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University of Connecticut University Libraries


May 26 - October 9, 2009

NGC 3372, The Eta Carinae Nebula; copyright Robert Gendler

NGC 3372, The Eta Carinae Nebula, copyright Robert Gendler, Jan-Erik Ovaldsen, and Christina Thone and Chloe Feron


Capturing the Stars : The Astrophotography of Robert Gendler

Homer Babbidge Library Stevens Gallery
Curators: Robert Gendler and Chris McNevins

Robert Gendler's enthusiasm for astronomy began as a child visiting the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. "I remember keenly the great feeling of discovery when gazing at the magnificent astrophotographs produced by the large observatories of those days," he says. "Later, as an adult I began doing astrophotograph as a hobby that served as an escape from the stresses of life as a physician. However, once I became aware of its exhiliterating potential, it quikcly became a consuming passion. Soon, my hobby became a second career."

For ten years Gendler did astrophotography from his driveway in Avon, Connecticut. In 2005, frustrated by increasing light pollution there, he opened a remote observatory in New Mexico and, in 2007, another in Western Australia. From these very dark locations he is able to obtain very high quality image data to create the astronomical vistas, selected from among the several hundred he has taken since 1996, displayed in this exhibit.

Gendler has writeen two books on astrophotography: A Year in the Life of the Universe (2006) and Capturing the Stars: Astrophotography by the Masters (2009). His collection of astrophotographs, plus essays and related information, can be viewed at

"Aside from scientific understanding, the celestial world is itself worthy of artistic representation and expression," Gendler says. "It is towards these ends, the scientific and the artistic, that I hope this exhibit will teach people, evoking admiration for and a deeper understanding of nature on a grand scale. Enjoy the journey!"