Imaging the Universe

by Surabhi Agarwal, Co-editor

Spring is finally here. Amateur astronomers can now rejoice in the fact that they can look up at the sky without being part of the film “Frozen”. It is time to take out your cameras and scopes and all that connects the two, because this month Gene Ramsey will tell you about a new app he uses for stargazing. He will be followed by Prof. Robert Vanderbei of Princeton University who will describe modern techniques for astrophotography.

Now a little bit about our two speakers –

Gene Ramsey. Photo credit: Surabhi Agarwal

Gene Ramsey. Photo credit: Surabhi Agarwal

Gene’s interest in astronomy started in 1955 when he was in high school. One clear night, a friend of his asked if he would like to look at the heavens through his 4” Newtonian telescope. Of course, Gene being a curious person was keen to do so. What he saw, changed him forever and he became an avid amateur astronomer – Jupiter, with its famed red spot and those moons that Galileo had first brought to the attention of the world. Smitten, Gene bought his own telescope and started observing the heavens.

In 1994 when comet Shoemaker-Levy crashed head-on into Jupiter, Gene’s interest in astronomy was reinvigorated and in 1995 he joined the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton (AAAP).

Gene is currently co-chair of AAAP’s Simpson Observatory at Washington Crossing State Park and trains new key holders. On all nights when the observatory is open to the public, Gene is there to help with observations and visitor traffic control.

Our second speaker is the talented Dr. Robert Vanderbei. He is a mathematician, statistician, chemist, astrophysicist, astro-photographer, macro-photographer, author of books and hundreds of research papers.

Dr. Robert Vanderbei

Dr. Robert Vanderbei

Dr. Vanderbei is a AAAP member and Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. Beyond Princeton, he is a Fellow of both the Society for Applied and Industrial Mathematics (SIAM) and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). He has degrees in Chemistry (BS), Operations Research and Statistics (MS), and Applied Mathematics (MS, PhD). He received his PhD from Cornell University in 1981. He has written three books: (i) a textbook entitled “Linear Programming: Foundations and Extensions”, published by Springer, (ii) “Sizing Up The Universe”, written jointly with J. Richard Gott and published by National Geographic, and (iii) “Real and Convex Analysis”, a textbook written jointly with Erhan Cinlar and published by Springer.

See you this Tuesday April 8th at 8:00 p.m. in Peyton Hall, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton.

This entry was posted in April 2014, Sidereal Times and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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