This interview of Al Nagler by Brian Ventrudo was published in The Equinox newsletter of AstronomyConnect.com on October 31, 2017. Reprinted with permission
A Q&A with Al Nagler
Looking Back (and Ahead)
with Tele Vue’s Co-Founder
When Al Nagler talks, amateur astronomers listen.
Nagler, of course, is a legend in the amateur astronomy community, the founder of Tele Vue Optics along with wife Judi, and inventor of the Nagler eyepiece. For two generations he’s been a fixture at star parties and astronomy expos where he dispenses wisdom and demonstrates his latest optical creations, all while establishing bonds and friendships with hundreds of stargazers over the years with his combination of razor-sharp technical acumen and boundless enthusiasm.
Al was beguiled by astronomy and stargazing after a visit to Hayden Planetarium with his father in the late 1940s. He grew up in the Bronx and had the talent and good fortune to attend the famous Bronx High School of Science, the alma mater of thousands of renowned engineers and scientists, including eight Nobel Prize winners. As part of a class project, Nagler used the school’s facilities to design and build an 8-inch f/6.5 Newtonian reflector that weighed 350 lbs! In time, Al put his talents to work at the nearby Farrand Optical Company from 1957-1973, where he helped develop the large and complex optical systems for NASA’s Gemini docking and Apollo lunar landing simulators. Not a bad way to make a living! Continue reading “Q&A with Tele Vue’s Al Nagler”
We’d like to share with you this nice letter Al received from Roger Harvey recently.
From: Roger Harvey
To: Al Nagler
Subject: 10715 NAGLER (1983 RL4)
We first met at the Wildacres Retreat, North Carolina mountains, this past April. Despite our lengthy conversation that I will always remember, you never mentioned that you were honored with asteroid 10715 Nagler (1983 RL4).
As luck would have it, my primary effort in amateur astronomy the past 40+ years has been visually identifying asteroids by their position, magnitude, and motion against the background star field.
My observing session for August 16, 2017 happened to include 10715. I saw it at 3:54, 4:32, and 6:28 UT retrograding southwestward in Aquarius at magnitude 16.3. This was ~0.5 magnitude fainter than advertised…not uncommon with higher numbered asteroids. In doing so it was my 5900th asteroid.
My scope is a Lockwood 32” f/4 which (of course!) I couple with your Paracorr Type 1. The 5.5 mm eyepiece yields 676X which is my usual choice. Several times I’ve had to go to 1352X for very faint targets requiring a darker field. Obviously such an effort would be impossible without the excellent optical train above.
Again, it was great speaking with you on the phone today! I am so glad you got a kick out of your asteroid actually being seen by a human (read eyeball, not CCD) (:>). Your joy made my day as well.
Judi and I were honored to fill in for a guest speaker unable to attend the Southern Star Astronomy Convention. It was a long but interesting drive to Wildacres Retreat, a magnificent resort used by the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club for 30-years. Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the town of Little Switzerland in North Carolina, we met a great entourage of fellow enthusiasts over a short stay to give two talks: the opening conferences talk on Thursday evening, April 27, and a talk the next morning. Continue reading “Al Nagler Attends SSAC 2017”
Where does the name Tele Vue come from? Just look at the initials: TV. Al Nagler’s initial products were television projector lenses. These lenses were placed in front of your television to project an enlarged image on a screen. That was “big screen TV” in 1977! However, Al also wanted a name that would be appropriate if he ever entered the amateur astronomy market. Continue reading “Tele Vue: What’s in a Name?”