Oregon Star Party 2005 Telescope Walkabout

Mel Bartels, August 2005, images by Barb Bajec and Alan Gillespie

Each year we hold a telescope walkabout at the Oregon Star Party. Telescope builders share interesting telescopes with a large crowd of onlookers. The owners describe salient features of their telescopes, how they built it, how well it works, what they like and don't like about the result, and what they might do better next time. The people gathered ask questions and benefit from hearing the answers as a group. Walkabouts are meant to be contrasted with contests. Contests determine winners in categories with the prize of self-glorification. Contests offer little sharing and collaboration.  By contrast, sharing exciting new telescopes and ideas is the principal goal of a walkabout.