Tom's Astronomy Page

Humankind has been looking at and studying the night sky above our heads for as long as recorded history and well before that I suspect... and I've been one of these creatures for 40 years.

Why Astronomy?

I discovered the night sky when as a teenager my grandfather, Frank Dowcett Sr offered me a 6 inch unfinished mirror to use for building a reflecting telescope.  I think this was in the Spring of 1970. This was a mirror my Uncle Frank Dowcett had started, but sadly because he died at an early age was unable to finish the project. So the unfinished mirror stayed that way for well over 20 years.  

I was always scientifically inclined so I gladly undertook the project and had a completed 6" f/8 Newtonian telescope ready for "first light" that Fall.  Now mind you, I had never looked through, nor even seen a "real" telescope except in pictures from an Edmund science catalog, so I had little idea of what to expect.  That fateful night, I set up the scope on the street outside the house and saw a fairly bright star rising in the East over the ocean.  at the time we lived at 26 Bayview Rd on Great Neck in Ipswich, MA.  I was fiddling with the focus for what seemed a long time when I realized the "star" that didn't seem to focus was actually Saturn and its rings! That's an experience I've never fogotten and I've been hooked ever since.  

My new found hobby was a major incentive for going to college at Northern Arizona Univ the following year. I would be in a city and state that was a leader in astronomy tradition and research.  Flagstaff is the town where Lowell Observatory is, and which has an international reputation in the astronomical community for achievements such as being the place where the planet Pluto was discovered.  Although, I must say that the offer from my Grandparents to live with them in Sedona, which allowed me to commute to NAU in Flagstaff, is what really made this possible.  The four plus years studying and observing in Arizona cemented my fascination with astronomy which I actively pursue to this day.     

Although I am still primarily a visual observer, there are some astronomical events that are relatively easy to photograph and so it is these that you'll find in my astro photo album. 

My Astrophotography subjects are primarily comets and Eclipses.  

COMETS    ECLIPSES    My Observatory    My Equipment (Toys)    My Astronomy Club

Note: This page is still in work. Most of the links are not yet developed.