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  AIC Volume 4, Number 8
In this issue:
  • Risinger scores 2011 Pleiades Award more...
  • Donate your unused equipment more...
  • Ron Wodaski offers extras more...
  • 2011 AIC Image Gallery now on-line more...
  • 2011 Presentation downloads are available more...
  • 2012 conference dates announced more...
  • AIC 2012
    October 26- 28
    Hyatt Regency
    Santa Clara, California
    AIC 2011 Sponsors
    Happy Holidays!

    From the Advanced Imaging Conference management team, we hope you have a cheerful, safe and memorable holiday season with clear, dark, steady skies and the time to enjoy them!

    Ken, Jay, Frank, Keith, Al, Bob

    Nick Risinger Named 2011 AIC Pleiades Award Recipient

    For the third consecutive year, the AIC Board of Directors have met and voted for the most qualified candidate to receive the Conference's Pleiades Award.

    Created in 2009, the Pleiades award is intended to recognize the very brightest, most exceptional imagers who are either youthful in years or relatively young to the pursuit of astrophotography. Its purpose is to encourage those few outstanding individuals who have not yet met the criteria for the Hubble Award but demonstrate skills and personal qualities that are early hallmarks of people who subsequently receive the Conference's highest honor.

    In 2009, Daniel Marquardt was cited because of his astrophotographic accomplishments, his enthusiasm and his youth in years. In 2010, the Board selected Rogelio Bernal Andreo, based on his achievements given the youth of his experience. For 2011, Nick Risinger was unanimously chosen based on both his youth in years and youth in experience.

    Nick set up his rack of cameras in high-elevation locales throughout the Western U.S. and South Africa, timing photo shoots around new moons when nights were long and dark. He programmed his six cameras to track the stars as they moved across the sky and simultaneously snapped thousands of photos. Then he stitched 37,440 exposures together into a spectacular, panoramic survey sky that he posted online in early May of this year. It instantly created headline news around the world!

    The photo reveals a 360-degree view of the Milky Way, planets and stars in their true natural colors. Viewers can zoom in on portions of the 5,000-megapixel image to find Orion or the Large Magellanic Cloud.

    Nick recently spoke about his project at the 2011 Advanced Imaging Conference, held this past November.

    Nick's all sky portrait of the heavens is a monumental achievement that will not soon be surpassed. The effort expended, the devotion dedicated and the skill exhibited by this project is unparalleled and an inspiration to astrophotographers and deep space image enthusiasts worldwide!

    Please join the AIC Board in congratulating Nick on his spectacular achievement and the receipt of this well-deserved citation!

    Donate Your Unused Equipment and Add Sparkle to the Lives of Others

    In this season of giving, when the needs of those less fortunate are most keenly felt, your donation of unused astronomical equipment will help Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) put a twinkle of starlight in the eyes of budding astronomers living in regions where resources are much more scarce.

    Romanian H-alpha observer

    Astronomers Without Borders fosters understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries by creating relationships through the universal appeal of astronomy. AWB projects promote sharing:
    • Sharing resources;
    • Sharing knowledge and
    • Sharing inspiration.
    All through a common interest in something basic and universal: Sharing the sky.

    There are two ways you can help:
    • Working in association with Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes, your tax-deductible donation will be auctioned and the proceeds used to fund AWB programs around the world.
    • Sharing Telescopes and Resources (STAR) gathers surplus telescopes and other materials and passes them on to organizations where such resources are difficult to acquire. Individual efforts have been extremely successful at bringing people together from very different countries and cultures through a common interest in astronomy.

    A public star party in Bhaktapur, Nepal organized by the Nepal Astronomical Society and AWB/TWAN, Nov. 2009
    To make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes at or Mike Simmons of Astronomers Without Borders at

    Ron Wodaski Gives Zone System Book Extras to AIC 2011 Conferees

    Just in time for the holidays, celestial Kris Kringle and AIC 2011 Hubble recipient Ron Wodaski,, has another free gift exclusively for 2011 attendees! In addition to the free copy of The New Astro Zone System for Astro Imaging provided to each 2011 meeting conferee, Ron is now making a set of video and PowerPoint tutorials available that explain many of the topics covered between the book's pages.

    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!

    Look for a separate email from the AIC later this week for download instructions.

    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

    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!

    Next Issue: The 2012 Hubble Award Recipient, Candid Photos from the 2011 Meeting and 2011 Survey Results

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