Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 7:30 PM EDT


Binoculars & Telescopes: Types & Choices

This lecture is live at the Martz-Kohl Observatory. You are encouraged to come to the observatory to meet Gary Nelson and join in our always lively Q&A after his talk. Later, we offer tours and, if the weather cooperates, viewing opportunities through the big telescopes. Dress appropriately for the weather as if you were outside. While the classroom is heated, the domes are not.

What are some of the different types of binoculars and telescopes? What is recommended for beginners that doesn’t cost a lot? What should you look for when buying? Why do you need different eyepieces? There are many considerations when buying something to learn about astronomy and view the night sky. Gary Nelson, licensed optician, former professional telescope dealer, and long-time president at the Martz-Kohl Observatory will answer these questions and more. Gary and other observatory members will be available after his talk for hands-on consultations. Visitors are encouraged to bring their telescopes or binoculars to seek help in their use or to learn tips and tricks.

Gary holds an optical engineering degree in the field of Ophthalmic Dispensing from SUNY Erie. He is board certified and licensed in New York State and Massachusetts and has worked in the optical field for over forty years.

Gary took astronomy courses in college and learned to grind telescope mirrors from Marshal Martz, the “Martz” in Martz-Kohl Observatory! Gary taught mirror grinding classes, manufactured telescopes for beginners, and repaired telescopes and binoculars for over twenty years. He was also a Mead telescope dealer for more than eight years and sold professional-grade telescopes to colleges and professional astronomers.

Gary served as president of the Marshall Martz Memorial Astronomical Association, Inc., the nonprofit organization that runs the observatory, on-and-off for more than twenty years. During his time as president, he consulted with area schools on the potential construction of observatories, along with associated costs. Gary was, and is, a huge advocate for promoting educational opportunities between local schools and the Martz-Kohl Observatory.

A non-member donation of $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for students is appreciated but not required for presentations and events.  You can donate at the observatory or on our donation page. Thanks!

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