Today we proudly announce that Adam Block will be our key-speaker at CEDIC'17
As in the years before we tried to get an internationally honored and well known key-speaker for the upcoming conference in 2017. We are deeply grateful that we got a positive answer from our first choice: Mr. Adam Block from the United States.
We are sure that everyone of you already know Adam Block, maybe from his excellent astrophotography, from his work at the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter or you have read one of the many articles which he has published in the past years.
We appreciate his commitment to the CEDIC and looking foreward to welcome him here in Austria!
About Adam Block
As a young boy Adam would read books and magazines that dealt with science and astronomy. They always seemed to say "Arizona" in the caption with respect to research and astronomers. So he chose to attend the University of Arizona where he studied Astronomy and Physics. After graduating in 1996 it was serendipity that Kitt Peak National Observatory modified their visitor center by installing a small telescope to offer nightly stargazing programs. He applied for the job and was hired on the spot! For the next 9 years he created and developed the core public observing programs that are still offered there today. In addition to public speaking and program content he also created unique programs that highlighted photography of the Universe through a telescope.
As a maturing adult it became clear that Adam could not make the Kitt Peak job his livelihood and so he reached another critical point in his life. He could do the reasonable thing and make astronomy a hobby (and get a "real job") or he could do the unreasonable and try to make the job of popularizing astronomy through public outreach and astrophotography his career. Through the generosity of Joe Schulman, for providing the telescope, and the foresight of Dr Peter Strittmatter (then director of Steward Observatory at the UofA) the creation of what is now called the UA Science Mount Lemmon SkyCenter began in 2007. As the founder of stargazing programs at the SkyCenter Adam believed his life has a wonderful arc beginning from the day at 8 years old when he exclaimed to his mother "When I grow up I want to be an astronomer and I want to work there!" while pointing to a picture of an observatory in Arizona (it was actually Kitt Peak). The SkyCenter then represents the culmination of his efforts to do public outreach and share his passion for astronomy.
Astrophotography is one facet of the way Adam reaches people. When he administer programs atop Mount Lemmon at the SkyCenter he can only inspire for as far as his voice will carry. However pictures he creates have a much greater reach. Once published they can be seen by people around the world. And they have. Today he is regarded as an world-renowned astrophotographer. Of course not a single achievement he has enjoyed would have been possible without the support and caring of countless people and organizations- for which he is eternally gratefully and he strives to pay back in every way that he can.
Throughout the years Adam has developed specialized techniques for processing astronomical images. It so happens that when he began his work in amateur CCD imagery (e.g. pretty pictures) there were no well documented methods for producing high-resolution full color images of astronomical objects. He learned by trial and error (much more of the latter) while people looked over his shoulder! Having honed his craft he now demonstrate these ever-evolving processing ways as part of workshops and tutorials he makes available. You will find some of them on his webpage (www.adamblockphotos.com) in addition to the photographic prints. Adam was thrilled to have been asked by Robert Gendler to write a chapter in his recent book, called "Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing", which outlines some of the fundamental and innovative steps Adam uses when processing images. Today images he produces are used as references by amateur and professional astronomers alike. In addition to his work at the SkyCenter he also writes a monthly column, called "Cosmic Imaging" for Astronomy Magazine about... you will never guess... CCD image processing.
The Central European Deepsky Imaging Conference (CEDIC) was introduced in 2009 by the three Austrian hobby-astrophotographers Christoph Kaltseis, Herbert Raab and Wolfgang Leitner. It was the first international astronomical imaging conference throughout Europe and their personal contribution to the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Certainly it was not an accident that the date of the CEDIC encountered with the "100 Hours of Astronomy". Far from it! The organizers also wanted to support this project of the IYA with their conference.
Since 2009 the conference takes place every 2 years and is a growing event that sees more international attendees each time. The second CEDIC in 2011 for example had more than 150 participants from 20 countries, including lecturers from South and North America, and the Middle East. We appreciate the fact, that we could always invite an internationaly well known key-speaker for each conference and we want to express our gratitude to Lars Lindberg Christensen (2009, ESO) R. Jay Gabany (2011, USA), David Malin (2013, Australia) and Don Goldman (2015, USA) for contributing to our conference!
The conference offers two days of lectures and workshops and altough the main focus is deepsky imaging also other interesting topics of astrophotography are covered. For example: TWAN stile photography, timelapse photography, planetary imaging, comet imaging, scientific astronomy, etc. Beside the lectures there is also a lot of time to visit the booths of our partners, where one could find a lot of fine astro equipment. But there is also enough time for small talks and expert discussions - after all, communication across local borders is one of the main concepts of the CEDIC. Maybe this is one of the reasons why most of the conference attendees also join the traditional Conference Dinner on Saturday evening, a good possibility of meeting astrophotographers (and friends) from all over the world, exchanging not only knowledge but also hanging around together and have fun.
We are already looking foreward to CEDIC '17 which is scheduled for March 10-12, 2017 in Linz, Austria.
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