Our Universe – From Here to Infinity Robert Vanderbei
June 14 - September 6
“I became interested in astronomy and the nature and scope of our universe when I first started to learn about these things in elementary school. But then decades passed where I focused on other things in life.
In 1999, my interest in astronomy was rekindled by my friend/colleague Kirk Alexander who was at the time the Director of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton (AAAP). I bought myself a telescope and a tracking mount and tried to have a visual look at things from the backyard at my home about 8 miles north of downtown Princeton. Our Moon and the planets in our Solar System were awesome but most other things were too faint to see without driving a few hours to a darker location. Even at these darker places, most of the faint nebulae did not look nearly as impressive as what I would see published in the various astronomy magazines I was reading on a regular basis.
So, in 2003 I bought myself a digital camera designed for taking long exposure astrophotographs and I began imaging the universe. The star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies that I’ve been able to image from my backyard are stunningly beautiful and it’s been extremely interesting to learn about these objects… what they are, how big and how far away they are, and how they came to be. It is all very interesting and truly humbling.”