanced imager is littered with dust covered telescopes and unused cameras abandoned out of frustration with the extreme learning curve this hobby imposes. AIC Workshop sessions are designed to help you overcome many of the challenges everyone faces whether they are just starting out or possess many years of experience.

    This year, we've invited some of the hobby's foremost specialists to offer you a hand during the Friday Workshops at AIC 2011.

    For example, Adam Block, one of the planet's highest rated astrophographic authorities, will conduct a special two hour workshop for beginner enthusiasts that will accelerate their processing skills. Award winning R. Jay GaBany will offer processing advice for those who want to awaken their images and leading astrophotographer, Dr. Steve Leshin, will demonstrate the remarkable capabilities of PixInsight. Also included will be sessions led by filter guru, Dr. Don Goldman, regarding the use of narrow band filters to produce evocative images and Mike Rice, proprietor of world- famous New Mexico Skies, will share his experiences, diagnosis and remedies gleaned from maintaining over 20 world class telescope setups, to help you prevent or repair unexpected situations with yours.

    We've also added two more workshops that will help automate your data collection process so you can do other things, like get some sleep! Join John Smith, Founder of CCDWare, as he explains new functions of the completely re-written CCDAutopilot Version 5 and Bob Denny, Founder of DC3Dreams, as he walks you through ACP's dispatch-scheduled observing functionality that helps ensure you achieve optimal, fully automated imaging results.

    All workshops will repeat during the morning and afternoon on Friday.




    2010 Conference Presentations Now Available Without Restriction

    The complete set of 2010 conference presentations are now available to download and review at your convenience. All previous restrictions on the 2010 files have been removed. Following is a list of links to each of the AIC's archives.

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



    Experience an Information Explosion during AIC Weekend Sessions

    Advanced Imaging Conferences can be an exhausting experience and this year's gathering will be no exception! Our weekend sessions will feature a waterfall of new ideas and useful, stimulating information that will leave you amazed, reinvigorated and highly motivated to take your next picture!

    This year's agenda features the Hubble Lecture by the 2011 Hubble Award recipient, Ron Wodaski, first thing Saturday morning. Ron's presentation will be followed by a constellation of stellar speakers including the sage advice of Dr. Steve Cannistra who discusses effective techniques that enhance wide field astro-photography and Alnitak Astrosystems Co-founder Peter Kalajian, who will take the mystery out of flat fielding.

    Nick Risinger will describe his adventure creating a 5,000 megapixel all sky mosaic and the Saturday meeting will also feature three Spotlight presentations by Mars mission image processor, Joel Hagen; Dean Salman, the inexhaustible Sharpless catalog documentarian and the world's foremost star stream expert, Dr. David Martinez-Delgado.

    If that's not enough, Paul Jones, the highly regarded telescopic optician, will explain optical measurements used to grade the quality of our instruments and Dennis di Cicco, Sky and Telescope's award winning astronomical editor, author, astrophotographer and telescope maker will describe his latest, amazing ultra-wide field project.

    Plus, Dr. Alex Filippenko, Distinguished Professor of Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley, sought after lecturer, author, celebrated astronomy popularizer, award winning teacher and researcher will join our proceedings, expand your understanding of the Universe and fill your mind with wonder. His session is not to be missed!





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