Sometime in the 1950's my dad dragged me out of bed to see Sputnik
streaking across the sky. It was easy to find. After all, at the time
the only other object in Earth orbit was the Moon. "That's neat," I told
my Dad. "Is there anything else to see up there?" I've been spending a
little more than 5 decades trying to find out what else there is to see
up there. Along the way I've been able to work with some great folks on a
variety of projects, including being able be part of a small team of
amateur astronomers who were permitted to work with the Hubble Space
Telescope in 1993. I frequently volunteer as a citizen scientist to help the professionals in their search for supernovae, analyzing photographs of distant galaxies, and other projects.
My only claim to fame, and it isn't very significant, is being
credited with the discovery of Pittendreigh's Law of Planetary Motion.
Sky and Telescope published my work in February, 1994. This law suggests that the universe is speeding up. I know this to be true because the older I get, the faster time flies. And because the universe is moving faster, gravity is getting stronger. I have personally observed this in my garage as I move stuff around that seems mysteriously heavier than it did a decade ago. Yes - the article was a bit tongue in cheek, but there is some truth to it.
I own several telescopes, but my favorite is a Questar 3.5, Maksutov Cassegrain. I have owned that telescope since 1968. The optics are great and the telescope is extremely portable. I also have a 10 inch reflector. To observe the sun, I have a PST Coronado. With other astronomers I own and have access to an APO 85 mm f/7 Televue Apochromatic Refractor and a 14 inch f/11 Schmidt Cassegrain.
For my astronomy blog, "My View of the Universe," click hereor go to http://myquestar.blogspot.com/.
For fellow astronomers, here are a few favorite links: