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Project Moonwatch

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#326 starman876

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:10 AM

Seems like a scope i need to put on my bucket list.

#327 JamesMStephens

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 01:57 PM

Here are the scans of the flier I describe in my post in this thread just above.

 

--JWB. 

 

The 5" lens is attached via the cone to an M-17 (or similar) elbow telescope, replacing the original 50-mm lens from the elbow scope.  I think this is discussed here and there in the forums.

 

Jim



#328 John Rogers

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 06:43 PM

Here are the scans of the flier I describe in my post in this thread just above.

 

--JWB. 

 

 

attachicon.gif Ridell 5-inch p 1 compressed.jpg

 

attachicon.gif Ridell 5-inch p 2.jpg

Apparently that was not the only configuration they sold.  I found this some time ago and your post jogged my memory: https://www.worthpoi...lite-1857195653

 

As far as I know, the official SAO/NRL Apogee scopes were never sold commercially.  My understanding is that they were assigned to various Moonwatch teams and the members were allowed to keep them after the conclusion of the program.

 

It appears that Ridell jumped on the bandwagon and replicated the NRL design, although it should be noted that that the Ridell instrument is advertised as 25x, while the SAO/NRL model was 20x.  I also notice that Ridell does not advertise theirs as satellite scope, but rather an astronomical or terrestrial instrument.  The additional magnification would not be desirable for Moonwatch, since the Apogee telescope already suffered from a small field-of-view.

 

It is difficult to tell what differences there are in the two designs.  If Ridell used the M17 eyepiece as is, then the focal length of the objective must have been a little longer.  It would be nice for one to surface and get some measurements performed.


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#329 starman876

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:25 AM

Apparently that was not the only configuration they sold.  I found this some time ago and your post jogged my memory: https://www.worthpoi...lite-1857195653

 

As far as I know, the official SAO/NRL Apogee scopes were never sold commercially.  My understanding is that they were assigned to various Moonwatch teams and the members were allowed to keep them after the conclusion of the program.

 

It appears that Ridell jumped on the bandwagon and replicated the NRL design, although it should be noted that that the Ridell instrument is advertised as 25x, while the SAO/NRL model was 20x.  I also notice that Ridell does not advertise theirs as satellite scope, but rather an astronomical or terrestrial instrument.  The additional magnification would not be desirable for Moonwatch, since the Apogee telescope already suffered from a small field-of-view.

 

It is difficult to tell what differences there are in the two designs.  If Ridell used the M17 eyepiece as is, then the focal length of the objective must have been a little longer.  It would be nice for one to surface and get some measurements performed.

Great information.  Thankswaytogo.gif



#330 Chuck Hards

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 04:31 AM

I have been looking for one of these since I first became aware of them, over 12 years ago.  I finally found one, on Christmas Eve- in fact, I found several.  Here's the story on them, scroll down the page a bit:  LINK  Edit March 2, 2020:  Link no longer active, new S&T owner has redone the website.   Article no longer online.

 

IGY pin 001.jpg

 

It's not even a scope and is the smallest whole piece, but it's a prized part of my Moonwatch collection.  Under magnification, you can see the tiny Moonwatch team lined up in a row, heads bent to the eyepiece, beneath the mast that is in all of their fields of view.  Sputnik orbits high overhead, it's elliptical path traced out forming the perimeter of the lapel pin.   IGY, for International Geophysical Year, in a field of cobalt blue.  


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#331 starman876

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 12:08 PM

I have been looking for one of these since I first became aware of them, over 12 years ago.  I finally found one, on Christmas Eve- in fact, I found several.  Here's the story on them, scroll down the page a bit:  LINK  Edit March 2, 2020:  Link no longer active, new S&T owner has redone the website.   Article no longer online.

 

attachicon.gifIGY pin 001.jpg

 

It's not even a scope and is the smallest whole piece, but it's a prized part of my Moonwatch collection.  Under magnification, you can see the tiny Moonwatch team lined up in a row, heads bent to the eyepiece, beneath the mast that is in all of their fields of view.  Sputnik orbits high overhead, it's elliptical path traced out forming the perimeter of the lapel pin.   IGY, for International Geophysical Year, in a field of cobalt blue.  

That is a great find Chuck.   


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#332 John Rogers

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 02:18 PM

Chuck,

 

From the article you link to, it indicates that the pins were handed out to those Moonwatch members who successfully observed a transit.  I have one that is attached to a card that indicates it was complimentary of the "Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation".

 

Cool find!


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#333 Chuck Hards

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 05:35 PM

Chuck,

 

From the article you link to, it indicates that the pins were handed out to those Moonwatch members who successfully observed a transit.  I have one that is attached to a card that indicates it was complimentary of the "Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation".

 

Cool find!

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks!  I have two pins still attached to the cards.  Patrick McCray provides the missing pieces of the story in his book "Keep Watching the Skies". 

 

Page 181:

 

"As a result of lobbying by Hynek, Moonwatch teams around the world received certificates of recognition from the SAO and the U.S. National Committee for the IGY.  In addition, Convair, a division of General Dynamics, which built the Atlas ICBM, sent lapel pins to those Moonwatchers who had observed satellites."

 

He then goes on to describe the pin and there is a B&W photo.  Convair was the source of the Moonwatch pins.  


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#334 Chuck Hards

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 05:49 PM

Here is the lot I managed to pick up.  Two on the card, six loose, one with missing enamel and plating.  I'm thinking somebody opened a desk drawer that hadn't been touched in 40 or 50 years.

 

IGY pin 002.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#335 John Rogers

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 06:07 PM

Wow!  You are fortunate indeed!  Must have come from someone associated with the Moonwatch program.


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#336 Ken Launie

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 10:13 PM

I have been looking for one of these since I first became aware of them, over 12 years ago.  I finally found one, on Christmas Eve- in fact, I found several.  Here's the story on them, scroll down the page a bit:  LINK

 

attachicon.gifIGY pin 001.jpg

 

It's not even a scope and is the smallest whole piece, but it's a prized part of my Moonwatch collection.  Under magnification, you can see the tiny Moonwatch team lined up in a row, heads bent to the eyepiece, beneath the mast that is in all of their fields of view.  Sputnik orbits high overhead, it's elliptical path traced out forming the perimeter of the lapel pin.   IGY, for International Geophysical Year, in a field of cobalt blue.  

Congratulations! Like you, after reading McCray's Moonwatch book I had searched for one for years, assuming I'd never find one. In September I finally was able to buy a couple (one for my wife). In this case the eBay seller wasn't connected with Moonwatch, but she (and I) live not far from Harvard Observatory. I'm guessing she had pins that were never issued that were handed down to an observatory employee. I'm still thrilled to have one. She had more and I should have told folks here about them, but I was dealing with a bunch of broken ribs and other bones after being hit by a car while on my bike. I was only doing email with my phone, no sitting at the computer, and if I hadn't put in an eBay search specifically for the pins I would have never learned of them. I'm glad you found them.


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#337 Chuck Hards

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 03:54 AM

Ken, that accident is awful, glad that you pulled through!  I had a good friend killed on a bike by a motorist a year ago.  Hopefully you can fully recover! 

 

I check online for lapel pins periodically for myself and my adult daughter, just for different fields of interest.  I guess I hadn't checked for the IGY pins on eBay in a few months or I would have seen them sooner, they have been a regular search for me for years.  Glad you got two of them, and the rest will be in good hands.  A few will eventually be spread around the community, but not anytime soon.   


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#338 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 10:18 AM

An absolutely amazing find Chuck! Wow!! Such beautiful pins too, with wonderful detail. Another piece of forgotten US Spacelore memorabilia preserved! Kudos!! :bow:


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#339 John Rogers

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 04:24 PM

I just found this an thought I would share.  It was on the back cover of the September 1958 Sky & Telescope magazine.

 

 

1958Sept_S&T_BackCover_Unitron_Satellite_Telescope_r.jpg


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#340 starman876

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 06:20 PM

I just found this an thought I would share.  It was on the back cover of the September 1958 Sky & Telescope magazine.

 

 

attachicon.gif1958Sept_S&T_BackCover_Unitron_Satellite_Telescope_r.jpg

They are nice little scopes.  I have one and another is in restoration.  


Edited by starman876, 02 March 2020 - 06:20 PM.

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#341 Lew Chilton

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 01:11 PM

This just arrived yesterday, I got it from another generous CN member who is lightening their load.  Came with the original Edmund box!  Note the low serial number.   Optics are clear, it works well!  It will soon be going on the display shelf to join the rest of my satellite scopes, after I've looked at the sky with it awhile.

 

attachicon.gifEdmund 001.jpg  

 

attachicon.gifEdmund 002.jpg

Chuck, I copied the image (Edmund 001.jpg) of your Edmund Scientific Project Moonwatch telescope to the digital archive of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. From 1957 to 1959, the LAAS manned a Project Moonwatch station on the roof of the 7-Up Bottling Co. in southeast Los Angeles. Edmund Scientific Moonwatch telescopes identical to yours were used. I wanted to illustrate what they looked like. I gave you photo/ownership credit. Is that okay with you?  

 

Thanks in advance,

Lew Chilton

Historian, Los Angeles Astronomical Society


Edited by Lew Chilton, 06 March 2021 - 01:15 PM.

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#342 highfnum

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 03:16 PM

starman876 this is very pretty

 

33mm objective?



#343 RichA

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 07:18 PM

Small Tecnar (Swift) Moonwatch scope:

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • moonwatch scope.jpg

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#344 Drake Deming

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 07:30 AM

I'm new to this forum, but I see a lot of discussion of old Moonwatch telescopes, including the 5-inch Apogee.  I thought you might like to see one in action.  In the attached pic, I'm using the Apogee to observe the Echo-1 satellite, circa 1961.   My Dad and I were very active in Moonwatch in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Dad was a professional photographer, so I have a few pics like this that survived (some of his other pics are in the McCray book).  I have those lapel pins too, they gave them to all of the team members.  (I still wear mine to AAS meetings and other conferences, but nobody recognizes it.)

echo1_copy.jpg


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#345 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 08:22 AM

Great story and wonderful picture! Thank you for sharing. waytogo.gif waytogo.gif



#346 steve t

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 05:50 PM

I'm new to this forum, but I see a lot of discussion of old Moonwatch telescopes, including the 5-inch Apogee.  I thought you might like to see one in action.  In the attached pic, I'm using the Apogee to observe the Echo-1 satellite, circa 1961.   My Dad and I were very active in Moonwatch in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Dad was a professional photographer, so I have a few pics like this that survived (some of his other pics are in the McCray book).  I have those lapel pins too, they gave them to all of the team members.  (I still wear mine to AAS meetings and other conferences, but nobody recognizes it.)

attachicon.gifecho1_copy.jpg

Great picture, thanks for sharing.



#347 starman876

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 07:21 PM

I'm new to this forum, but I see a lot of discussion of old Moonwatch telescopes, including the 5-inch Apogee.  I thought you might like to see one in action.  In the attached pic, I'm using the Apogee to observe the Echo-1 satellite, circa 1961.   My Dad and I were very active in Moonwatch in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Dad was a professional photographer, so I have a few pics like this that survived (some of his other pics are in the McCray book).  I have those lapel pins too, they gave them to all of the team members.  (I still wear mine to AAS meetings and other conferences, but nobody recognizes it.)

attachicon.gifecho1_copy.jpg

Thanks for sharing.   




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