In September 2019, I attended a presentation at our local New Jersey library by Mike Greene, a NASA Ambassador. The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 was the featured story as part of a very complete presentation of the entire Apollo program. I had no idea that 1,000 NASA Ambassador volunteers were passionately giving these free history lectures around the country.
Of course, I couldn’t resist telling Mike about my connection to the program, and he enthusiastically accepted my request to contribute to his future presentations at libraries in northern New Jersey. After Mike delivers his presentation, he introduces me by explaining my relationship with the Apollo program.
Here are some relevant parts of my presentation:
Al’s Apollo Slides
After the presentation I want to give audience members a view of the Moon much as NASA Apollo astronauts saw it in the training simulator. I do this by using a Tele Vue-60 and a special 3.7mm or 4.7mm Ethos-SX with a triangular “window” field stop installed. I aim the scope at a closeup image of the lunar surface with a starry background. It’s so gratifying to see the smiles and laughs of everyone viewing the display. You can see this setup at all recent NorthEast Astronomical Forum conferences.
After my November 13th presentation at the Pompton Lakes, NJ public library, I was able to add an additional demonstration: after the slide show, and showing about 40 guests (including a dozen youngsters) the “simulated simulator,” we were lucky enough to have clear skies to see the REAL moon. I set up a Tele Vue-76 with the special 4.7mm Ethos-SX so as people were leaving the library, they could enjoy sharing the real experience of viewing the Moon going past their Lunar Module spacecraft window, as if it were just 2,400-miles away.
I’m pleased the library staff members took the pictures here for our shared memories of this special event.
Special thanks to Michael Drazek, Director, Pompton Lakes Public Library, for his images of the event.
- A Short Library History on the 100th Anniversary of the Pompton Lakes Public Library
- Read about our Tele Vue-60, -76, and -85 Small Doublet APO Refractors on our Design and Build “Secrets” blog post.
- Learn about the amazing Ethos and Ethos-SX 4.7mm eyepieces on the Tele Vue Ethos page on website (mobile site)