Making Your Own Telescope

Making Your Own Telescope

Making Your Own Telescope

Making Your Own Telescope

Excerpt

In 1934, a small group of young men, imbued with a mutual interest in astronomy and a curiosity about the tools of the astronomer, organized themselves into the New York Telescope Makers Association. With the erection of the Hayden Planetarium in 1935, a new focal point of astronomical interest was created for the New York metropolitan area. Shortly thereafter the telescope making group became a part of the Amateur Astronomers Association, an organization now of about 500 members, sponsored since 1927 by the American Museum of Natural History. Facilities and space for the telescope makers were provided in the basement of the Planetarium, where they began activities as the Optical Division of the Amateur Astronomers Association. As such I learned of the group and was privileged to become a member.

The Optical Division presently undertook classes in telescope mirror making, an activity which had been expanding from earlier beginnings at the Museum. With the advent of the war and the absence of some of our most skilled and active members, your author was asked to assist in carrying on with the teaching program, and has continued in this capacity to the present time.

In these classes, numerous problems arose that interest but perplex the tyro concerning the telescope and its parts, its functions and its optics, its capabilities and its limitations, and other related matters. The answers to many of these problems are as widely dispersed as amateur astronomers themselves, and are probably not to be found in any single volume in the consecutive and integrated arrangement which would be most useful to the beginner. Hundreds of mirrors in various stages of incompletion, made by amateurs working independently at home, have been brought to the author to have their ills analyzed.

In the light of these experiences, it seemed that the sort of serv-

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