Telescope and Amateur Astronomy Slang

404. As in, “Dude, I’m totally 404 on that dim globular”

ARTIST. As in, “He’s a real ARTIST. He claims to see the Horsehead Nebula without a scope”

ASTEROIDED. As in, “Man, you really ASTEROIDED your mirror when you dropped the diagonal on it”

COMET. As in, “He bought his way into the hobby and he’ll COMET his way out real soon. Just you watch”

DONUT – A coveted telescope that is surrounded by scope geeks. As in, “Dude, check out the DONUT on the far side of the telescope field. I hear it’s a 36” scope”

DONUT BUSTING. As in, “Check me out. I’m about to BUST that 36 inch DONUT. I’m going to work the crowd then ease in next to the eyepiece and never relinquish the ladder”

PITY VIEW. As in, “I humored him by taking a look through his messed up scope. It was a real PITY VIEW”

PLANET. As in, “Dude, you gotta PLANET your observations. You know, get them in order before heading out to the star party”

RAD – Random Ass Dobsonian. As in, “The star party field was full of RADs”

STASH. As in, “Dude, check out my STASH of TeleVue eyepieces. TIGHT!”

STREET CRED. As in, “That scope may not look like much, but it has more STREET CRED than your scope ever will”

SWEET. As in, “That image of Saturn was SWEET.” (The artist’s version of TIGHT)

THIRD WHEEL. As in, “I’ll just tag along as a THIRD WHEEL since I don’t have a scope or car”

TIGHT. As in, “That image of Saturn was TIGHT! Never seen so much detail”

TORTURE. As in, “Between the light pollution and that guy’s car headlights, this star party is total TORTURE”


Mel Bartels, Oct 2012