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• 05/05/12
Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Imaging the Sky Conference 2012
Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6, 2012
Intel HF3 Auditorium
5200 NE Elam Young Parkway
Hillsboro, OR 97124 USA
Updated on April 22, 2012
Astrophotography using cameras provides many benefits such as observing fainter details, making scientific measurements and producing stunning images that are shared with others.
This conference is organized and implemented by Neil Heacock, Duncan Kitchin and David Haworth.
There is no registration fee but registration is required because seating is limited. To register send email with full name to Neil Heacock at
Presentations files will be available here as they come in.
For more information please visit David Haworth's web page on the event here:
Below are the presentation files and supporting files required for the workshop portions of the conference:
Ken Hose Presentation on Detecting Exoplanet Transits With Equipment You Already Own
Sean Curry Presentation on PixInsight Image Processing Software
CurryPixInsight2012.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 2.93 MB] 
Greg Marshall Presentation on An Introduction to Astrophotography for Terrestrial Photographers
AP4TP.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 14.03 MB]
Tim Crawford Presentation on Variable Star Observing with CCD’s
Variable_Star_Observing_With_CCDs.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 7.42 MB] 
Tim Crawford Presentation on Differential Photometry
Differential_Photometry.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 6.68 MB]
Joe Garlitz Presentation on Asteroid Light Curves and Occultations 
Asteroid_Rotation.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 2.35 MB]
Asteroid_Occulation.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 1.72 MB]
Greg Babcock Presentation on Eclipse and Transits Excursions 
Excursions5.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 13.35 MB]
Neil Heacock Presentation on Better Acquisition - Cleaning Up Our Images 
Better_Aquisition.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 9.58 MB]
CCD_Alignment.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 80.42 KB] (Alan A. Bédard)
Iterative_Alignment.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 87.82 KB] (By Michael A. Covington)
David Haworth Presentation on Astronomical Spectographs 
S4P11ITS201205Spect.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 7.43 MB]
Duncan Kitchin Presentation on Collaborative Imaging 
Collaborative_Imaging_Minimum.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 5.36 MB]
Richard Berry Presentation on Optical Configurations For Astrophotography
Optical_Configurations_for_Astrophotography.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 6.22 MB] 
Miquel Casas Presentation on Automating The Observatory
Automating_the_Observatory.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 3.2 MB]
Attendee Feedback 
Pace - moved right along. A lot of different interesting areas were covered.
Quality of presentations.  This was my first astronomy or astro-imaging related conference, but I attend numerous conferences on various technical subjects and the presentations here were better than I'm used to.
Good balance between less technical topics on Saturday and more technical topics on Sunday.
Overall friendliness and enthusiasm of attendees
Learning new imaging and image processing techniques and new science applications.
What was NOT to like?

I enjoyed every presentation.  They motivated me to try new things.
I loved the PixInsight Image Processing Software.  It has very good usability not just in astronomy but other imaging areas as well.

The Collaborative Imaging was interesting, but a “tall” problem to solve.

I liked the Better Acquisition - Cleaning Up Our Images. I believe it to be a good into to newer astronomists and reminding current users in some of the back to basics, etc.

I really liked the Optical Configurations for Astrophotography.  As a current microscope user at Intel and having some starting interest in telescopes, it gave a very good overview for the different configurations, etc
I also liked the Astronomical Spectrographs presentation as well.
I liked that you separated the tech stuff on the second day.
A few of the presentations and mostly meeting and having some discussions between other attendees of the meeting.  
Seemed good to me.
Better attendance.  Maybe more marketing as it seems this is considered to be a local event, but I think it has broad appeal to bring in more people from further away.  I drove up from Reno and it was well worth my time. 
I've never been to a free conference before - consider charging say a nominal $25 registration fee.  I don't think this will drive anyone away and will help to cover expenses, and also maybe some advertising.  This is a topic I know nothing about and there may be some issues related to charging a fee that I'm not aware of, possibly Intel will not provide the facility if a registration fee is charged, or their may be incorporation or tax-exempt organization issues involved. 
I also suggest an "official" event dinner on Saturday night a local restaurant.  This would provide newcomers an opportunity to become better acquainted and discuss various topics of interest.   
Need to allow 70 to 75 minutes per session that includes break and change of setup between presenters.
Although I attended and enjoyed the entire two days, a little shorter day on Sunday would be OK.  
Nothing, a good mix of topics and level of technical expertise.

It was excellent. Having a coffee pot would be good if the facility allows for it. 

The conference seemed to run smoothly, and everyone was very professional.

Try to get presentation files out a little sooner.

Better selection of presentations, related to astrophotography.  I was looking for more, in the way of technical information to improve imaging, gain more knowledge, or use of hardware for imaging.      
Some of the less technical presentations were entirely too long, interesting topic on sharing images/information, but It should have been shorter and to the point. 
I saw the eclipse travel show at Mt Bachelor Star Party last year.  I was hoping more information on equipment, hardware, exposures he used for the images.
The presentation on astrophotography for terrestrial photographers was too long, it would have been better to cover a single area/aspect.  I think most there were interested in Deep Sky, and he ran out of time to spend any time with it.

Advanced techniques of any kind. Tips & tricks.
I think even the most expert imagers don't know everything there is to know about the sky (!) and a session on learning the sky and little known points of interest would be interesting.
More on optics for imaging.
More on what can be done with inexpensive or home brewed equipment.
There was one interesting poster session, perhaps a "Call for Papers" and a better developed poster session?  Since there's limited time available for formal presentations a lot of information can be presented at a poster session without overloading the conference schedule.
The scientists may rebel at this, but what about an informal "Pretty Picture" session where participants could submit their favorite shots to be displayed and critiqued?  Or, maybe a screen set up in the lobby.
More on auto-guiding software, hardware and technique.
Advance PI demo from Sean or form Neil since he just got PI.
Flats, Plate Solving, Guiding, Tpoint.
There is so much for me to learn.  I guess some more discussion (and reasons) about selection of equipment (scope, mount, imaging device, etc.) and methods (exposures, guiding options, processing options) for the various types of target objects (planets, nebula, galaxies, multiple star and cluster, etc) . . .

David asked this on Sunday.  I suggested a discussion on making flats.  I suppose it should really be on the whole calibration process, but if you avoid the nitty-gritty of how sensors work and just talk about collecting and applying calibration images, it will be mostly about flats.

Some of the same above.  Maybe a session for newer users and how decisions should be made on starting configurations and how to evolve into later configurations for more detailed analysis of the stars.

Less theoretical or conceptual and more practical hands on sessions that strike a broader audience. Calibration. stacking algorithms, targets that match sky darkness levels, estimating integration time for various types of targets. Etc. Software demonstrations are extremely helpful. PixInsight is now on my list of processing applications to purchase.

WiFi access would have been nice, though I believe this was a function of Intel's security.

Admittedly, much of the material in the sessions I attended was over my head at this point. I am interested in conferences and workshops geared more toward beginners, and hope to then "move up" to conferences like this one. I'd like to see sessions focused more on science and theory in addition to practical applications—for instance, the science behind spectroscopy (e.g., emission vs. absorption spectra, what we can learn about stars and transiting exoplanets through spectroscopy), as well as what "backyard astronomers" can do with it.
I think a session on how to engage young people with astronomy—e.g., classroom projects, observation lists, games—and a session on misconceptions in astronomy would be nice additions.
Wide field time lapse astrophotgraphy.

Various areas of astrophotography.  Planetary, Lunar, Deep Sky CCD and DSLR, DSLR Wide & Telephoto.  More detailed and less generic.
Using Stacking software in more detail.
That really simple planetary imaging presentation a couple OMSI’s back was really good, and watching him stack the images was the best part.
Some beginner stuff, for newbies and low budget astrophotography.  I can’t afford to buy MAXIM DL and PhotoShop CS in the same year, or even consider Pix Insight for awhile.  This was my PhotoShop year.  So now I need to figure out what to get for Next year.
More interactive, like the ones you did at OMSI.   It was the closest thing to “hands on” processing of an image.  I learn more from watching than from reading about it in a book.
Some hand outs are also nice !!  If they relate to one of the topics.
All presentations on Sat. First 2 on Sun.
Afternoon Saturday/Morning Sunday

Saturday all day.

I attended Greg Marshall's talk on Saturday morning and then was there for most of Sunday.

All day Saturday.

All Day Saturday, and first two on Sunday.

Control the temperature!
Excellent.  It would be nice to have internet and a bigger coffee pot. 
Great, but a little too cold.
Nice, great location, too cold.
Temp in auditorium felt like a clear January night under the stars.

The facility works great - room for everyone, great video makes it easy to see, etc.  However, not being able to use a computer is a bit of a drag (no power or internet access).

None, all of the updated Intel sites have good facilities to project and present from.  Very good location.
I was surprised that at an Intel facility there was no guest internet access (I mean, there was, but we didn't have the guest login). That's kind of a must in today's world when were away from home and such for an all day event. Also, it was pretty cold in there and I was surprised no one turned up the temp.
It was COLD in the auditorium! Uncomfortably so.

Otherwise, the facility was great. Easy to find, plenty of parking, clean, etc. It would have been nice if conference attendees could have accessed the vending machines (near the cafeteria) without an Intel escort, though I understand Intel's security policies.
It was ok but was cold and lacked power and WIFI access. However it did accomodate more people. We came on the MAX so lunch options were limited for us.
Nice Facility…  What was the deal…. You could use the facility for free, but they were not going to spend any money on HEATING??  Haha!
I did miss the ability to use a laptop like we did at the OMSI events, and process images along with the presentation.  
Thanks to all who helped to organize the conference.
It was another great conference.  Thank you to the presenters who made this conference a success.
Liked the sharing of attendees projects/images.
Liked swap meet at the end.
Liked the down load of presentations before the presentation.
Looking forward to the videos being available.
Need to plan for 75 minutes for lunch.
I appreciate and want to thank all those who organized and presented at this event!!!!!!

I wish that the swap meet was not at the same time as "picture sharing".  I wanted to show some images and see others', but had to scramble to set up stuff for sale.

All of the hard work that goes into this each year is greatly appreciated. And for free?! You guys are amazing.

I was surprised by how few women were in attendance. On Saturday, I think I was one of three women there, and Sunday I was the only one. Maybe that's just the nature of amateur astronomy, and it was a self-selecting group. I had also expected to see more young people there, but perhaps a beginners conference would have more appeal?
Thanks for putting this together!

On 05/07/12 at 09:22pm Joe Garlitz wrote:
Very nice conference,

Big thanks to you all who put it together!!!

Joe Garlitz

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