The Northern Colorado Astronomical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the science of astronomy and to encourage and coordinate activities of amateur astronomers.

Download the Current Issue of the “Objective View” Newsletter: October 2016

November 3rd, 2016 - Featured Speaker: Jon Caldwell

Amateur Telescope Making

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Speaker Bio: I started building telescopes when I was 14, more than 50 years ago.  I’ve built three complete telescopes, ground five mirrors, and fabricated many mechanical parts.  I have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota, spent three years in the Navy, and worked for 32 years as a project manager for a large chemical company in Wyoming.  My wife and I have lived in Fort Collins for nine years since we retired, and I enjoy going to the many outreach events the club has every year.

Talk Abstract: Throughout the history of the telescope, there have been many people who have made notable contributions to this fascinating hobby, who led the way for many amateurs to build their own scopes and explore the wonders of the night sky.  For this talk, I’ll pick three who arguably advanced the hobby the most, allowing others to build on their efforts.  I’ll also go through the process of grinding and polishing a telescope mirror, and most importantly, how the testing is done.  Finally, I’ll show how all of this relates to what went wrong during the fabrication of the Hubble Telescope mirror.

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