Who we are and what we do
My love of astronomy and space started when I saw Alan Shepard and John Glenn go into space. From that point on I followed every space mission up to the present missions. My first telescope was a small Montgomery Wards telescope. I would go out at night and dream of things out there, even though it was difficult to see planets and nebula's with the telescope I spent a lot of time looking at the Moon and dreaming of what it would be like to walk on the Moon.
As a kid on a farm in western Nebraska in the late 50's and early 60's, I did not have an opportunity to visit an observatory or planetarium. So I read a lot of books on the subject and clipped every article I could find on the space program and new discoveries. It wasn't until the summer of 2001 that I was able to buy my first, telescope. A Meade 10" Equatorial Mount telescope. Wow was I in for a treat! I saw things that I had only seen previously in books.
After seeing the reaction of the kids in my neighborhood, I got to thinking, in school they are taught that evolution is a fact and that creationism a fairy tale. I Believe the Holy Spirit convicted me to do something about this.
Several questions came to mind. The first being, just how could I go about getting something started that would help the kids? This was in 2004. I decided that building an observatory in the backyard of my home would be the place to begin. I knew God would have to have a hand in this for it to happen. With the help of my neighbor and the blessing of financial donations I began work on the observatory. Work began in July of 2004, and the observatory was completed in September of 2004. Now it has been 9 years that the observatory has been up and running. I've really enjoyed hosting the local grade school children on several occasions. The expressions on their faces as they gaze at God's awesome creation is priceless. I feel as though I'm introducing them to the Creator God Himself.
In 2006 the observatory became to small to accommodate viewing in the backyard. It still houses the ten inch telescope that I started with and is used from time to time, but now viewing sessions have grown in number and we have had to set up at Lake McConaughy, and at the Prairie View Grade School, in Ogallala, Ne., as well as other place we travel to. In 2006, I upgraded to a larger telescope with an eighteen inch mirror, two inches in thickness, and which, when fully assembled, stands some 7 feet high. With the improved light-gathering capabilities, this telescope can magnify the heavens up to 900 times. This is by no means the most magnification available but it will wow you when you look through it. The construction of the telescope and its optics took me a year and a half to complete, which consisted of a lot of late nights, head aches and sweat. It has now been operational since May of 2006.
In 2008, I added an upgrade to the telescope which will allow the telescope to track using my laptop computer. This upgrade will allow better viewing, as well as keeping the telescope on any object that is being photographed. The telescope is portable, which is convenient for traveling to the country where the sky is darker, away from the bright city lights, which is a must with this size of telescope. City lights wash out most viewing except the Moon, which is bright enough to see even with bright city lights.
Pictures of the telescopes are on the equipment page, as well as some astrophotos. I will be adding more pictures from time to time from past events. As of last October, 2012, we have become a part of the Maranatha Ministries Umbrella, in Maxwell Ne.. We have ministered in several camps last summer, 2012, and I am looking forward to the future and how, with God's help, opening peoples' eyes to the truth, and authority, of God's word, through His Creation, in the Heavens.
I hope to see you under the star-filled skies
Clear Skies and thanks for stopping in.