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A Visit to See a Giant in Utah - 1.8 Meter Mike Clements

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#1 SiriusLooker

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 08:35 PM

I first met Mike Clements (known to others as 1.8 meter Mike) in the early 90's. I had been delayed due to work at home for a trip to the Texas Star Party. By the time I arrived at the Texas ranch entrance, it was well after dark. As I was pulling in, I noticed a pickup truck on the right side of the road (outside of the ranch), and it had a large pole structure sticking up on the other side of it that my headlights caught briefly as I made my turn into the ranch. Unknown to me it was Mike, who had his 41 inch scope setup at the entrance of the ranch. In the early 90's it was very rare to see a 30 inch reflector, let alone over a 40 inch scope.

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#2 NapaliMoon

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:15 AM

What a great article. Fascinating. I love genuine folks like that...quietly genius.

#3 SiriusLooker

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 02:34 AM

NapaliMoon

 Thanks for the positive feedback and comment on recent article.. Yes an inspiration to us all. 



#4 aeajr

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 03:22 AM

Now that is a big telescope!    

 

Thanks for sharing the experience.


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#5 Gustoresto

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:03 PM

Where is the oserver's station?



#6 SiriusLooker

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:39 PM

If you google Stansbury Park Observatory Complex or SPOC, this Complex is due West of Salt Lake City in northern Utah state, about 35miles, just south of the Hwy 80.

  Their website for the astro club is here with lots of more info and nice pics..

https://slas.us/obse...bservatory.aspx

 

note.. thanks for nice reply   Aeajr...



#7 nicoyenny

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 01:40 PM

Both guys, Mike Clemens (the builder) and Mike Young (the author of this article) are really nice, down to earth guys. I know them both well, and they are a blast to share an astro night with!

I owe Mike a visit, Dennis spent over two hours of his personal time showing me his folded refractor ,,. At his own home!

thank you!

Pablo



#8 SiriusLooker

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 02:17 AM

Pablo..

   Thanks again for kind thoughts about both Mike Clements and Me.

  I will do my best to have that nice rare 12inch refractor(for viewing thru) at the RTMC this coming year, in Sept(new time). You are most welcome for your nice visit to Sedona, and sharing of celestial toys. : )

   sincerely  Dennis Young



#9 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 03:06 PM

Great story, Dennis. Naturally I read it in your voice.



#10 SiriusLooker

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 03:57 PM

Joe..

 Nice to hear from you--thanks for kind remark. Of course the astro boys(and me), at GCSP miss you when you are not able to attend.. Hopefully we will see you this coming year (2019- June 22 thru 29), for the 100th year Anniversary of Grand Canyon! They(the Park), plan on putting on some very special events in conjunction with the popular Star Party there. Truly Hope to see you there!     

  Dennis


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#11 nicoyenny

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 03:58 PM

...



#12 Crusty99

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:51 PM

A very interesting story. Thank you for posting.



#13 Cfreerksen

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 06:55 AM

I think I will stop by for tonight's public star party. I have never been there and I live but 9 miles away. Drive by less than a quarter mile nearly every day on the way to work. Hope they have the big boy out!

 

Chris



#14 mr70inch

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:11 AM

I am so pleased by the responses to this fine article! I so hope that you folks visit my 70 inch and the other wonderful telescopes at the Stansbury Park facility. I hope word spreads about this public viewing opportunity...Thnx          Mike Clements  (aka 1.8 meter Mike)


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#15 SiriusLooker

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:35 PM

Thanks again, to all(Crusty99--Cfreerksen), for your kind remarks, specially, the Maker himself..!! Mr. 70inch : )

 Wish I was there, again, to be at the Star party, tonight(Saturday9/15th), to enjoy the festival at hand..

     clear skies to all... Dennis, Aka...3/4meter mini-me...  cool.gif



#16 Deep13

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:14 PM

Holy (insert interjection of choice)!!!



#17 Mabalis

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 08:31 PM

A 29" secondary?!  Wow. Wow. What a monster.  I'll have to put SPOC on my bucket list.  Many thanks for the great review and tribute to 1.8 Meter Mike.

 

from "0.152 Meter Mike" 



#18 jcruse64

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 07:38 AM

Great story, great scope, and great people!



#19 rayden68

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 09:47 AM

So since you can wheel it out on a dolly it counts as the worlds largest grab and go!



#20 Astroman007

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 04:47 PM

Wow! Such an amazing story all around.

 

Many thanks for having taken the time to write and share this beautiful account of your experiences with both the great scope and its creator.

Just the photos alone are awe-inspiring.

 

Clear skies, Martin from Ontario Canada.



#21 SiriusLooker

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 06:18 PM

Thanks to all recent positive remarks -- to (Mabalis -jcruse64 -rayden68 - Astroman007).

 I guess this would be at least one of the largest complete scopes to move from one spot to another.. Yes that secondary is impressive by itself, I was told it came from none other than a coulter optics 29inch scope of the 80's, and then a the local optician ground it flat!

It was my pleasure to do so, in writing this article to share the experience, wishing more would someday see it in person. No photos do justice to the real McCoy.  Moving this around was also very impressive. Mike made it clear from day one, that if he ever built a scope of this magnitude, he wanted it to be push around the sky by hand, like the old fashion ways of historians. (Then) click ON the motor drive system. Not mention in article but that was also a highlight of mine..Moving it around the sky to find the celestial objects. It was actually quite easy for me to do and find them.   


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#22 woodscavenger

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 11:50 PM

Grab and go??!!  You mean grab a hernia and go to the doctor!!!   

 

I have been wondering about this behemoth.  Might have to drive down from Boise to check it out. 



#23 Coconuts

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:18 AM

That 1.8 meter mirror was once mine.  I got it from the collapsing Itek company back around 1991.  It is f/6.67, made from fused silica, and is cellular, with 4 or 5" square cells, each with a side hole (pointing to its original purpose as a reconnaissance satellite).  There were originally eight of them, made by Itek for an Air Force program that was cancelled.  Six were reslumped to a faster curve to make the original Multiple Mirror Telescope (these have since been retired).  One may have ended up at McDonald Observatory in Texas, where I hear that they tried to make a zenith telescope.  I got the one remaining one, which had a 10" long chip on the edge where someone had tried to lift it improperly.  It is not a parabola, but a high order conic.  I have the coefficients, and would be happy to share these with its new owner.  I sold it to a guy named Roy and his brother, who did business in Utah as Intermountain Optics.  If anyone can provide Mike's contact info, I would love to speak with him.  I knew that I wasn't up to the task of turning that mirror into a telescope, but am delighted that someone stepped up.  Impressive!

 

Kevin McCarthy



#24 mr70inch

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:56 PM

Hi Kevin...Mike Clements here, thank you for posting! I sent you a PM on cloudy nights with my contact info, so hopefully you receive that. You and your associates are welcome to come to Utah to observe thru the mirror you acquired from ITEK! And I am grateful you chose to sell the mirror, since I was willing (or should I say insane enough!) to turn it into a telescope!  Many thanks...Mike Clements aka Mr 70 inch.......Ad astra per aspera.



#25 Coconuts

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:38 PM

Mike and I have since connected via email, and in a search of my basement, I managed to dig up some more details on the mirror this evening.  I made a few errors working from memory; its f/ratio is 6.17, not 6.67.  Its ROC is 864".  I will be sending Mike more details when I get to our scanner at work tomorrow.

 

Kevin McCarthy




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