LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don’t keep that telescope in the closet, bring it to The Bishop and learn how to use it

January 8, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

To the Editor:

With manufacturers reporting an exponential increase in telescope sales nationwide, The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is offering a special workshop to help new astronomers – or even those who need a refresher course – an opportunity to get to know their own scopes.

Experts from The Bishop, which offers the most high-tech planetarium on Florida’s Gulf Coast, will help participants get comfortable setting up and using their telescopes and avoid pitfalls that can lead to frustration.

“Astronomy is a fascinating and rewarding hobby that lets you travel through time and space,” said The Bishop’s Planetarium Manager Howard Hochhalter. “But it can be frustrating for new users who aren’t familiar with different eyepieces, levels of magnification or even how to set up and align their scopes. Using a telescope isn’t rocket science – at least not in most cases – but it does help to have someone who has been around the solar system a time or two to show you the ropes.”

“How to Use Your Telescope” will take place on Saturday, Jan. 16 in The Bishop’s North Plaza. Weather permitting, participants will learn the skills to view the moon and stars using their own telescopes by the end of the workshop.

“This is a BYOT program – bring your own telescope,” said Hochhalter, who is also a NASA Solar System Ambassador. “Our goal is to help people get the most out of their own equipment, so it’s important to bring your scope to the workshop.”

Tickets are $30 per telescope for Discovery Society Members (includes five participants per scope); $35 for all others (includes up to five participants per scope). Each ticket includes admission to the January 27 Stelliferous program on Zoom. Please note: Number of participants is limited to allow for individual attention.

As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (formerly South Florida Museum) offers fun and engaging exhibitions and programs that interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to permanent exhibitions, The Bishop features a constantly changing lineup of special exhibitions – offering something new to discover with each visit – and Pathways, a custom, interactive app that offers guests specially curated tours of the Museum.

The Bishop includes an all-digital Planetarium – the only one of its kind on Florida’s Gulf Coast – the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, where we help rehabilitate sick or injured manatees for their return to the wild, and the Mosaic Backyard Universe, built especially for young children and their families.

Their mission is inspire the joy of discovery and wonder for all ages through excellence in stewardship and engagement.

Visit BishopScience.org for hours, info and admission details, or call (941) 746-4131.

Remi Gonzalez

Director of Communications and Brand

The Bishop