John Drummond

John Drummond
John Drummond

John will be speaking exclusively at the Convention Dinner and his talk is called "My exploration of the Universe - a photographic journey".

Since John Drummond was ten he has been fascinated with astronomy. He started photographing the heavens from 12. Years later, his astrophotos have been used around the world in books, magazines, stamps and for discoveries. This talk is a photographic exploration of the Universe using his photos, with a personal twist.

John's Bio

John Drummond became fixated with astronomy at the age of ten when his mother pointed out ‘The Pot’ in Orion to him. From that moment on he was hooked on the Universe. Joining the Junior Section of the local Gisborne Astronomical Society not long after, John would regularly do group meteor watches, telescope viewing and listen to astronomy talks. He also developed an interest in photography, and it was not long before he combined these two interests and began astrophotography.

John’s photographs have been used in many overseas books and magazines—and were used on two New Zealand stamps. He was the Director of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand’s Astrophotography Section for thirteen years, until 2018. He is currently the Director of the Society’s Comet Section.

John lives about 10km west of Gisborne, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. He has a range of reflecting telescopes up to 0.5-metres in diameter. He regularly images with these telescopes and CCDs, and carries out astrometry of comets, asteroids and NEOs, and sends his
observations to the IAU Minor Planet Center. John has confirmed numerous comet and asteroid discoveries. His Possum Observatory has the MPC code E94. The Asteroid (507490) ‘Possum’ is named after his late wife and observatory. John has also co-discovered about 20 exoplanets in collaboration with the Ohio State University—including the unusual 2-Earthmass planet orbiting a binary star, which caused astronomers to rethink planetary formation models. John is a co-author of
more than 60 research papers, and he is also a contributing editor for the Australian Sky and Telescope magazine. He enjoys giving talks around New Zealand on astronomy and astrophotography.

John was the President of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand from 2016 to 2018. In 2019 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. In 2016 John was awarded a MSc (Astronomy) by Swinburne University in Melbourne (Australia), and currently he is researching the history of cometary astronomy in New Zealand as a part-time, off-campus, internet-based PhD student in the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland
(Australia), co-supervised by Dr Carolyn Brown, Professor Wayne Orchiston and Professor Jonti Horner. John is also a consultant for ASTRONZ, the telescope shop of the Auckland Astronomical
Society and runs his own astro tourism business – Gisborne Astro Tours.

When not doing astronomy, John is a secondary school science teacher. He also enjoys surfing the great waves of Gisborne and pottering around on his small farm tending to his sheep.

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