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Ken Fulton the Light Hearted Astronomer has passed away.

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#26 John Huntley

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:40 PM

I'm very sorry to hear of Ken Fulton's passing.

 

I bought "The Light Hearted Astronomer" soon after it was available here in the UK and really enjoyed reading it, several times over. It is unlike any other astronomy book that I have ever read and I loved his "tell it like it is" style.

 

I have just ordered "The Light Hearted Astronomer Observes Again" and will read it in celebration of Ken's life and contribution to the hobby that I have been a small part of for the past 40 years.

 

R.I.P Ken.


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#27 25585

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 12:53 PM

TL-HA advertised in all my old Astronomy magazines, that iconic cover!  I borrowed it from my local library. 

 

Ken's books are nostalgia, thanks for inspiring me Ken.


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#28 Scott99

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 01:55 PM

thanks for the update - I had ordered his sequel to the original book and had not had a chance to read it, I will go get it off the shelf now.   Glad to see he kept the lamp burning right till the end....RIP!!!  no more troubles with macular degeneration now......


Edited by Scott99, 12 August 2020 - 01:55 PM.

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#29 Cliff C

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 08:10 AM

After hearing the sad news of Ken's passing, I finally purchased the updated version of his book. It was a fun and easy read that I wish I had made years earlier. That last chapter dealing with his macular degeneration was indeed a sad one but hearing that someone smashed the lens of his beloved scope sickened me. To Ken I would just like to say that you're plea to those of with vision enough to observe, should get out there and do so was heard loud and clear. Next time I am out observing and for many years to come (hopefully) I will be thinking of you. Thanks.


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#30 bremms

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 09:57 PM

Sorry to hear that. I enjoyed the first book. Gave it to a friend and I'm sure she still has the book. Never knew he wrote a sequel.



#31 stevew

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Posted 22 August 2020 - 03:34 PM

So sorry to hear this news.

I bought Ken's book in the late 80's and read it many times over the years.

The book always brought me back down to earth when I was contemplating new gear.

 

Steve



#32 RichA

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Posted 22 August 2020 - 06:23 PM

Im not sure which forum is best for this post so please feel free to move it but I belive the classics forum is where most will know his name.  My good friend Ken Fulton has passed away.  He wrote the survival manual The Light Hearted Astronomer back in the mid '80's and it was very popular.   More recently he wrote the sequel The Light Hearted Astronomer Observes Again.   He had been hospitalized several weeks ago for an infection and was not able to recover.  His wife of 50 years Doris had been keeping friends appraised on his condition for weeks on social media.   Ken kept a pretty low profile over the years and could have made many appearances by popular demand but that wasnt his style.  He was recently slated to speak at the Texas Star Party but it fell through at the last minute.   He had been planning to move into a new place with Doris but covid delayed the move.  Ken definitely had more living to do and the astronomical community will definitely feel his loss..

Times change.  I remember seeing the cover of the book and wondering, "where would he get a refractor that short?"



#33 Russell Smith

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 05:30 PM

Always sad and much too common to hear of the passing of one of this community.
My heartfelt condolences.
Russ

#34 Rdenney

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 02:06 AM

A very old thread, but in my return to the hobby I kept trying to remember the book that set the stage for my involvement back in the late 80's and early 90's. It was Ken's book, which came to me as I was looking through an old Richard Berry book I have here on the shelf. I still remember many of the principles he presented. I can't find my earlier copy so I've had to order it again. Despite that he wrote it 40 years ago, I was reminded again of its importance as I was reading a thread in the Refractors forum about AP, with the principle protagonists pushing budgets into the many thousands. Fulton's description of the AP being in the deepest, darkest part of the jungle came back to me at that point--still good insight even though technology has made things easier but at the same time raised standards to hopeless levels.

 

I think I bought the book in its first printing at Texas Nautical Repair in Houston, or perhaps Whole Earth Provision Company in Austin; places that served both ends of the amateur astronomy spectrum in the middle 80's.

 

He told a story in the book of spending a rainy night talking astronomy with a buddy. I seem to recall whisky might have been involved, but I may be projecting my current tastes backwards to that time. He wrote that he and his friend came so close to really solving the world's problems that night, or words to that effect, but dawn came just a bit too soon. How that scenario resonates with me--I've never forgot it.

 

I'm sorry to hear of his passing, and sorrier that he lost his observing sight late in life.

 

Rick "RIP with gratitude and respect" Denney


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#35 grif 678

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Posted 12 June 2024 - 04:58 PM

Another one of the old favorites that made astronomy so much fun back in the early days. We have lost a lot of good people, who lots of them had ads in Astronomy magazine and Sky and Telescope. Remember back in the days, when I would see one of those ads, I would wonder what it was like to be able to do astronomy stuff as a living. It is sad indeed when one of them passes, it seems like we lost a friend, even though we may have never known them in person, it still seems like a friend has gone. Rest in peace Ken.


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#36 Serenity Now

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Posted 23 June 2024 - 10:14 AM

While a very old thread it's VERY NEW thread to me so thanks for keeping the author's books and adventures alive.

 

Located on Amazon etc...the original AND sequel will be next on my library "to read" purchase list.

 

BTW...the book that just arrived yesterday: Victorian Telescope Makers; The Lives and Letters of Thomas and Howard Grubb


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#37 LDW47

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Posted 26 June 2024 - 06:12 PM

Condolences from Northern Ontario, Canada !  I will search high and low for his books believe me, I heard about them one time on here in years gone by.



#38 LDW47

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 01:18 PM

I just ordered his two books on Amazon, I am looking for some good reading.



#39 Rdenney

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 03:18 PM

For those wandering into this thread, I should point out that the later The Light-Hearted Astronomer Observes Again contains a complete reprint of the original The Light-Hearted Astronomer. Apparently, Mr. Fulton didn't really want to rewrite the first book, fearing that he'd screw it up, and his editor (wife) talked him into just reprinting that in its original entirety (which is pretty brief in any case) and then adding a bunch of new stuff around it. So, unless you are a completist, buying the second book precludes the need for buying the first.

 

But I am a completist and didn't regret buying the first again after noticing that it was reprinted in the second book. After all, I owned a first edition of the first book but bought it again simply because I couldn't find it. I just keeps me grounded in my astronomy origins back in the 80's seeing that slim compendium of wisdom in my observing bag.

 

Rick "re-read the first on the plane two weeks ago; the second is now in the briefcase for flight next week" Denney


Edited by Rdenney, 01 July 2024 - 03:20 PM.


#40 LDW47

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 03:34 PM

For those wandering into this thread, I should point out that the later The Light-Hearted Astronomer Observes Again contains a complete reprint of the original The Light-Hearted Astronomer. Apparently, Mr. Fulton didn't really want to rewrite the first book, fearing that he'd screw it up, and his editor (wife) talked him into just reprinting that in its original entirety (which is pretty brief in any case) and then adding a bunch of new stuff around it. So, unless you are a completist, buying the second book precludes the need for buying the first.

 

But I am a completist and didn't regret buying the first again after noticing that it was reprinted in the second book. After all, I owned a first edition of the first book but bought it again simply because I couldn't find it. I just keeps me grounded in my astronomy origins back in the 80's seeing that slim compendium of wisdom in my observing bag.

 

Rick "re-read the first on the plane two weeks ago; the second is now in the briefcase for flight next week" Denney

I don't give a da*, I'm an ownist, I want to own them !  Both of them.


Edited by LDW47, 02 July 2024 - 03:37 PM.

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