Flamsteed Astronomy Society

ROG Public Telescope Workshop

with John Griffiths — Jan 19, 2008

Volunteers from the Flamsteed assisted John Griffiths at the ROG’s first public telescope workshop held in the lobby of the Peter Harrison Planetarium on Saturday January 19th 2008.

There was terrific demand for tickets and the event sold out with no empty seats left in the lobby.  60 people attended and many brought along their telescopes to ask questions and seek advice.

Dr John Griffiths led the workshop assisted by 7 Flamsteed members who provided a selection of telescopes to demonstrate what is available.  Equipment ranged from a £50 starter scope to high-end refractors and large reflectors and included a couple of Go-tos and the Flamsteed Dobsonian for good measure.

John covered a basic introduction to telescope theory and construction and explained differences in types of mounting.   Using the equipment on display, he pointed out the most important factors in deciding on the right starter telescope and talked about the things that drive up cost and quality and what difference might be expected from these in use.

John also explained about the many other considerations for enjoyable star-gazing like planning and finding targets, being warmly dressed for the conditions, and thinking about safety in the dark, especially if observing the Sun (NEVER look directly at the Sun or via binoculars or a telescope without a proper solar filter).

The evening concluded with a 45 minute walk-about when visitors could examine the equipment on display and ask owners about the sads and glads of the telescopes.  John was able to chat to the several visitors who brought along their kit to discuss issues.

Visitors were very energised and full of all kinds of questions.  We hope to be able to welcome some along to future meetings of the Flamsteed.


ROG ‘How to use a telescope’ public workshop in the lobby of the Peter Harrison Planetarium (pic: Mike Dryland)

Dr John Griffiths (pic: Mike Dryland)