Great Post, Pete!

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Oct 7, 2004

Our club's star party is going on this weekend out in West Texas, and here I sit at home nursing a wrecked leg and shoulder. Sighhh. Can't tell if your post made me feel better or worse! But it brought back lots memories in any case; very pleasant stuff to recall, thankyouverymuch.

I watched the Shoemaker-Levy show on Jupiter through a 4" flourite refractor (Celestron SPC-102F) that I had also used to definitively split Sirius a & b using an O-III filter and occulting bar... which got a mention in S&T. Did that in, like 1989 or 1990? Anyway, hell of a great store-bought telescope.

Yes, you really ought to get the old scopes out again! Do you remember how to get 'em collimated? If you use a laser collimator, might wanna check up on the new "barlowed laser" technique... with an empty filter cell and a piece of cardboard with a hole in the dead center of it, you can create a tool that's a normal laser, AND a self-lit Cheshire. Incredilbly accurate, and exceedingly easy to use!

I have never seen the Northern Lights. Ever. Oh, how I wish we could all get together on a mountaintop somewhere! I have a sweet little super light 13-inch f/4.5 Dobby sporting an astonishing Jerry Wilkerson mirror, the second best glass I have ever seen, and a Nova-equipped 16" f/5 that is highly souped up specifically for planetary work. The mirror has a virtually perfect edge, incredibly rare to see, and its counterpart is a custom made 2.35-inch fused quartz diagonal made by Bill Marriott housed in a custom made ProtoStar spider (Bryan Greer and I became friends at TSP). Naturally, I built both telescopes myself, and I will say in very un-humble terms that they live up to the glass they are made to support.

I have also built cylindrical bearing type equatorial platforms to provide tracking in RA for both scopes. The central star in the Ring Nebula is routine in the 16, and the "spokes" in Saturn's rings are quite apparent in either. And you oughta try a tour of the Veil Nebula using the indexing filter slides all my telescopes have. Of course, it helps that I have a 25-lb eyepiece case full of TeleVue stuff...

Geez, this is fun! You oughta hear me launch into a rant on properly baffling a Newt sometime!! LOL I better shut up now...

Cheers, Kurt

My Telescopes Website

In Response to: Interesting Kurt... by Petewp on Oct 7, 2004