In every city we’ve been in or passed through I’ve browsed Craigslist for telescopes, looking for the right replacement for the huge Dobsonian that I sold.
[Back story: The Dobsonian telescope would never have fit in the RV. It could, however, be replaced with a smaller telescope of similar or better light gathering ability. In a nutshell, the mirror size would be the same, but the layout of the telescope’s mirrors / lenses would be more compact… and more expensive.]
Yesterday I found the perfect replacement: an 11″ Celestron Nexstar GPS telescope. They were selling this multi-thousand-dollar telescope along with about $1500 of accessories for $1750 – a steal. They had bought the telescope for their young son, had purchased way more telescope than they could handle, and wanted nothing other than to get rid of the telescope quickly. I called the sellers as soon as I saw the ad, confirming the awesomeness of the deal and arranging to visit that night. Here’s what ensued:
5:00pm: I finish up my telescope checklist, covering the things I wanted to look at that night
6:00pm: Lisa calls, telling me that a guy she had spoken with the night before was coming over to look at the telescope
6:05pm: Ayo, who is in a gymnastics class, tells me to hightail it over there and buy it
6:30pm: I’m five minutes away from their house and I get the call. The guy just paid and is bringing it to his car. I offer more, but the lady doesn’t want to deal with a bidding war. I tell her that the telescope would be used primarily for free public science education. No dice.
I tend to get interested in things for a while, and then move on. But astronomy wasn’t something that I had lost interest in. Space considerations just dictated that it was time to sell my old telescope. Yesterday was super disappointing, but also reinvigorated my desire to get a new telescope and get back to observing and informal education.
posted by jay