My good friend RL Deitz, skilled amateur photographer and equally skilled astro-photographer has offered, through the years, to host a group of his interested friends at the WSU Jewett Astronomical Observatory, to which he has access. Finally, last year, we made good on his offer and a half dozen of us met RL at the Observatory, just outside of Pullman, Washington. It was a fair day but with intermittent clouds (about 50/50). Telescope observation is always weather dependent unless you own the Hubble telescope (which we do!). The clouds were one thing but the unstable air that accompanies such weather actually bends the light, even between clouds when it looks clear, such that optimal sharpness is unlikely with the inevitable time exposures moon, planet, and star imaging requires. Nonetheless, we caught a few good moments to look with our eyes and thanks to some camera adapters RL brought and some the observatory had, we made a few exposures through the magnificent "steampunk" brass telescope. The moon was impressive and we each saw Saturn, for real- rings and all, as well. A 12" refractor lens and a 15' focal length makes this device an impressive and serious tool. The observatory itself has its own charm with its classic rotating hemispherical top with the clamshell doors. All made of wood, no less. This really was a fun and an interesting evening with equal parts wonder at nature, convivial fun with good company, and the adventure of discovery. This is a hidden gem of the WSU campus. While no longer the cutting edge of astronomy, it is an amazing instrument to be available to a group like ours. Thanks to RL and the gent who opened the doors for us.

 Majestic in its own way.

Majestic in its own way.

 From another age...

From another age...

 No computers, just "hands on".

No computers, just "hands on".

 The intrepid (and slightly defocused from movement) RL Deitz, at the eyepiece.

The intrepid (and slightly defocused from movement) RL Deitz, at the eyepiece.

 Our friend, the Moon.

Our friend, the Moon.

 Late, before we left.

Late, before we left.

 The twelve-inch lens.

The twelve-inch lens.

 Ambience

Ambience