I have been an avid enthusiast of astronomy since I was very young.  The allure of stargazing in the dark Midwest skies held a certain appeal to me.  I still remember lying down in the winter and summer outside an just gazing at the stars.  I really enjoyed watching the Perseid Meteor showers; and learning all the constellations.

I remember my first telescope I bought out from Edmund Scientific which was a 3 inch reflector (refractive lenses were better for resolution but were more expensive due to the high cost of the lenses at both ends of the telescope versus only one main lense for a reflector telescope).  I enjoyed dragging that thing around and setting up in darker areas away from the glow of the street lights.

My good friend and mentor Dr. Townsend (who was also my Elmer for Amateur Radio) and Mr. Vaughan (who was also an Amateur Radio operator) helped build me a 6 inch Newtonian Reflector telescope.  I loved that score and remember looking at all the planets hoping to grab a glimpse of the majestic beauty of space.  I used to go out every night and chart all the orbits of the moons of Jupiter and watch the rings of Saturn.  But the most spectacular sky show was our friendly neighborhood “MOON.”  I remember seeing those majestic craters.  What was especially cool was seeing the terminator line (between night and day) and seeing the craters against the shadow of night.  If you timed it right you could see a star winking in and out of the lunar horizon (known as grazing occultation).

I hope to get back into this excellent hobby soon.

Edmund Scientific

Sky and Telescope (house organ for amateur astronomers)