Star Traveler – You

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Guests inspecting the Marshall Martz main telescope in the observatory dome.

The farthest that the amateur astronomers at the Martz Observatory in Frewsburg, New York have yet traveled into deep space is to Quasar 3C 273, 2.5 billion light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Virgo. It is 4 trillion times brighter than the sun and worth the trip to see.

Martz, however, travels by telescope, not by rocket. The Marshall Martz Memorial Astronomical Observatory is home to one of the finest research grade astronomical telescopes in the State of New York, a 24-inch reflecting scope capable of probing deep space far beyond the Milky Way Galaxy.

The members of the Martz Astronomical Association are all volunteers and amateurs interested in astronomy. They are now inviting back yard astronomers, students and fans of the U.S. Space Program to join The Marshal Martz Memorial Astronomical Association, a 501 (c) (3) corporation, and explore the universe. New York State officials and leaders of local governments have made a strong commitment to promote the observatory’s work.

Frewsburg High School, in cooperation with BOCES, has been selected as the first testing ground for remote, robotic control of the observatory’s telescope. A new program will allow students, and eventually amateurs, professionals and universities anywhere in the world, to program their own viewing and photography of planets and deep space objects from any classroom or home computer link. Amateur searches for potential Earth destroying asteroids, new comets, super novas and more will soon be within easy reach of Martz Observatory society members.

The Marshall Martz Observatory is offering Jamestown Gazette readers a ticket on their next flight to Quasar 3C273, or the Moon, Mars or Pluto. In these days of rising airfares, it is good to know that a Martz space travel ticket costs only $25, or $30 to take your whole family along for a year’s membership. Benefits include monthly meetings, great speakers, viewing nights on the main 24-incher or any one of Martz’s many other beginner to advanced telescopes.

Log on to http://www.martzobservatory.org/ to see the observatory’s photo gallery, learn more about the observatory’s history, activities and membership.