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Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital

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#226 Steph

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:58 AM

Very nice, Peter, I love the phone w/digital Burnham's at the bottom!

#227 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:14 PM

Great picture Peter and very fitting with the digital version pulled up on the screen!

#228 core

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:17 AM

Thanks all for the kind words; fwiw I'd thot a post/article about the memorial stated that it was situated between Jupiter and Saturn on the Pluto Walk (path up to the Pluto Discovery Telescope, where RBJ is pictured with) - turns out it's tucked between Uranus and Neptune.

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#229 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 03:53 PM

Thank you for sharing Peter.

#230 derangedhermit

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:29 PM

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad. Here was a man who loved astronomy as few have before or since. The management at Lowell fired him, offering him only a janitor's position, the year after Dover published his Handbook. Dover never allowed any new editions to be printed. He discovered 6 comets; I've never seen a reference to him doing poor work during his 21 years at Lowell. He made an invaluable contribution to amateur astronomy in his Celestial Handbook. And he struggled to maintain himself as a member of society after he was out of a job.

Maybe he became a problem employee at Lowell, and they have never wanted to make that public. For Dover, I see no excuse, only a reason: that they thought they could make more money doing what they did.

I believe if he was allowed to continue to work in any role at Lowell that gave him some recognition as an astronomer, and continued access to the astronomical research materials that he absorbed like a sponge, and Dover had let him update his handbook and publish a new edition every several years, he could have lived exactly the full life he wanted, and was so wonderfully suited for. The result of that life would have been an even greater contribution to all astronomy. Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.

It's understandable, of course, if he was a problem at Lowell, although even then attempts to help him should have been made. I don't know if he was, or if there were.

Otherwise, if I was a manager at Lowell I would be embarrassed - shamed - by that plaque.

I hope that if anyone today becomes aware of someone who has made a special contribution to amateur astronomy and is in need, they will bring that need to the attention of the community. May we respond well.

#231 core

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:32 AM

I know there's at least another thread dealing with RBJr, so I'll keep this short :D - here's the excellent investigative article that Tony Ortega did "Sky Writer" that covers alot of the back story to the man's life - iirc Tony was one of the speaker's at the RBJr memorial ceremony.

To the right of the plaque, along a row of plants there is a series of small metal staked signs with the names/positions of various Lowell employees throughout the years, no indication of their actual dates at Lowell though. Did not take a pic of that though.

On a side note (and I'll be posting it somewhere else on CN) - if you can make it to Lowell this summer, PLEASE DO! The 24" Clark will be taken "off-line" for public use starting sometime in Aug/Sept for its first restoration project. On paper it's suppose to take ~9months, but I was told expect much longer than that.

#232 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 03:55 PM

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad. Here was a man who loved astronomy as few have before or since. The management at Lowell fired him, offering him only a janitor's position, the year after Dover published his Handbook. Dover never allowed any new editions to be printed. He discovered 6 comets; I've never seen a reference to him doing poor work during his 21 years at Lowell. He made an invaluable contribution to amateur astronomy in his Celestial Handbook. And he struggled to maintain himself as a member of society after he was out of a job.

Maybe he became a problem employee at Lowell, and they have never wanted to make that public. For Dover, I see no excuse, only a reason: that they thought they could make more money doing what they did.

I believe if he was allowed to continue to work in any role at Lowell that gave him some recognition as an astronomer, and continued access to the astronomical research materials that he absorbed like a sponge, and Dover had let him update his handbook and publish a new edition every several years, he could have lived exactly the full life he wanted, and was so wonderfully suited for. The result of that life would have been an even greater contribution to all astronomy. Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.

It's understandable, of course, if he was a problem at Lowell, although even then attempts to help him should have been made. I don't know if he was, or if there were.

Otherwise, if I was a manager at Lowell I would be embarrassed - shamed - by that plaque.

I hope that if anyone today becomes aware of someone who has made a special contribution to amateur astronomy and is in need, they will bring that need to the attention of the community. May we respond well.


:waytogo:

#233 amicus sidera

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 08:56 PM

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad.


My feelings, as well.


Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.


One can only wonder as to what has been lost to the world in general, for lack of but a relative pittance of nurture.


A few months ago, posts seeking alms for restoration of the 26" refractor at Lowell were posted in the Classic Telescopes forum, and I had (at least according to certain members of CN) the audacity to suggest making any charitable giving contingent upon Mr. Burnham's memory being prioritized by the organization. One can follow the exchange of pleasantries here and here.

Fred

#234 jrbarnett

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:46 PM

Question: I don't "Kindle" though I have the Kindle reader app on my iPad and my Galaxy Tab. If I purchase the Kindle edition of BCH, is it stored in the cloud so that I can DL it to any Kindle-equipped device I own, or is it tied to a specific Kindle-apped device?

Thanks in advance for your guidance,

Jim

#235 jrbarnett

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:51 PM

Fred, I surprised they need to beg funds from we great unwashed. Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.

Personally I feel a tribute/monument to Burnham someplace other than Lowell might be more...respectful. :thinking:

- Jim

#236 stevecoe

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:38 AM

Jim;

Maybe the tribute to Burnham is the large number of his books that are read and enjoyed by many viewers of the sky. Even when they are read electronically;-)

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

#237 BoriSpider

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:02 AM

Jim, I believe the ebooks are account specific not device specific. So it should show up in all apps. You might not be able to read the same book at the same time on 2 different devices.

#238 rockethead26

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:40 AM

Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.

- Jim


Actually, John Hendricks and Discovery Communications only contributed $16 million of the $53 M cost. The rest came from the Lowell trust, private donors and smaller amounts from the 3 partnership universities.

I think it's pretty incredible that they built it without any government funding. Looking forward to some real results from the DCT.

#239 jrbarnett

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:01 AM

In my case it may even be a little more complicated since I'm cross platform (both Android and iOS devices). Thanks for the tip. I think I'll first try it on the Samsung tablet since that is a mount-dedicated Sky Safari device now (i.e., it gets used only in the field for directing GOTO mounts via bluetooth).

Regards,

Jim

#240 amicus sidera

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:04 PM

Fred, I surprised they need to beg funds from we great unwashed. Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.

Personally I feel a tribute/monument to Burnham someplace other than Lowell might be more...respectful. :thinking:

- Jim


I was a bit taken aback by the solicitation, as well; not only did I feel that it was a completely inappropriate use the forum, but knowing the deep pockets which that institution has historically has access to also gave me pause.

As for a tribute to Burnham at another location, I'm in complete agreement with you, Jim... a modest marker at his birthplace, or perhaps the ocean walk where he spent some of his last days, would be in order. For that matter, why limit any such remembrance to one place? Every club observatory that I've visited (a considerable number) contains the three volumes of the Handbook in their library; at one time it was the premier reference in such establishments, as well as a steady observing companion. There would surely be enough wall space to place something similar to that on the Lowell walk in every such observatory. It needn't be bronze; a small framed printout would do.

Burnham's work played a considerable role in the career of many amateurs, and his writings still echo today; however, the current ever-increasing rapidity of progress (if one chooses to call it that) in amateur astronomy threatens to leave such works in the dusts of time. While a modest tribute to Burnham in every astronomical location in the country is unlikely, we should remember that we dispense with the past at our peril.

Fred

#241 Tom Polakis

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:07 PM

Fred, I surprised they need to beg funds from we great unwashed. Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.


As was pointed out, Discovery paid for about 30% of the DCT. Yes, Lowell Observatory has some wealthy donors, but they were not lining up to pay for the Clark Telescope restoration. They are a private institution that is not basking in funds. Both of the large Phoenix astronomy clubs were happy to donate $1000 each to the cause of restoring the telescope.

Since Lowell astronomers, including the current director, have spoken at Saguaro Astronomy Club meetings many times, I can report that the last thing they think about amateur astronomers as is unwashed.



Personally I feel a tribute/monument to Burnham someplace other than Lowell might be more...respectful. :thinking:


While Burnham may mean a lot to us, he is not the face of Lowell Observatory. Rather, he was an employee who's employment ceased when the project he was working on ended. I was impressed that Lowell was as open-minded as they were to our proposal to put the memorial on their grounds. They cooperated with my wife Jennifer in every way when she was managing the memorial project.

Burnham certainly has no relationship to the Clark refractor, so there's no connection between Lowell's fundraising efforts and him.

It seems like some folks may be getting carried away regarding Burnham's contributions to Lowell Observatory. He is being paid an appropriate amount of respect by the existing memorial.

Tom

#242 Matthew Ota

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 09:22 PM

Management at observatories can be as #$%#@ as management in society as a whole. Burnham is one of many who have been fired from observatories.

The legendary astroniomer James Westphal once took one of his gadgets to a management meeting at Caltech. He placed it on a table and said "This is how I view management. It was a small box wit a switch on it. He flipped the switch, and a little hand and arm came out of the box and shut the switch off. Westphal was never required to attend a management meeting after that....

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad. Here was a man who loved astronomy as few have before or since. The management at Lowell fired him, offering him only a janitor's position, the year after Dover published his Handbook. Dover never allowed any new editions to be printed. He discovered 6 comets; I've never seen a reference to him doing poor work during his 21 years at Lowell. He made an invaluable contribution to amateur astronomy in his Celestial Handbook. And he struggled to maintain himself as a member of society after he was out of a job.

Maybe he became a problem employee at Lowell, and they have never wanted to make that public. For Dover, I see no excuse, only a reason: that they thought they could make more money doing what they did.

I believe if he was allowed to continue to work in any role at Lowell that gave him some recognition as an astronomer, and continued access to the astronomical research materials that he absorbed like a sponge, and Dover had let him update his handbook and publish a new edition every several years, he could have lived exactly the full life he wanted, and was so wonderfully suited for. The result of that life would have been an even greater contribution to all astronomy. Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.

It's understandable, of course, if he was a problem at Lowell, although even then attempts to help him should have been made. I don't know if he was, or if there were.

Otherwise, if I was a manager at Lowell I would be embarrassed - shamed - by that plaque.

I hope that if anyone today becomes aware of someone who has made a special contribution to amateur astronomy and is in need, they will bring that need to the attention of the community. May we respond well.



#243 droid

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:20 AM

This has been hashed out a few times here at CN, this thread here from the stellar media:

http://www.cloudynig...ooks/Number/...

#244 amicus sidera

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:05 AM

This has been hashed out a few times here at CN, this thread here from the stellar media:

http://www.cloudynig...ooks/Number/...


Many thanks for posting a link to that thread, Andy; I was unaware of its existence.

The commentary contained therein did an excellent job of bringing many issues concerning Burnham and Lowell into clearer focus, enhanced my admiration and respect for certain posters, and utterly confirmed my suspicions regarding several others.

Fred






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