Al Nagler Attends SSAC 2017

Judi & Al at 2017 SSAC (©Ivester)

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.

A nice blog post on the event can be found at Roger Ivester’s Astronomy Sketches & Notes blog.

Al Nagler with Roger Ivester at SSAC 2017. Read more on Roger’s (©Ivester)

My talks were on my career, and choosing eyepieces. The first talk and presentation description was:

Short Talk
I Thank My Lucky Stars

How a kid from the Bronx, with a love for astronomy, went on to create optical systems that bridged astronaut training with products to enhance the visual impact of our wondrous universe.

Al will cover how his childhood interest in astronomy led to making an 8″ Newtonian telescope at Bronx Science High School, and winning the shop award allowed him to write an article on its construction for Mechanix Illustrated magazine in 1955. He’ll show pictures taken at the Stellafane telescope making convention where he won prizes in 1958 and 1972.  Joining Farrand Optical Company in 1957, he learned optical design, leading to developing the visual simulator optics for the NASA Gemini and LEM programs that trained our astronauts to land on the moon. Al will show how the LEM design worked, and how a related project inspired him to start Tele Vue Optics in 1977 to develop the Nagler eyepiece which began the evolution of products he’ll describe in his feature presentation tomorrow.


The second talk and description was:

Featured Presentation
Tele Vue Eyepieces, Origins, Evolution,
How to Choose Them

Al will illustrate how telescopes and eyepieces work, their anatomy, aberrations, and the many factors you want to consider in matching your needs and equipment.

Much material pertinent to both presentations can be found on the blog I wrote for Astronomy Magazine: The evolution of eyepiece developments at Tele Vue.

The following slides on the second talk cover topics and material that go beyond the Astronomy blog post and may be thought-provoking for those interested in choosing eyepieces, and an extension of much material on the subject on our website. You’re always welcome to call me, to discuss choosing your own eyepieces if our website and related information is too intimidating :-).

More Info

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