Rockford Amateur Astronomers Visit Astro-Physics

We were delighted to host the May 16, 2001 meeting of the Rockford Amateur Astronomers (RAA). Too many years had slipped by since the last visit (we all remembered the ice storm on the night that the war with Iraq began). This time, a warmer month was chosen with some potential for observing. No major political events to mark the occasion. Astro-Physics has maintained a special relationship with the RAA, our local astronomy club, for many years. We enjoyed sharing this evening with long-time friends.

Tour Highlights

Roland discusses operation of the Opticam, our CNC curve generating/grinding/edging machine, shown on the left.
Photo courtesy of Walter Piorkowski

Optical production
Photo courtesy of Walter Piorkowski

Photo courtesy of Carol and Barry Beaman

10" Maksutov-Cassegrain on the 1200GTO in our roll-off observatory. Although the sky was mostly clear when the meeting started, the clouds rolled in when it got dark (I'll bet that's happened to you lots of times too). Our observing session was limited to a few peeks between the clouds.
Photo courtesy of Walter Piorkowski

Visiting in our office/showroom before the meeting. The cookies were a hit.
Photo courtesy of Carol and Barry Beaman

Note to other clubs and groups reading this: sorry, we can't provide tours and observing sessions to other groups.

Sam Bruesch receives the NCRAL Award for 2001

A special highlight of the evening was the presentation of the NCRAL (North Central Region of the Astronomical League) award plaque to our very dear friend, Sam Bruesch. This award is given to an amateur astronomer who shows dedication and public service above and beyond what is normally encountered or expected. Jeff Carpenter had accepted the award on Sam's behalf at the NCRAL convention held May 4th and 5th, 2001.

Sam is widely known throughout Rockford as the "telescope man on the bike path." He has introduced thousands of people to the wonders of astronomy, particularly the moon and planets. When the weather is good and the moon or planets are visible, he sets up his 6" Newtonian along the bike path on the Rock River. Barry Beaman our ALCOR representative, submitted this nomination letter on Sam's behalf.

Sadly, Sam passed away March 27, 2007. We will miss him very much.


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This page was last modified: March 29, 2007

Astro-Physics, Inc.
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