2008 ASP Annual Award Recipients
The ASP is honored to present Steve Mandel with the 2008 Amateur Achievement Award. Initiated in 1979 by the ASP, its purpose is to recognize significant contributions to astronomy by an unpaid amateur.
A successful entrepreneur, author, and expert communications coach for professional executives, Steve is equally accomplished as an astrophotographer and amateur research scientist. In 2004, he started an amateur research project, the Mandel-Wilson Unexplored Nebulae Project, to discover, catalog, and image unexplored nebulae of the Milky Way, particularly high-latitude interstellar clouds. This project led to the realization that small-aperture amateur telescopes, equipped with CCD cameras, were uniquely suited to detect large nebular clouds high above the galactic plane. He photographed, mapped, cataloged, and labeled these nebulae as Integrated Flux Nebulae (IFN).
Steve coordinates the annual Advanced Imaging Conference in San Jose, California, which brings together astrophotographers from around the world to discuss CCD imaging techniques and share ideas for projects that involve amateurs working with professionals. In addition, he has nurtured and sustained amateur-professional collaboration with Kitt Peak National Observatory's Public Outreach Department by training their staff, creating policies, and loaning and procuring equipment. Steve Mandel's vision and hard work have resulted in the creation of a world-class outreach program at Kitt Peak, where people not only look through telescopes but have the unique opportunity to experience astrophotography and image processing in a hands-on environment within one of the great astronomical research centers in America.