My First Telescope

Last night I went to my local astronomy club meeting and came home with something I’ve been meaning to get since I was about 5 years old. Behold, my own personal time machine:

Look what Santa brought me!
Look what Santa brought me!

My amateur astronomer friends will recognize this as a classic – a Celestron 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.  I’m told it’s a 1990’s model and it will need some TLC to be sure, but I’ve already had a look at the Moon, Jupiter, the Orion Nebula, and Venus without any major problems.

I came to owning this completely by accident. When I arrived at the meeting, there were several small telescopes and tripods set up. It turns out that a friend of one of our club members is an antique collector and happened to have some telescopes in his rather large collection of…stuff. He told our club that he’d be happy with whatever he could get and wasn’t interested in selling it online. And so, with the recommendation of my fellow club members who know a lot more about amateur telescopes than I ever will, I snagged this for a hundred bucks.

I’ll post some more pics and tell a little bit more about my progress with the telescope in future posts. I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot as I wade through the money pit that is amateur astronomy, but for now I’m pretty happy to finally come through for 5-year old me.

3 Replies to “My First Telescope”

  1. WOW!! I’m just seeing this post, what an awesome deal. So happy for that 5 year old in you, Christian. I’m looking for a telescope as well and met with an alum from school who is an astronomer like you are. Our Head of School is interested in putting an observatory on campus. After the experience at Wallops, I came back so amped, he put me in touch with Chris Mullis. We’re planning a star party for March – very informal – bring your telescope or interest and let’s make friends with the night sky. I threw the idea out to some 1st graders today and they were all so interested! I know nothing about the sky except that it’s vastly wonderful to look at. I’ll be learning with my students which is epic fun. So the telescope has found its perfect eyes.

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