Guest Speaker 2013 - Anthony Wesley

Anthony Wesley has graciously agreed to be our special guest speaker for the 2013 Astrofest.  He will be speaking on Saturday Afternoon on the topic of "The Changing Face of Amateur Planetary Imaging, and Amateur/Professional Collaboration".

Anthony has been involved in planetary imaging since the great Mars opposition of 1984. In 2003 he changed to a modern webcam and laptop and every year since then he has found ways to improve the quality of images that he captures. His passion for imaging the planets in our solar system leads him to spend many hours recording video on Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - all of which have thrown up surprises in the last four years. As part of this ongoing imaging campaign he has also established relationships with many professional planetary scientists and contributed images to papers that have been published in professional journals such as Nature. In 2012 Anthony was recipient of the Berenice and Arthur Page medal which is administered by the Astronomical Society of Australia.

This talk will cover the changing nature of planetary imaging, both optical and electronic hardware and software, with some personal anecdotes and lots of pretty pictures :-)


Anthony was born in 1965 and grew up in Glen Innes in rural New South Wales. He was interested in all things science as a child, from chemistry to electronics, mathematics and astronomy. After receiving a small refractor for Christmas when he was 8, he spent hours in the backyard looking at the sky (with absolutely no idea what he was looking at, but just for the love of looking).

There were no astronomy courses at school or university, so he graduated with a double major in mathematics and computer science instead, and an honours degree in Computer Science, but astronomy remained his first love.

In 2003 he bought a video camera and started experimenting with planetary imaging during the favourable Mars opposition of that year. He is now completely addicted to planetary imaging and spends far too much time looking for ways to improve the quality of images that he takes.

In 2005 he started an ongoing imaging programme for Jupiter and Saturn, and has accumulated a large body of data for each. Despite their brightness and large relative size, they are challenging to photograph at high resolution. Both planets are very dynamic and interesting, and he thinks that more people should be trying to image them. Saturn in particular has shown an amazing variability in appearance over the last few years as it comes out of solstice, with the infamous North polar Hexagon now clearly visible from earth.

His personal web site is here.



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