Explore Alliance Ambassadors - Cameron Gillis

Explore Alliance Ambassador - Dr. Caitlin Ahrens
Seattle, Washington USA
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“Cameron first discovered his love for astronomy in the 1980’s when he was 14 years old with his first fond memory of seeing Saturn in his brand new 4” Newtonian at 4 am one clear-crisp morning.

Through the years, Cameron upgraded his equipment and broadened and deepened his observing experience until he finally reached a point where he made the big purchase of his “dream scope”; an 18” Obsession Dobsonian. Gaining an even deeper appreciation and observing experience, Cameron enjoyed many wonderful nights with this telescope in his backyard until 2019, when he made the deliberate and conscious decision to sell this beautiful instrument to a worthy astronomer who would continue to treasure it for years to come. Cameron made this decision in large part due to his career and travels increasingly making it difficult to maximize the use and enjoyment of this fine scope and he wanted to make sure it was being utilized to its maximum potential and enjoyment.

With the sale of his 18” Dob following a generous 15 years of use, Cameron vowed that he would “re-tool” and optimize his observing time and re “jump-start” his hobby with a new style of “travel-worthy/grab-n-go” telescope; compact, lightweight, and leveraging the latest upgraded computerized technology available today (i.e., Goto, Wi-Fi, and Tablet controlled). This led to the purchase of a well-rounded trio of scopes: a Mak102 (compact, long focal length grab-n-go), an ED80 (compact, wide-field grab-n-go), and the C8 (optimum size with latest Goto + Wi-Fi technology with enough aperture and focal length to view the moon, planets, and thousands of DSOs while fitting within a small storage space).

During the rest of 2020, Cameron dove into observing with his new trio of compact telescopes and was able to observe many familiar and also self-discover many new objects and was very much enjoying his continued journey of astronomical self-discoveries.

Then, in early 2021, Cameron was introduced to Scott Roberts and his team at Explore Scientific hosting daily Open-Goto Forum programs plus a weekly Global Star Party. Through Scott’s extensive livestreams, he inspired Cameron to pursue and re-invigorate his passion for astronomy at a deeper level. Cameron is especially grateful to Scott for facilitating a welcoming and inclusive community of broad-minded amateur astronomers that encourage contributing and collaborating on their shared passion for astronomy and the lifetime enjoyment for the journey of self-discovery! Scott has so inspired Cameron that, as of mid-April 2021, Cameron can proudly say that he completed his “binge-watching campaign” to watch every single past episode posted on Explore Scientific’s YouTube channel since the very first post 5 years ago!

One area of inspiration that has recently grown in Cameron is the latest technological advancements in Astro-imaging, including smartphone imaging and dedicated astronomy CMOS camera sensor imaging. This is the direct result of Scott and other astronomical livestreams on Astro-imaging YouTube channels.

Outreach

    Cameron’s goal is to contribute and collaborate in developing an “observing catalogue” of DSOs which the amateur astronomical community can use for outreach to help new and veteran, young and old alike have an easily accessible and navigable observing list per constellation on what to expect to see in small telescopes under light-polluted skies. The goal to minimize the frustration of looking for “impossible objects” and increase the joy and satisfaction of discovering both “bright objects” and “challenge objects”. 

    To help you appreciate Cameron’s astronomy journey, here is a rough timeline of Cameron’s 35+ years of telescopes for your enjoyment.”

    Camstronomy

    Cameron wants to help the growing astronomical community by building bridges and steppingstones to help foster an “enjoyable, collaborative, inspirational, and rewarding journey” for all budding astronomers, this led to his development of a weekly series of live programs on the Explore Alliance simulcast network called "Camstronomy", where Gillis takes us on his journey to explore the universe. 

    Links

    • Camstronomy Archive

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