Astronomy Talks

Astronomy and Astrophotography talks are frequently given to organizations across the island as well as invited lectures in countries around the region. We offer talks (minimum duration of an hour) on subjects related to astrophotography, practical astronomy, and current selected astronomy-related interest topics. If you would like to arrange one of these talks for your organization or institution, please contact the author directly.

Past invited talks or colloquia to scientific or general audiences

1) Auckland, New Zealand (2001), Astronomy in Singapore, invited talk presented to the members of Auckland Astronomical Society, November, 2001.

2) Boon Lay, Singapore (2002), Urban Astronomy, invited talk presented to the members of Nanyang Technological University Astronomical Society, Nanyang Technological University, May, 2002.

3) Kent Ridge, Singapore (2002), Astronomy Adventures!, invited lecture in the Singapore Learning Festival 2002 lecture series (featured in Straits Times), National University of Singapore, November, 2002.

4) Singapore (2003), Outreach support activities for Bendeemer Secondary School, March, 2003.

5) Sentosa, Singapore (2003), Introductory Astronomy, invited talk presented to the public, Sentosa Corporation, April, 2003.

6) Grand Canyon, United States of America (2003), Astronomy from Equatorial Latitudes, invited talk presented at the Grand Canyon Star Party, Tucson Astronomy Group, June, 2003.

7) Buona Vista, Singapore (2003), Mars, invited lecture, Raffles Junior College Astronomical Society, August, 2003.

8) Jurong East, Singapore (2004), Practical Astronomy, invited talk presented to students at the Singapore Science Centre, Singapore Science Centre, July, 2004.

9) Dover, Singapore (2004), Drake's Equation: The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Beings, invited public lecture, Singapore Polytechnic, October, 2004.

10) Dover, Singapore (2004), Astrophotography: Nuts and Bolts, Singastro Astronomical Seminar 2004, Singapore Polytechnic, December, 2004.

11) Desaru, Malaysia (2005), Astrophotography: Digital Imaging, Nanyang Polytechnic Annual Astronomy Convention, May, 2005.

12) Desaru, Malaysia (2006), Astrophotography: CCD Imaging, Nanyang Polytechnic Annual Astronomy Convention, June, 2006.

13) New South Wales, Australia (2007), Astronomy Scene in Singapore & Malaysia, Lostock Ice-In-Space Star Party, January, 2007.

14) Raffles Junior College, Singapore (2008), Robotic Observatories, Astrigue Challenge 2008, March, 2008.

15) Victoria, Australia (2008), Engaging in Astronomy and Astrophotography in Singapore, invited talk presented at the Snake Valley Star Party, November, 2008.

16) Tioman, Malaysia (2011), Introductory Astrophotography, invited talk and workshop presented at the Paya Beach Resort for Palm Image Production Academy, March, 2011.

17) National Library Board, Singapore (2012), Introduction to Digital Astrophotography, invited workshop presented at the Jurong Library for the National Library Board, May, 2012.

18) National Library Board, Singapore (2012), Urban Astronomy, invited talk presented at the Jurong Library for the National Library Board, June, 2012.

19) National Library Board, Singapore (2012), Introduction to Digital Astrophotography (repeated session to cope with demand), invited workshop presented at the Jurong Library for the National Library Board, June, 2012.

20) Punggai Resort, Malaysia (2014), Principles of Astrophotography, invited workshop at the Punggai Resort during the National University of Singapore astronomy expedition, March, 2014.

21) Nanyang Polytechic, Singapore (2014), Astrophotography Trends and Experiences, invited guest-talk at Nanyang Polytechnic during the Astronomy Competition for Schools, March, 2014.

22) Raffles and Hwa-Chong Junior Colleges, Singapore (2014), Digital Astrophotography and Image Processing Workflows, invited guest-talk at Raffles Junior College, April, 2014.

23) South-east GRC, Singapore (2014), Astronomy In Cities, invited guest-talk at Bedok South, April, 2014.

24) Victoria Junior College Astronomy Club, Singapore (2014), Insight into Astro Imaging, invited guest-talk at Victoria Junior College, May, 2014.

25) Kuala Lumpur Starfinder Astronomical Society and World Space Week Expo, Singapore (2014), From Photons to Pictures, invited guest-talk at KL Planetarium, November, 2014.

26) Astronomy Annual Retreat, Malaysia (2015), Imaging in Australia - Chronicles of Imaging, invited guest-talk at Port Dickson, June, 2015.

27) Astronomy League of the Philippines, Philippines (2015), Imaging in Australia - Chronicles of Imaging, invited guest-talk in Manila, July, 2015.

Biography

With the advent of technology, astrophotography has risen to a whole new level, with the ability to capture high resolution images with modest amateur instruments, avoiding the need to invest heavily. Since the 1990s, the author has taken an avid interest in the various fields of astronomical imaging, ranging from emulsion-based (film), CMOS, to CCD deep sky imaging, with the data acquisition of information including the wide-field panoramic expanse of the Milky Way to narrow-field record of galaxies and planetary nebulae. He has also taken a keen interest in the areas of planetary and solar system high-resolution imaging (from sunspots to assembling of lunar mosaics covering detailed lunar topographical surfaces), resulting in image publications in internationally renowned astronomy magazines like ASTRONOMY and SKY AND TELESCOPE, other media forms (APOD, et cetera), as well as local media publications.

Astrophotography

First of all, astrophotography is not just about getting the best, state-of-the-art equipment, and then getting on the road to imaging. It is really about patience and the willingness to rough out in the open, and experience the ups and downs of the learning journey. This is in itself the primary drive and spirit to keep one going in this fascinating aspect of astronomy. It is not about obtaining pretty pictures, it is more about learning to understand your equipment better, capturing the images in challenging conditions (especially in this part of the world where the weather is the ultimate component in enabling potentially good image capture), and fine tuning one's skills in digital image processing in order to bring out the best in any given image, be it film, or digital. It is nevetheless a demanding yet extremely rewarding pursuit once you see the end result. It is demanding because to achieve excellence requires a number of factors to all be at the highest level, and rewarding for the satisfaction of having achieved success in a difficult field. It is also inherently satisfying because a permanent record is created in forms which can be shown to others (on paper, web image, et cetera).

There are various levels of astro-imaging. The entry level into this pursuit need not be high if one is happy to photograph the Moon, Sun and the brightest planets. Such objects should not be decried as there are some renowned amateur astrophotographers who photograph little else, even travelling to another continent to seek excellent seeing for taking such astrophotographs! The other end of the spectrum involves taking high resolution deep sky images using CCDs and DSLRs, with several issues to take care of (and learn!). Through this website, the author hopes to showcase a collection of images taken through the different imaging mediums, together with some details of the image capture process.

Expeditions

Highlights of the author's expedition involvement and pursuits include the investigation of solar radius variations behavior during the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) annular solar eclipse expedition (NASA) in Eastern Peninsula Malaysia together with a crew, headed by occultation specialist, Richard Nugent (1999).

Another significant on-site expedition includes the total solar eclipse expedition organized by the author to the desert grounds of Roxby Downs, Southern Australia (2002) for astronomical imaging of the eclipse progression. Other expeditions include trips to various locations in Peninsula Malaysia, Thailand, United States of America, and New Zealand for purposes of astronomical outreach, digital and emulsion imaging, meteor showers and planetary observations.

Outreach

The author has been in numerous astronomical key involvements in Singapore and Malaysia, from the organization of public events like Mars Watch 2003, to lecturing assistance in the Ministry of Manpower educational projects like the Singapore Learning Festival 2002, and many other such events. He has also taken the initiative to start the first-ever astronomical internet forum (1999) for the Singapore amateur astronomical community, Singastro, with a subscribed community of over 2000 today.

Image Publications and Works

van der Bergh 106, ASTRONOMY magazine (September 2015)
Chameleon I Molecular Cloud Complex, ASTRONOMY magazine (October 2015)
Assorted DSO and Planetary Imageries, Straits Times Life (3rd April 2015)
Asteroid 2014BL86, Officina Stellare (26 January 2015)
C2014Q2 Lovejoy, Officina Stellare (December 2014)
Lagoon Nebula, APOD (24th September 2014)
Rosette Nebula, ChannelNewsAsia (Article) (March 2013)
Feature Gallery for Venus Transit, Lianhe Zaobao (3 June 2012)
NGC 6726, Journal of the British Astronomical Association (2012)
NGC 6164 bipolar nebula, SPECTACULAR UNIVERSE (2011 Edition)
The Great Orion Nebula, Lianhe Zaobao (March 2011)
Eta Carinae Nebula, ChannelNewsAsia (Article) (May 2010)
Andromeda Galaxy, ChannelNewsAsia (Article) (June 2008)
Gibbous Moon, ASTRONOMY magazine (June 2008)
Trifid Nebula, Straits Times Life (August 2007)

Scientific Collaborations

Harold Knox Shaw and the Helwan Observatory, British Astronomical Association (and Journal publication for R Corona Australis observations).

Conferences

Astro Image 2002, Orange County Astronomers (web participation)
Advanced Imaging Conference 2015 (San Jose, USA), invited attendee by Conference Board of Directors

Exhibitions

Showcased astrophotographic works in the following locale:
Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum (2017)
National University of Singapore (2016)
National University of Singapore (2012)
Singapore Art Museum (2008)
37th IPHO at National Institute of Education (2006)

Others

Founder for SINGASTRO
Founder for NUS Astronomical Society
Advisor for TinyMOS
Advisor for Astronomy.SG
Southeast GRC astronomical outreach activities (Bedok Siglap)
Guest of Honour appearances for Astrigue (Raffles Junior College), and AstroChallenge (NUS-NTU) astronomy competitions
Cadi-Scientific Medal Award Recipient for Year of 2015 (Institute of Physics, Singapore)
Main Organizer for ASTRONOMY2017 at Marina Bay Sands Art Science Museum (Feb 2017)
Co-organizer with National Library Board for Space Adventures! (May 2012)
Co-organizer with Singapore Heritage Board for Lunar Eclipse 2011 (December 2011)
Main Organizer for ASTRONOMY2008 at Singapore Art Museum (2008)
Organizer for Mars Watch 2003 at Bedok Reservoir (2003)
Main organizer for SINGASTRO Equipment Festival 2015 (November 2015)

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