A new class was introduced to the AAA line up this spring—Astrophotography through telescopes. There seemed to be a demand as indicated by surveys done at the end of the other AAA classes. We used the format Irene Pease set up for the “Astronomy Smorgasbord” class where a different instructor taught each session. Six members of the Astrophotography group volunteered to organize and teach the class: John Bills, Mauri Rosenthal, Antoine Ribaut, Preston Stahly, Alfredo Viegas and Stan Honda.
On April 11 Mauri and Alfredo began the first session with an overview of equipment and techniques need to do deep sky imaging through telescopes or telephoto lenses. Throughout the class, different instructors utilized their expertise on equipment or software or both to give students guidance on what kind of set up to buy and how to proceed in photographing objects.
Image processing techniques, vital to a good result, was a big part of the class.
The final class was a field trip to the UACNJ facility at Jenny Jump State Park in New Jersey on May 18 to allow students to bring their equipment, set it up and have the instructors assist with their set ups running. Though it was the night of the “Flower” full moon, the students were able to image objects in the sky. We all saw a beautiful orange moon rising and about an hour and a half later, the International Space Station flew overhead.
For most of its 25 years in space, the Hubble Space Telescope has been astounding people all around the world with its beautiful images. Its scientific instruments have revolutionized our understanding of the universe and its history. But this is not an article about the Hubble Space Telescope; rather someone we have to thank for clearing the pathway for its success, and many other contributions she has made to NASA and understanding of astronomy.