University Lowbrow Astronomers

Bring Your Own Scope...

by John Manney (brand new member)
Printed in Reflections: August, 2010.

My first week in the Lowbrows concluded with a star party double-header: Friday night at Sherzer Observatory, and Saturday night at Peach Mountain. Although I have been interested in the skies for many decades, I was always working alone. This had its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, I didn’t need to learn the pronunciation for words like “Betelgeuse.” On the other hand, I missed out on a lot of good help. I remember how difficult it was to find comet Halley during its 1986 appearance. We were able to come to Peach Mountain to view it with the Lowbrows.

My daughter Catherine joined me for the July 17 Open House. She thought that I should bring my Celestron 75-mm refractor. I explained that this modest scope would be out of place among so many bigger and finer instruments. She seemed unconvinced. Unlike all of our previous visits, we arrived during daylight, and were able to see the faces of the people we were meeting. I was impressed with the variety of telescopes, and the variety of methods of using them. Since the crescent Moon was visible, we started observing right away. We looked at the Moon and Saturn through a dozen different telescopes. We hiked down to the observatory to look through the McMath telescope, then returned to enjoy the astronomical smorgasbord. Catherine and I went in different directions to visit and view. After a while she found me and said, “Hey Dad, someone has brought a telescope that’s exactly like yours!”

Editor—Now that’s what I’m talking about... an article after being in the club less than a month! He knows how to get in my good graces!


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