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Session 33 - Amateurs & Professionals: Collaborators in the New Age of Electronic Astronomy - II.
Oral session, Tuesday, June 10
North Main Hall C/D,

[33.06] An Amateur/Professional Connection: The Center for Backyard Astrophysics

D. R. Skillman (Center for Backyard Astrophysics, Maryland Station)

The history of Astronomy is replete with the contributions of amateur astronomers. In the middle of this century, however, astronomy had become dominated by complex instrumentation and ever larger collaborations. In the late 1970s, the almost simultaneous inventions of the microprocessor and the CCD imager suddenly allowed individuals the sensitivity and computational power to assist many existing astronomical fields of study. Photometry, astrometry, and faint object discovery/recovery are all areas in which commercial instrumentation has allowed amateurs to contribute significantly. This talk will review the long history of visual observers, followed by the contributions of PMT observers, and finally CCD observers as typified by members of the Center for Backyard Astrophysics.

Program listing for Tuesday