Each year, Rockland Astronomy Club member Ed Siemenn (Northeast Astronomy Forum ring-leader), heads the club’s Children’s Fair at the Challenger Center in Rockland County. It’s always a pleasure and honor for me to attend and get kids looking through scopes!
A late-summer / early-fall tradition, the Central Pennsylvania Observers’ (CPO) Black Forest Star Party was held at Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania last weekend. This is a special place for observers in the northeast: designated a Dark Sky Park by both the state and the International Dark Sky Association, it is one of the darkest areas in the state. It has a large designated Astronomy Observing Field 2,300 feet above sea level where the state has installed concrete observing pads, domes, electricity, and WiFi for observers.
Al spent some time showing people the views through a TNVC PVS-14 Night Vision monocular connected to John Vogt’s amazing 32-inch scope. Al estimates that the views of the Helix Nebula through this setup were like those from a 90 inch scope! Carl Lancaster captured M17 and M27 through this setup by putting an iPhone up to the eyepiece and snapping off pictures.
I had a great time with hundreds of attendees at the Amateur Astronomers Association (AAA) of New York Starfest in the Sheep Meadow in Central Park on Saturnday, September 7th. The skies were mostly clear, and as we continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, we had great views of the Moon to share using our prototype Apollo 11mm eyepiece in our Tele Vue-85 scope. Saturn and Jupiter also delighted the many visitors at this wonderful event that AAA hosts every fall.
I was scheduled to show an annotated PowerPoint presentation about my life-long love of astronomy and how it led me along a path in which I had the opportunity to design the optical system for the Lunar Module Simulator in which every Apollo astronaut trained. Its astronomical views inspired me to develop the “Nagler” eyepiece for my own observing and that of fellow amateur astronomers.
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the equipment for the planned screening was not made available. So, I’m taking this opportunity to share the PowerPoint with all AAA members and Central Park attendees along with enthusiasts worldwide.
There’s been a minor buzz among some Internet forum inhabitants concerning the appearance of an Apollo 11 eyepiece in Central Park on the TODAY show. In this blog post, Al Nagler explains how it “landed” there.
On June 4, 2019, Wylie Overstreet, a sidewalk astronomer who made a video showing Los Angeles pedestrians the Moon with his 12″ Dobsonian and 13mm Ethos eyepiece, called me.
“The TODAY Show found our short film A New View of the Moon and contacted me to do some Moon observing with the hosts of the show and the public for a segment on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landings,” he said. He then asked: “I’d really love to use some Tele Vue loaners! Would this be something you guys would be amenable to?”
A New View of the Moon. On the sidewalks of Los Angeles: a 12″ collapsible Dobsonian reflector with Tele Vue 13mm Ethos and Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune.
The annual Stellafane convention, organized by the Springfield Telescope Makers, took place August 1 –4 around their clubhouse on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont. This year, Al brought the Apollo 11mm eyepiece and the TNV/PVS-14 Night Vision monocular to the field. He got great comments on both. Presented here is Al’s Stellafane in pictures.
“Most exciting and encouraging throughout my life has been my annual pilgrimage to Stellafane, where in 1958 my 8-inch received 3rd prize in mechanical excellence. Years later, I rebuilt the scope into a 12-inch f/5.3 and received 1st prize for Newtonians at the 1972 Stellafane.” – Al Nagler. From “Star People – Real People in Astronomy.” Amateur Astronomy #6
We got a call into the office a while back from the “Philly Moon Men.” The caller identified himself as one of “Moon Men.” He told us of their astronomy outreach project in the city of Philadelphia and would we like to be part of it in any way? Al has been a sidewalk astronomer since a teenager and David was more than happy to listen to their ideas and help guide them towards their goal. They’ve setup scopes on street corners and vacant lots in the inner-city to show people that they live in a Universe. Because every human being that has ever lived has looked at the same Moon, all humanity is connected by the sight of this celestial object.
We were intrigued by their youthful enthusiasm and dedication to using telescopes as a means of bridging socioeconomic gaps. We invited them to meet us at the Northeast Astronomy Forum at the beginning of April to make connections with other outreach groups and see how other ideas meshed with their own. Two smartly dressed Moon Men showed up and told us more about their adventure with astronomy and how the NEAF experience was invaluable to furthering their understanding of what’s going on in the outreach community. Frankly, they were quite surprised at how much was already going on!
Just two weeks ago and a day ago we were scrambling to get the banner and handout literature ready for the Tele Vue Apollo 11mm eyepiece reveal at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) show. At the same time, our imaging equipment was being gathered, transported, and setup for the Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference (NEAIC) that would begin the next day. Additionally, products not being shown at NEAIC were cleaned and collected for the NEAF show commencing that weekend. Plus, we’d inspected and boxed hundreds of eyepieces, Barlows, Powermates, and Paracorrs for our Cosmetic Sale at NEAF. All NEAF items had to be transported and setup on Friday afternoon at Rockland Community College, along with the NEAIC gear brought over when that show ended. We had our work cut out for us that week!
The Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference (NEAIC) kicks off today and Tele Vue is there. NEAIC runs April 4 & 5, 2019 and is located at the Crowne Plaza Conference Center, Suffern, New York — only 30 miles north of Manhattan.
Here at Tele Vue headquarters, eyepieces, scopes, accessories, tools, literature, and banners are coming off the shelves and being boxed up. It looks like we’re moving. Are we? No, it’s just that we’re getting ready for the annual Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern, NY. All the aforementioned activity here is because we bring everythingto this yearly event. After all, NEAF is the billed as the “World’s Largest Astronomy & Space Expo.” Over the course of two days, thousands of visitors will descend on the Field House at SUNY Rockland Community College (RCC) in Suffern, to see, handle, and maybe buy just about every astronomical product on the market today — all under one roof.