Greg Marshall

Art and Science: How Electronic Imaging is Changing Amateur Astronomy

For thousands of years humans have used their eyes, a very sophisticated imaging system, to study the night sky. When photography was invented it gradually replaced visual observation as the primary tool of professional astronomy. Now that high quality electronic image sensors are readily available and affordable to the amateur astronomer, we can expect similarly revolutionary changes in how we see the night sky.

This presentation will focus on how various type of electronic image sensors and various techniques are used to capture deep-space images in the realm of so-called “pretty pictures”. A proposal for an advanced electronic imaging telescope will be presented. The target audience includes both imagers and visual observers, and no prior experience is assumed.


Greg Marshall is a retired electronics engineer whose career centered on computer graphics and digital image processing for applications ranging from JPEG compression to medical diagnostic imaging. He has also been an amateur photographer since childhood, and in 2005 he switched from “fine art” photography to astrophotography. Although astrophotography requires a wide range of technical skills, he always tries to apply the concepts of traditional art to his images.

In 2010 Greg built a home observatory, and started a business with the same name, “Wa-chur-ed Observatory”. His business designs and manufactures tools for astrophotography – mostly for other companies.  He has also been the director of the Astro-Imaging SIG of Rose City Astronomers for many years, and a vendor at OSP. He occasionally gives presentations on astrophotography to photo clubs, high schools, and other groups.

Excellent dark skies in Central Oregon – 5000 feet