Flamsteed Astronomy Society

“How to use a Telescope” joint public/Flamsteed workshop for beginners

  with John Griffiths — April 3, 2009

Dr John Griffiths led another in our series of telescope workshops for beginners.   It was a joint public/Flamsteed event with about 12 visitors and 20 Flamsteed members.  The audience was enthusiastic and full of questions.   One visitor had travelled from Stratford-upon-Avon just to attend!

John began with an introduction to the history of the telescope and a review of the construction of different types.  He then covered the range of different mounts with a brief explanation of setting-up.   There was a short discussion about the pros and cons of telescope types, and also the role and importance of eyepieces.  We ended the hour-long talk with an open discussion about experience with different types, looking especially at portability and price.

For summaries of the types, and pros and cons of scopes, mounts and stands please refer to the links on the right.

There was then a chance for everyone to look at the scopes brought along by Flamsteed members before we took the kit outside to attempt some observing.

Malcolm, Robert and Neil had all brought types of Go-to mountings which attracted much interested questioning.  Dave’s ‘great value’ 70mm refractor on it’s combined altaz/equatorial mounting was a star turn.

When we got outside there was quite some disappointment that the gloomy cloud cover had returned.   Fortunately the Moon was visible so it was possible to try out all the kit on display.  Adrian’s giant LX10 was a favourite.

Eventually the cloud did thin somewhat, and Robert persuaded his Go-to to locate Saturn.  The die-hards were treated to a glimpse but sadly most people had already left!

Nevertheless, a highly worthwhile evening.  Everyone I spoke to had enjoyed it and we may be lucky enough to get some new members as a result.  Many thanks to all who attended and especially those who brought along heavy kit.



[Pics by Mike Dryland]