California’s biggest astronomy show

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Friday, June 24, 2011

In a few months, I will once again head to Pasadena, California, to attend the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show (PATS). The fourth annual version of this event occurs September 17 and 18 in the city’s convention center. And this year, Astronomy magazine is one of the sponsors.

Celestron’s Marketing Manager Michelle Meskill and Astronomy’s Advertising Sales Manager Jeff Felbab converse at the 2009 Pacific Astronomy and Telescope show. // Astronomy magazine photo
But I’m not just attending; I also will be giving a talk. The subject I’ve chosen is “How to Buy Your First Telescope.” Ordinarily, my talks are not so basic, but the vast majority of visitors to PATS are not amateur astronomers but rather beginners looking to get into the hobby.

With the help of PowerPoint, I’ll explain the three types of telescopes and give the advantages and disadvantages to each design. I’ll also discuss mounts and drives, eyepieces, and accessories and finish by showing some of the celestial objects attendees can view through small scopes.

PATS is mainly a manufacturer’s showcase and is a success for several reasons. First, it gives attendees the chance to discuss our wonderful hobby. Second, the newest telescopes, mounts, cameras, eyepieces, and accessories are all on display. And third, each booth has up to half a dozen staff members ready and eager to impart their knowledge to interested visitors — beginners and advanced observers alike.

As before, if it’s clear, several manufacturers will set up solar telescopes so that attendees can enjoy safe views of our daytime star.

Indeed, the 2011 Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show will be about more than equipment — much more.

For more information, head to the PATS website at

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