University Lowbrow Astronomers

You’re Welcome! & Thank You!

by Mark S Deprest
Printed in Reflections: November, 2008.

Sometimes you get emails that just need to be shared! These are the reasons I like doing “Out-reach Astronomy”, everyone likes to know they made an impact!

Here are some of the emails that I’ve received recently and I thought that it might be fun to share them with the rest of the club. Liz Calhoun is one of our newest members and Bill McLean and his son camped next to Yasu, Yumi and me at the 2008 Greenbank Star Quest.

September 21, 2008

Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for a wonderful presentation! This meeting was my first as a Lowbrow and it was absolutely splendid. I had to leave a little before the end of the business meeting (my fault: next time I’ll park closer and not have to take the Commuter bus to a deserted Chrysler Arena parking lot). I showed my housemate what Slooh was all about Saturday, and we also went out of our way to learn about the “Ghost of Jupiter,” something I’d never heard of!

I joined the Lowbrows so I could learn from other “amateurs” like me about our Universe. Your enthusiasm that of the whole gathering, is contagious. And several people introduced themselves to me and made me feel at home, especially President Nielsen.

I’m glad you shared around your results—it gave me a chance to reply and thank you.

Clear skies,
Liz Calhoun

September 2, 2008

Hello Mark,

I hope this finds you well. Even though we had only one clear night that Star quest at Greenbank was a major hoot! What a great thing it was—my son turning on to astronomy.

I owe you big thanks for taking the time with me and turning me on to those Messier finder guides. I have gotten quite proficient in finding objects at least the Messier catalogue. I’ve logged 45+/- so far. If the constellation is up I can more than likely find the object—and that feels good. I’m starting to branch out to NGCs and etc. I was out last night, about 40 miles north of Norfolk, on the Eastern Shore of VA. Quite dark and I was in heaven.

Last week I was in central NY. Even darker and I got in 3 good nights and one so-so night and was able to show family and friends some heavenly bodies—and now I can find ‘em and show folks where they are. They think I’m some sort of genius—they haven’t met the likes of folks like you!

All my best,
Bill McLean

September 3, 2008


It’s very nice to hear from you and I am very happy to hear of your continued success and proficiency. Your kind words and praise are accepted with all due humility! I only did for you, that which was done for me many years ago. Your enthusiasm and tenacity is what is the most refreshing. I am very happy to hear that you using your new skills to share with others. With your permission I like to share your letter with my club in our newsletter (I will forward you a copy). I promise to stay in touch with you, if you’ll do the same with me. If you join a club that is a member of the Astronomical League and you log your Messier observations, when you’ve completed all 110 Messier objects you are eligible for a certificate and pin. (kinda cool). Keep me Posted and I’ll do the same!

Carpe Noctem—Clear Skies & Dark Nights
Mark S Deprest

September 4, 2008

Hi Mark,

As for me I am a member of the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers, and I am working on the pin. I’m also looking at the Lunar pin for when it’s super clear and the moon is out and I won’t have to feel so bad.

I have moved up to a 10” dob. It’s as large and heavy as I care to handle and fits in my car (and Orion dropped the price). I noticed a difference in especially contrast when I first used it. I’m able to find things easier. Last night I was using the 8” (getting it ready to sell) and wow! It’s like looking at a 4 watt night light! I could really see the difference that those 2 inches in diameter let in.

Now we’re getting ready for the hurricane Hanna that’s predicted to hit here Saturday. Yea! Maybe we won’t have a lot of damage and the power will be out in the area and all the dang blasted lights will be out. It’s usually VERY clear after a hurricane. Talk about a silver lining!

Bill McLean


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