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sexy vintage zeiss seeking comfortable home
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Sexy vintage Zeiss seeking comfortable home

By Don Urquhart, Times Chronicle “Some people rescue dogs, my husband rescues telescopes,” laughs local astrophotographer Debra Ceravolo who was speaking at a Rotary Club Osoyoos lunch recently. Some might recognize her name from local Facebook forums where she occasionally posts stunning photos of galactic events and objects near and far in the galaxies around us, from observatories at their home on Anarchist Mountain. While she’s the photographer in the family, her husband Peter has been designing, building and repairing telescopes for nearly 40 years. And one particular telescope that he acquired and rebuilt is now being offered as a donation by the couple to Osoyoos on one condition: It must have a proper home. “It’s in pristine condition and it has historical value as well,” she notes. The telescope – worth in excess of $150,000 – was originally, for many years, the main public viewing telescope at the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium in Vancouver (since renamed H.R. MacMillan Space Centre). The telescope left the Vancouver Planetarium in 1990 and wound up in East Point Solar Observatory in the Boston area in 1995. “This is called the ​​Zeiss Coudé telescope [which has a 150mm f/15 objective lense] which he completely tore apart, rebuilt and refinished and restored it,” she says. “It was actually designed for public outreach,” she says adding that the beautiful thing about this telescope is that the eyepiece does not move like most telescopes. Instead, two handles are used to turn the telescope around the sky. “It never moves where you look through, so that makes it accessible to children, the elderly, to handicapped people,” she enthuses. “We want to donate it to Osoyoos but it has to have a home and we don’t have the time, the resources or the know-how to make that happen. It needs to be with the public. It was designed and built and meant to be with the public,” she emphasizes. “So we want to put the word out that there was a telescope willing and waiting to happen in Osoyoos which is the absolute perfect place for it,” she says. And it doesn’t need to be on the mountain, even in the heart of Osoyoos it would be perfect for viewing the heavens above, she says. The Rotary Club Osoyoos, well known for its countless community projects around town has enthusiastically picked up the gauntlet. Once a proper existing venue, or a purpose-built one is ready, the ​​Zeiss Coudé will move in and Osoyoos will have not only a unique educational tool but also an attraction for locals and tourists alike. As Ceravolo notes, the hard part in creating something like this is acquiring the telescope, and that’s already taken care of.

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