Manuel Guerrero, an avid lover of the night sky since his youth, spent many weekends gazing at the stars from his family's property facing the Caribbean Sea near Cartagena de Indias. It was during these nights that his fascination for the cosmos began, as he marveled at satellites passing by and meteor showers while identifying bright stars and asterisms.
After completing law school, Manuel's life took a sedentary turn, and he longed for those starry beach nights. The opportunity to rekindle his passion for astronomy arose in Toronto, Canada, where he had relocated. One night, after a tennis game, a friend invited him to observe Saturn through a Celestron telescope in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy.
Impressed by the views of Saturn, Manuel decided to acquire his own equipment, starting with a Celestron German equatorial mount and an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. From then on, his enthusiasm for astronomy grew, encompassing all aspects of the field. In 2010, he began planetary imaging and persisted despite initial frustrations with a mediocre planetary camera. Over the years, he evolved his skills and upgraded his gear, embracing both planetary and deep space astrophotography.
By 2012, Manuel gained confidence in using his telescope and newer planetary camera. Terence Dickinson, the director of SkyNews magazine at the time, recognized Manuel's passion and published his first planetary image, a significant breakthrough for him. Although he started with planetary imaging, Manuel's journey in astronomy expanded to deep space photography.
Now equipped with an 11-inch telescope for planetary imaging and several refractor telescopes for deep space photography, he continues to advance, benefiting from newer cameras and filters that have revolutionized the game. Despite the challenges, Manuel remains rooted in planetary imaging, tracing his humble beginnings back to those starry nights from his youth.
Looking ahead, Manuel dreams of building his own observatory to share the wonders of the night sky with others, embodying his passion for outreach. Throughout his journey, he's been immensely grateful for the support and mentorship from the talented individuals he has met, as well as his wife, who has stood by him in this remarkable voyage as an amateur astronomer.
Recognitions and Awards