Jack B. Newton
||This biographical article is written like a résumé. (April 2008)|
John "Jack" Borden Newton (born 13 Aug 1942, Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian astronomer known worldwide for his publications and images in amateur astrophotography both in film and CCD. Newton took his first astrophotograph when he was 13 years old of the planet Saturn. His ground-breaking work in deep sky imagery and CCD images of the sun places him among the great pioneers of modern day astrophotographers. He pioneered and popularized "cold camera" astrophotography allowing for substantially longer exposures on film.
In 1991 Jack became the first amateur astrophotographer to make full (RGB) color CCD images of celestial objects using a Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-4 camera, making a full color CCD image of M57 "The Ring Nebula" and M27 "The Dumbbell Nebula". Jack took three separate black and white images, each taken with a separate filter in red, blue, and green, which were later combined in software that was being developed for amateur astrophotography by Richard Berry, then Editor of Astronomy Magazine. Richard published the first combined color CCD image of M27 as his magazine's cover.
Newton has published six books on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His first book called "Astrophotography: From Film to Infinity", was published in 1974.
UK Connections Newton has had two books published by Cambridge University Press, the Cambridge Deep Sky Album and the Guide to Amateur Astronomy. He received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 for his contributions to science. He is the Honorary Patron of the Cotswold Astronomical Society.
The Astronomical League In 2006 Jack was selected by unanimous vote of the AL council for honorary membership in the Astronomical League, an association of 240+ local amateur astronomy societies dedicated to promoting the science of astronomy.
Advisor, Meade 4M Community (Astronomy Outreach) Jack is on the board of advisors of the MEADE 4M Community Outreach program, which has been established to embrace and nurture its members and help them achieve a greater understanding of our universe. The four 'M's in the 4M Community have come to symbolize the Members being guided by these principles to explore, discover, image, and share.
Astronomical Society of the Pacific (the largest non-profit organization of its kind in the United States) In 2006 Jack was elected by Society membership to a third term of office on its board of trustees. During an earlier term, he was instrumental in launching Project Astro (which partners astronomers and teachers in the classroom.) Newton was the recipient of the Amateur Achievement Award of Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1988 for his work in Astrophotography. (This award “recognizes significant observational or technological contributions to astronomy or amateur astronomy by an individual not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity”.)
Team Member, Puckett Observatory World Supernova Search Team Jack is credited with one pre-discovery, over 100 discovery/co-discoveries, and one cataclysmic variable discovery to date (June 2010)
Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (Victoria, BC Canada) (is a United World College promoting living together as one world.) The first of ten United World Colleges, the United World College of the Atlantic is located in a 12th-Century castle in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales. Jack helped establish the astronomy program at “Pearson College”, and donated his 25-inch Newtonian telescope to it. He and Alice are both honorary patrons of the College.
Observatory B&B, Osoyoos The Observatory B&B is an astronomy-themed bed & breakfast in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia which is owned and operated by Jack and Alice Newton. Guests receive tours of night and day skies and optional tutorial sessions are available.
Arizona Sky Village Jack and Alice are partners in the Arizona Sky Village, a property in Southeastern Arizona that offers spectacular dark skies.
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Jack has been past-president of 3 different centers (Winnipeg, Toronto, and Victoria (twice). He was elected as a Life Member in 1978. His photos appear on the cover of the 2007 Observer’s Handbook, and in the RASC calendar. The Victoria Center recently created a "Newton/Ball" (Jack Newton/George Ball) award which it now gives annually as a service award.
Publications Jack’s photographs and articles appear frequently in Astronomy Magazine and his images have a worldwide following in various magazines including Skynews (Canada) and Sterne und Weltraum (Max Planck Institute, Germany). His spectacular solar images appeared in National Geographic's 2004 special edition entitled "exploring SPACE - the universe in pictures", Time Inc's LIFE - the Year in Pictures (2003 & 2004), as well as Sky & Telescope's 2004 Beautiful Universe. Jack proudly ushered in 2007 with one of his solar images representing the lead-in to the science section in LIFE: Platinum Edition Anniversary Collection—70 Years of Extraordinary Photography.
Jack's astrophotos have appeared in the Audubon Field Guide to the Night Sky as well as Nightwatch, the largest-selling astronomy book of all time (authored by Terence Dickinson, with whom Jack co-authored Splendors of the Universe.)
Jack Newton tirelessly promotes the need for preservation of the night skies as a heritage for our children.
Clinton B. Ford
|Amateur Achievement Award of Astronomical Society of the Pacific