Astrophotography Special Interest Group Meeting

Default event

Open to Public

Type: Astrophotography

Keywords: Photography Astrophotography Pixinsight Nightscape Dslr

Held on: Feb 13, 2018 (Tue) at 07:00 PM to Feb 13, 2018 (Tue) at 09:00 PM

Speaker: Tom Field

Location: Red Barn Classroom at the Museum of Flight 9404 E Marginal Way S Seattle, WA 98108

Event Coordinator: Matt Dahl

Topic: Spectroscopy!  Tom Field from Field Tested Systems will discuss how to use amateur equipment to do your own spectroscopy of the cosmos.

This group meets to discuss imaging and processing techniques. No experience or special equipment required!

Meets second Tuesday of the month in the Red Barn Classroom at the Museum of Flight.


Latitude 47.517993, Longitude -122.2963839


“You can almost touch the stars”

As you know, even if you wanted to touch a star, they’re impossibly distant. Despite these great distances, researchers have learned a great deal about quite a few stars. How? The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.

Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible for almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture … or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!

This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. And, it will show you how to get started.

Tom’s says that he’s especially excited to talk to the SAS Astrophotography SIG because as he says, “Members of the SIG are prime candidates for spectroscopy since they already have the right gear and are astro-photographers already.  And to keep everyone awake, I’ll bring one of our Periodic Table of Spectra posters (link) and give it away in a trivia quiz at the end of my talk.”

Speaker Bio: Tom Field has lived here in Seattle for more than 40 years, but hesitates to call himself a “native” for fear of raising the ire of people who were actually born here. He started Field Tested Systems eight years ago and he’s a Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine. He has had articles published there (starting in 2011) as well as in Astronomy Technology Today and several other magazines.. He’s the author of the RSpec software ( which received S&T’s “Hot Product” award. Tom is a popular speaker who has spoken at many different venues, including NEAF, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference, SCAE, PATS and others. And he has spoken to over 250 clubs via webinars. His enthusiastic style is lively and engaging. He promises to open the door for you to this fascinating field!  You can contact Tom using the contact form at his site:  


Number of Supporters: 0

Number of Attendees: 0

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