Celestron Perspective gets underway on Wednesday morning, June 19, 2013, in Redondo Beach, California. // Credit: David J. Eicher
A first in the history of organized amateur astronomy took place Wednesday, June 19, in Redondo Beach, California, when telescope manufacturer Celestron kicked off a two-day conference called Celestron Perspective. Never before has a telescope company brought together some 75 great thinkers in the hobby, astroimagers, telescope dealers, and its own staff to share exciting ideas and brainstorm about the hobby’s future. That is exactly what happened when the most active telescope manufacturer started its Perspective conference at the Hotel Portofino on the Pacific Ocean.
Having just retired Tuesday, outgoing Celestron CEO Joe Lupica welcomed the crowd and talked about the state of the hobby, how all concerned with telescopes and the astronomy activity should come together to strengthen and build amateur astronomy for the future. He spoke from the heart, boldly stating, “We need to get to know each other. What do we do as an industry? We never get the chance to sit down, all of us together, and talk about where the industry and the hobby is going. We can only get to where we need to go as a group, by discussing our challenges together, placing competition aside. We need products that truly excite people in the hobby, that get them charged up.”
New Celestron CEO Dave Anderson welcomes Perspective attendees and looks forward to the hobby's future, Redondo Beach, California, June 19, 2013. // Credit: David J. Eicher
New Celestron CEO Dave Anderson then spoke about where the company is going and some exciting developments that will be made public soon. He spoke glowingly of Lupica, a figure many of us in astronomy have had the privilege to know, as a man who infused the past two decades at Celestron with integrity and character. It was a special moment when the whole house gave Lupica a rousing ovation on his retirement.
And even older friends were on hand, too. Emeritus CEO Alan Hale, who dates back to the company’s founding by Tom Johnson, was on hand and related many interesting stories of the company’s early days.
The theme of this Perspective conference is imaging, and after the introductory remarks, several notable astroimagers presented workshops on a variety of enticing topics. I am at the meeting with Senior Editor Michael Bakich, and the sessions were concurrently run in a variety of locations. Among the ones I saw were great talks by John Davis, whose spectacular wide-field images often run in Astronomy
magazine; a presentation on lunar imaging by longtime Astronomy
contributor Robert Reeves; an outstanding talk on high-resolution Moon imaging by French imager Thierry Legault; and a workshop on deep-sky imaging by Celestron’s Eric Kopit, which was followed by a brainstorming meeting about Celestron products led by Kopit and Corey Lee.
It was a fantastic and a tiring day. This followed a nighttime tour of Griffith Observatory on Tuesday night, and numerous discussions with imagers, notable personalities, and other Celestron folks were peppered throughout the day.
Much more to come from sunny Redondo Beach later, where the sky is a perfect blue, the waves beautiful, and the harbor seals loud.For all images from this trip, visit the Online Reader Gallery
On the road: Celestron Perspective