Jack Newton

Victoria Centre member and avid astrophotographer, speaker, writer. Chant Medal 1989.

JACK NEWTON (1942- ) joined the Winnipeg Centre in 1958 and became involved in the Moonwatch program. In 1969 he built a 32-cm reflector with the help of Frank Shinn and installed it in a three-metre domed observatory behind his home at the south end of Winnipeg. Newton started an astrophotography section of the Winnipeg Centre, served on the Centre Council and was President in 1970-72. But as a manager for Marks and Spencer stores he was transferred to suburban Toronto in 1973.

Jack Newton (photo by Doug Clapp)
Jack Newton in his Florida observatory in 1999 (photo by Doug Clapp).

Once in Ontario, Newton built a new observatory and began experimenting with cooled emulsions and hypersensitized, gas-soaked films. His magnificent astrophotographs appeared regularly in the National Newsletter and in his book DeepSky Objects - A Photographic Guide for the Amateur, published in 1977. The same year he received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal and in 1979 the RASC's Chilton Prize. During his six years as a member of Toronto Centre, Newton served as President in 1975-76.

Another business move took Newton to Victoria where he once again became active in Centre affairs, serving twice as Centre President, 1980-81 and 1990-91. With increasingly large telescopes and more sophisticated detector Newton kept pushing back the frontiers of what was observable. He is now able to reach magnitude 21.5 with a charge-coupled device (CCD) attached to his 63-cm telescope.

Besides being recognized as an outstanding astrophotographer, Jack Newton became well-known as a speaker and writer. A number of his articles appeared in the Journal and Astronomy magazine and two books, The Cambridge Deep Sky Album, and a Guide to Amateur Astronomy were co-authored with Philip Teece. Jack Newton received the Amateur Achievement Award of the ASP in 1988 and the Chant Medal of the RASC in 1989.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

  • Asteroid (30840) JackAlice
  • Website
  • Articles in JRASC/NNL
  • Books published:
    • Astrophotography: From Film to Infinity (1974)
    • Deep Sky Objects: A Photographic Guide for the Amateur
    • The Cambridge Deep Sky Album
    • The Guide to Amateur Astronomy (1995, with Philip Teece)
    • Splendors of the Universe (1997, with Terence Dickinson)
Newton, Jack