Jack B. Newton (b.1942) is a world renowned Canadian astronomer, best known for his publications and images in amateur astrophotography both in film and CCD. He has authored several books on astronomy, gives lectures, and provides one-on-one instruction on how to make high quality astrophotographs from his astronomy bed and breakfasts in Canada and Arizona.
Newton took his first astrophotograph when he was 13 years old of the planet Saturn. He invented "cold camera" astrophotography, allowing for substantially longer exposures on film.
In 1991 Newton 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 "Dumbell Nebula". He 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. Berry published the first combined color CCD image of M27 as his magazine's cover.
Jack Newton is available for lectures, one-on-one tutoring in astrophotography technique, consulting for observatory installations. Honorariums and fees will be negotiated directly with Mr. Newton.
Awards and Recognition
In 2005 Carolyn S. Shoemaker and David H. Levy named an asteroid, 30840 Jackalice = 1991 GC2, in honor of Newton's astrophotographic accomplishments and of Jack and Alice Newton's work in astronomy outreach.
In 2006 Newton was selected by unanimous vote of the AL council for honorary membership in the Astronomical League, an association of over 200 local amateur astronomy societies promoting astronomy.
In 2006 Newton was elected by membership of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to a third term of office on its board of trustees. During an earlier term he led the launch of Project Astro which aims to assist 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".
He is a member of the Puckett Observatory World Supernova Search Team, and is officially credited with one pre-discovery, over 200 discoveries and co-discoveries, and one cataclysmic variable discovery in June 2010.
Newton has been Past President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada's centers in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Victoria, British Columbia. 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 created a "Newton/Ball" (Jack Newton/George Ball) award which it gives annually as a service award.