Celestron's main office building stands in Torrance, California, in the Los Angeles metro area. // Credit: David J. Eicher
Day 1 at Celestron Perspective, the first such meeting in the history of amateur astronomy, presented numerous talks on astroimaging. Never before had a manufacturer brought together others from the industry, accomplished astrophotographers, and notables in the hobby to discuss where astronomy is and where it’s going. The fantastic invited speakers on Day 1 were John Davis, Thierry Legault, Christopher Go, Warren Keller, and Robert Reeves. Many thanks for the great success of this meeting should go to Celestron’s entire team, including Emeritus CEO Alan Hale, outgoing CEO Joe Lupica, CEO Dave Anderson, and a huge array of others including Kevin Kawai, Eric Kopit, Corey Lee, Michelle Meskell, Lauren Strachner, and Andrea Tabor.
The second day featured talks on Comet ISON and the prospects for its brilliancy this fall, a white paper presentation on what’s new at Celestron, and a description of “Celestroning” — the campaign to popularize amateur astronomy with the slogan “Where do you Celestron?”
Just after noon, attendees loaded onto a bus, and the whole group traveled from the Hotel Portofino in Redondo Beach to Celestron’s office building and factory in Torrance. The thorough factory tour was incredible. I had been to the Celestron factory years ago, but the place has really changed. We saw all aspects of the operation, and I will not say much about it here because more thorough coverage will be coming soon in Astronomy
magazine. We enjoyed lots of talk about the past and the future, and the tour concluded with solar imaging via the two telescopes in the Joseph A. Lupica, Jr. Observatory, located in back of the office.
A real-time solar image from Celestron's Joseph A. Lupica, Jr. Observatory, which stands in back of the factory, Celestron Perspective, Redondo Beach, California, June 20, 2013.
Michael Bakich and I were then privileged to deliver an extensive talk on Comet ISON and comets in general at the closing dinner on Thursday night, June 20. We covered all manner of aspects of cometary science and observing, and soon after I described the dangers of near-Earth objects including comets impacting Earth, the hotel’s power went out. We laughed about it, finished our talk in the dark, and this led to awards for the imagers Celestron recognized. (We also gave out Celestron hats to those who answered our trivia questions during the talk.) The awards went to Oceanside Photo and Telescope (for the most Celestron imaging equipment sold in the last six months), All Star (for the most Celestron imaging equipment sold in Canada), Baader Planetarium (for the most Celestron imaging equipment purchased in the last six months), Audo Viso of India (for the greatest distance traveled to the meeting), Canon and their 60Da camera (for the Associate Achievement Award, recognizing another company’s achievement), and John Davis (for the favorite image taken by one of the featured speakers).
Then, by candlelight, we had a great acoustic band deliver some fantastic songs to the group. Astronomy enthusiast Carlos Rios is the guitarist in Stevie Nicks’ band; Carlos brought his friends Lynne Mabry (Stevie Nicks, Rita Coolidge, George Michael, Bette Midler); Gigi Worth (Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Whitney Houston, Michael McDonald); and Doug Jackson (Ambrosia). The crowd rocked from the first chords of “Rhiannon” right on down the line! What a great band and a great night they made it!
Celestron Perspective was a tremendous success. Many more bits of news will be coming down the line soon from this great event.
For all images from this trip, visit the Online Reader Gallery
On the road: Celestron Perspective
Imaging focus at day 1 of Celestron Perspective