With the recent passing of amateur astronomy legend John Dobson, we’ve located a video of his humorous remarks to our membership at NOVAC’s 2005 Star Gaze. While doing so, we’ve also found videos of other major speakers that same year including Al Nagler, Phil Harrington and Rod Mollise. You can watch all their talks at this newly-created page. Special Kudos to Mike Lewis and Alex Lim for their work in 2005 and still today for the club and Phil Wherry for taking the time to convert them up for us all to enjoy again!
NOVAC marked its 25th anniversary in 2005 with a line-up of well-known amateur astronomy speakers and luminaries, including telescope pioneer John Dobson, optical wizard Al Nagler, astronomy authors and popularizers Richard Berry, Phil Harrington and Rod Mollise, as well as former space shuttle pilot Joe Edwards. In case you missed their insightful and informative talks, or would like to see them again, NOVAC is pleased to offer them below.
Astronomy Day, April 16, 2005
NOVAC first welcomed southern amateur astronomer and author Rod Mollise to speak to our membership during the 2005 Astronomy Day program. He has since become a regular at our club-sponsored Almost Heaven Star Party held each summer at The Mountain Institute in neighboring West Virginia. Uncle Rod spoke about his passion – the venerable Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
Rod Mollise – The Past, Present and Future of SCT
Astronomy writer and educator Phil Harrington, author of Star Ware, Star Watch, Sky Publishing’s Deep Sky Observing Guide, Touring the Universe through Binoculars, and Astronomy For All Ages, spoke about stargazing basics at NOVAC’s Astronomy Day observing session.
Phil Harrington – Telescope Basic Training
NOVAC Monthly Meeting – August 14, 2005
Tele Vue founder Al Nagler spoke to NOVAC members about his interest in astronomy and his remarkable career from his early days making his own Newtonian telescopes, to designing cutting-edge optical systems for NASA’s Gemini program training simulators, to his success in starting his own optical company.
Al Nagler – An evening with Uncle Al
NOVAC Monthly Meeting – September 11th, 2005
NASA astronaut Joe Edwards, pilot of the space shuttle mission STS-89. STS-89, which involved the Space Shuttle Endeavor, was the eighth Shuttle-Mir docking mission and lasted eight days from January 22–31, 1998. Edwards shared his personal experiences piloting a spacecraft.
Joe Edwards – Experiences of a Shuttle Astronaut
Star Gaze, October 1st, 2005
Astronomy legend John Dobson had just turned 90 when he visited with NOVAC members at the 2005 Star Gaze. He was full of his characteristic vigor as he spoke about his views on the Big Bang, Dark Matter and his famous telescope design. We were honored and fortunate to have him help NOVAC celebrate its 25th anniversary. We are sad to note that John passed away on January 15, 2014.
Following Dobson, Oregon-based amateur, author, and former Astronomy magazine executive editor Richard Berry presented an hour-long lecture on observing the Milky Way. Berry, like John Dobson, is also well known for having popularized amateur telescope making and was an early promoter of CCD photography. He is also the author of The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing.