As the Director of the University of North Texas Astronomy Laboratory Program and planetarium, Ron is responsible for the daily operations of one of the largest astronomy laboratory programs in the United States. Each year, over 3000 students participate in UNT’s introductory astronomy classes which have been developed to fulfill the academic lab requirements of non-science majors.
The astronomy program’s facilities include the Monroe Remote Observatory, located 50 miles North of UNT’s campus, as well as UNT’s digital Sky Theater, and the new Rafes Urban Astronomy Center, which recently initiated astronomy lab programs.
Five years ago, NASA appointed Ron as one of about 200 Solar System Ambassadors from around the world, charged with the responsibility of sharing and interpreting NASA developments.
Ron is also past President, and Board Chairman of the Fort Worth, Texas Astronomical Society.
His images and publications include several award-winning video documentaries that have shown on PBS, including “Dark Noon”, a video taken during the great solar eclipse of 1991, where he captured Shadow Bands on digital video, which to this day have not been successfully recorded by any other video crew. His video won Astronomy magazine’s “Best Video” in their photo contest to capture images of the “Great Eclipse”.
Ron has extensive experience with astro-imaging. Over the last 20 years he’s captured several solar and lunar eclipses, recorded timelapse sequences of 2 Mercury Transits, several asteroid passes, as well as the last Venus transit in 2004. His animated sequence of the Jupiter/Levy Impact sites was the first digital animated set of astro-images to win an award at the Texas Star Party.
He provided NASA with a complete digital astro-image sequence of the Deep Impact project, where NASA sent a test instrument to impact a comet to assist in determining its density and composition.
This June, Ron has organized two astro-imaging crews to go to Hawaii and Alaska. From these sites his university-sponsored expedition will attempt to recreate Sir Edmund Halley’s prediction that the Astronomical Unit (A.U.) could be determined by timing Venus’s path across the sun.
Ron will be instructor for:
Introduction to AstroImaging I & II: Capturing the Cosmos… the How’s and What’s of Astroimaging.