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Hi.  I'm Tom.

O telescope, instrument of much knowledge, more precious than any scepter!

                                               - Johannes Kepler

The bench was a Father's Day present from my wife.


Open for business!

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This is the new Higher Horizons 5" Solar Telescope.  It isn't as majestic as the original.  There are pictures of the original 5" solar 'scope in the Public Outreach page.  At the end of July 2019, I dropped the original solar 'scope on the sidewalk and shattered the lens.  The manufacturer no longer makes that particular model, and I couldn't find one like it elsewhere, so I got this one.  The new one is proving to be a worthy replacement.

I use this 8" Schmidt-Cass for road trips and public viewings at star parties.  It is also fitted with a solar filter for solar viewing which people always find to be very exciting.

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This solar projector is made from an $8 funnel I got at the hardware store, a hose clamp I had in the garage, a Quaker Oats oatmeal container lid, and a spare 10 mm eyepiece.  I put it on a 60mm refractor.

The picture to the right is from the Aug 2017 solar eclipse.  It wasn't a total eclipse as seen here in Alaska, but it was still fun to see.

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There is more about the Solar System Ambassador program in the PUBLIC OUTREACH page [Button at the top of this page].


On June 5, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun.  That little black dot near the right edge is Venus.  It was cloudy all day, then just at the right time, a hole opened in the clouds (photo on the right) and I got to see it.  I held my cell phone up to the eyepiece and got this shot.  Extraneous information: This was back when we lived in Wisconsin.  It was this event that got me started in solar astronomy.

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