Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

— Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law

Introducing myself

Just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Greg Munker, I'm from Lake Hiawatha and i'm very new to Astronomy. I'm thinking about joining you all to learn some more and to have some fun. I've been attracted to the star my entire life, but growing up in Union City, NJ makes it hard to be into Astronomy with all the lights, lack of places to stargaze, and lack of funds. Though funds haven't overally improved since then, living in Lake Hiawatha i can see the stars a bit better. So no better time to start than now. I want to seem like i have a clue when my daughter gets older if she gets into it. :)

Right now i'm still just trying to learn how to read and understand star charts and get my bearings on the sky itself. I own just a simple pair of Bushnell 10x25 Binoculars. My fiance is actually getting more and more into it watching me spin around looking at the sky at night on our deck, and i hope to get my 22mo old daughter into it when she gets a bit older.
I got a copy of "The Complete Idiots Guide to Astronomy, ver. 4" and i'm slowly working my way threw that, while reading the Astronomy Mag. I've been checking out forums as well, which have alot of info thats helping me.

I read yesterday about making my own telescope which is so much more appealing to me then buying one. I found some plans for a simple telescope thats made with some cardboard, and 2 lens's. I know these are weak and wont show much but, i've been working with my hands my entire life. I'm an ex-automotive tech by trade, i've done alot of custom working over my years so the idea of making my own telescope.... So if anyone has any pointers for me, i'll take any advice.

Well i'll stop rambling for now, i'm sure you'll see more from me.


Sky & Tel

Note that Sky & Telescope magazine has a regular column about telescope building: "Telescope Workshop". The November issue has a nice article about an updated version of a classic pipe mount.


Welcome to the club Greg! Building your own telescope can be a challenge but its certainly rewarding to observe the sky with something you built yourself.