Speakers

Dave Kasnick –
Telescope Walkabout Host

A tradition for more than two decades, the Oregon Star Party Telescope Walkabout celebrates and promotes telescope making and innovation.

With gratitude we extend a sincere thanks to Mel Bartels for initiating and fostering this invaluable promotional event. 

On behalf of two decades’ worth of OSP attendees and numerous telescope makers we express our deep appreciation. 

Thank you, Mel, for your pioneering efforts!


Dave’s Biography

My fascination with astronomy started at the age of 11 during summer camp where I earned the astronomy merit badge. Ever since, the cosmos has been an integral part of my life’s journey. Throughout my teenage years, I was privileged to be a member of the Goldendale Observatory club, granting me exclusive access to the 24.5-inch domed telescope.  It was amidst the company of fellow enthusiasts gathered on the hillside of Goldendale Observatory that I witnessed the 1979 total solar eclipse.

At the age of 14, I eagerly acquired my inaugural telescope, an 8-inch equatorial Newtonian, further fueling my passion for observing the night sky.
Driven by a quest for more aperture, in 2002 I began constructing a 22-inch Dobsonian telescope, based on the foundational book by Kriege and Berry “The Dobsonian Telescope”. Fast forward to 2021, and I undertook the task of redesigning and enhancing the 22-inch Dobsonian to incorporate motorized tracking.

Since 1998, I’ve been a devoted attendee of the Oregon Star Party, relishing events like the Telescope Walkabout, where I’ve marveled at the ingenuity and creativity of fellow amateur astronomers. As both an engineer and a stargazer, I take great pleasure in supporting this OSP tradition.

If you will be attending OSP 2024 and you believe that you have some innovations to ‘show and tell’ then send an email to:   

[email protected]


The Walkabout will be in the evening of Thursday August 1, starting at 6:30 pm until 8 pm.   That’s right, no more suffering in the afternoon sun at the hottest time of the day!


Brian Hatley – Observing Programs

Brian Hatley will talk about the OSP observing program to familiarize attendees with the five lists.  Attendees will hear what the program is all about, how it works, and what lists might be of most interest to try.  Content and highlights of each will be discussed.

Bio:

Brian’s astronomy passion began in grade school… the Apollo missions, sci-fi, and Astronomy magazines ignited his interest, and it’s never faded.  His science and electronics interest drove him to earn a BS in Electrical Engineering.  His career started at a small audio company, then moved to Boeing where he held many design and lead roles in audio systems design, logic & chip design, networks and communications, and large systems labs architecture, development, and operation.  He recently retired but now supports Boeing as a contractor.

Brian’s astronomy hobby started with a big pair of binoculars and attending his first OSP in 2000, starting with Messiers and other brighter “faint fuzzies.”  By 2005 he “graduated” to a 10” Dob with “push-to” location automation.  A couple years later the automation failed (coincidentally with first hearing about observing programs) so Brian bought a detailed star atlas and started to work through a list.  That was the catalyst… He’s done observing lists annually ever since – never returning to location automation (even after repair).

Over the years, he developed his skills, and at OSP earned pins for all the list types.  “There’s nothing like the amazing views and beauty of objects in sky,” per Brian.  The other part, he says, is the thrill of the “hunt.”  “Can it be found?  Can it be seen?  Will a filter help?  How far can I push the limits?“  Now Brian is building a bigger telescope and adding night vision to look even deeper.

After supporting list checking in 2017 (busy year… eclipse) he was offered leadership of the observing program – his answer was YES!  His viewpoint is “What better way to give back for all the joy of observing than to help others experience the very same thing!”

CHRIS DIX (Co-Director)
Welcome to OSP Q&A

Chris was introduced to the night sky at the age of 9 by his father when he viewed the moon thru his father’s homemade 3-inch reflector.  This telescope was constructed from an Edmunds Scientific surplus mirror, a cardboard mailing tube, a microscope eyepiece, rectangular diagonal, and a focuser that slid along the axis of the OTA.  At the age of 12 Chris received a 3-inch refractor for Christmas.  Crunching through the fresh crust of ice that covered the snow in a Boston suburb backyard, he got his first glimpse of Saturn’s rings.  Although a wee speck in the field of view – the hook was set.  Later in High School the objective of the 3-inch refractor was removed and placed in a cardboard tube that was mounted to his 35mm camera (poor-mans telephoto) that was used to take photos during Friday night football games for the school newspaper. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Engineering Physics, he joined the Smokey Mountain Astronomical Society (SMAS) that met in the Physics building on the Knoxville campus.  Borrowing a 10-inch Dobsonian from the club, he started chasing Messier objects and learning the night sky.  When his father retired and moved from Florida to be near the grandchildren, Chris invited him to a club Star Party.  The November air was cold and steady.  In an 8-inch long focal length outfitted with a Barlow and short focus eyepiece Jupiter filled the field-of-view and we all took turns watching the shadow of a transiting moon.  This was a full-circle kind of event and I felt blessed to share the experience with my father.

Chris earned his MS in Material Science and then moved to Oregon in 2001 to work a Lattice Semiconductor.  His first OSP was 2002 and he purchased a pair of binoculars with which he completed the Messier Binocular in 2016 (slow and steady). In addition to the 8-inch “planet killer” f10 telescope reconstruction (the inspiration to use a spreadsheet for optical design), Chris has also been grinding a 12-inch “honeycombed” f3 mirror.

www.linkedin.com/in/christopherwdix/

MARIANNE RAMONA (Co-Director)-Welcome to OSP Q&A

From her humble beginnings as a child whose interest in the stars started with a book, Know the Stars by H.A. Rey to a trip to Steens Mountain, alone, Marianne has developed a love of astronomy as an adult.

From the old Tasco telescope her brothers had to the Celestron C102 4 inch refractor full manual telescope on a beautiful new German Equatorial mount, she’s looking forward to taking her equipment out to Indian Trail again.

Her love of science came from being a Girl Scout, going to places like the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and many other places she took her children. She spent 30 plus years as a Respiratory Therapist. She attributes her interest in stargazing based on a trip to Steens Mountain from a work colleague in the 1990’s. They had a conversation about stargazing. He told her, “If you want to stargaze somewhere amazing, go to Steens Mountain”. She made the trek in the 90’s. This has indirectly lead her to her first Oregon Star Party in 2013.