Celestron 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain.

Well enough of the bullshit — at least for the time being. I think it's time
to get back to my favorite topic these days — telescopes and observatories.

As I mentioned in my last post on this topic I found what could be a very
nice as well as fairly inexpensive vacation trip over to Montana to visit
the Blue Mountain Observatory there. That one is run by the University of
Montana. For more details on this, see the previous post.

Well shortly after I found the Blue Mountain Observatory I ran into an
old acquaintance of mine, a guy named Brian, who is a pharmacologist and
who studied down at Washington State University just south of Spokane
here. I was telling him about UM and the observatory, and he told me that
WSU has an observatory also.

So I checked it out. There would be one major advantage in visiting the
WSU observatory: That one is pretty much within the city limits of Pullman,
where I could take a taxi or perhaps even walk to the observatory, which
by the map seems pretty much close to campus. Whereas the Blue Mountain
Observatory is quite a good drive from Missoula and I would have to get
somebody interested to go with me to drive out there. Without a valid
driver's license I couldn't rent a car. So unless I took the test all over
again and got my license, that limits me to going with somebody. But the
WSU telescope I could probably work around.

The only trouble is that the telescope at WSU is a 12" refractor. Not
even in the ballpark with the 16" Cassegrain at Blue Mountain. Frankly,
I think the WSU telescope would be disappointing no matter how convenient
it was.

My real trouble seems to be the lack of a car and license in all this, not
the money. Shit, for slightly more than $1000 USD I could get a really nice
8" Cassegrain (photo above) and have my own damn observatory. But in order
to really get anything out of it I would have to have a car to get me out of
the city. So I'm back to that. One way or another it all seems to boil down
to the damn car. And you know, I really wouldn't use a car for anything other
than the trip or getting me out to use the telescope. All I really want to do
is stand next to one of these wonderful eyes for a few hours and look out into
the universe real-time, not from photos. As if I were there. Instead what I have
to deal with are these little, earth-bound, petroleum-burning pieces of metal
garbage. So it's very frustrating — and please forgive my rant.

Anyway, I'll post again on this when I can get things more figured out.