New Jersey Astronomical Association

16 05 2011

If you’re anywhere near Voorhees State Park in Lebanon Township, New Jersey, make plans to visit the Paul H. Robinson Observatory at 8:30 p.m., May 28, to hear  Robert Zimmerman give a talk, “Unknown Stories From Space: Tales of Space Adventure Few Know About.” The observatory is located about an hour west of NYC, an hour east of Allentown, and an hour north of Trenton—accessible to more people than I can probably count. I’m not sure of Mr. Zimmerman’s exact topic (because the stories are unknown, of course), but if I had to guess, I’d say he was going to be talking a bit about the Hubble Telescope.

The Paul H. Robinson Observatory houses a 16-inch Cassegrain reflector, currently the largest telescope open to the public in New Jersey. I first noticed this instrument when I was doing local history research and discovered the massive mount and frame now in the Paul Robinson observatory was originally installed here in Bloomington at the Knightridge Observatory.  The NJAA website doesn’t mention it, but according to IU history sources, the frame never operated properly.  Even so, the founders of the NJAA paid $100 for the frame and mount (I think we can assume that it would cost considerably more for the system today). If the weather is clear, the telescope will be open to the public after Mr. Zimmerman’s talk. If you do happen to attend, please report back on the state of the frame and mount!