About the Author

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My name is Justin Balderrama, I’m an amateur astronomer in La Verne, CA.  I believe that you can see more, discover more, and enjoy the sky better through astronomical sketching.   I started this blog to share my passion for astronomy with the world.

I own an Observer 70mm AZ Refractor telescope, a 1971 Criterion RV-6 Newtonian, and a Meade Research Grade 12.5″ F/6 Newtonian, and a Celestron 102mm NexStar GT. They are all great scopes, the newtonians were given to me by a kind astronomer who thought I would get use out of them.

It all started on a cool February night with a 4 1/2 inch Meade reflector.  At this time, I had no knowledge of the night sky or the constellations that reside within it.  Time was running out, and I pointed the small scope toward a row of three stars.  It turns out, that was the location of M42, the Orion Nebula.  I had no idea what exactly it was or if I was really seeing it.  I immediately called up my grandpa, which was probably pretty late in his time zone, and told him about my “discovery”.  I remember describing it to him, and he told me what it was.  In my eyes, I became a real amateur astronomer that night.

A sincere thanks to all visitors.  May your skies be crystal clear.

Justin Balderrama

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11 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Hey, Justin, I come to the PVAA meetings when I can. I run the observatory at Webb high school.. I’d like to have you and your folks come up for a visit sometime. Shoot me an email if interested.

  2. HI JUSTIN;
    JUST READ YOUR MOST RECENT BLOG UP-DATE ON YOUR MIRROR PROGRESS ,WOW DOES THAT MIRROR LOOK GREAT,BRINGS BACK MEMORIES WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE. THE POLISHING STAGE IS ONE OF THE MOST FASINATING STAGES WHEN YOU SEE THE GLASS GRADUALLY CLEAR. KEEPING THINGS CLEAN IS CRITICAL NOW SO SPEND THE EXTRA TIME DOING SO.

    HOPE YOU HAD A GREAT THANKSGIVING AND I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE UP-DATES….

    LOVE
    GRANDPA NEIL
    CLEAR SKYS

  3. Hey Justin! Figured I would pop in and say hi. Its Robert (rnc39560), I’m so g!ad you posted the pictures of the old equipment at Mount Wilson! The phones give a kind of timeline to its age. Keep it up!

  4. Hello Justin….you have an excellent blog. I have been a visual observer and sketcher for over thirty years. Your sketches are excellent, and would like to invite you to be a part of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society Observer’s Challenge. The Challenge is a monthly international report that shares observations on preselected deep-sky objects. I have a site at http://www.rogerivester.com if you are interested in the challenge report. Hope to hear from you. Best regards, Roger Ivester

    • Hi Roger, big fan ignore yours actually. It was you and Steve Coe who got me into sketching. I’ve been really busy with work and school I have hardly and time for astronomy. I hope to get back into it and get out my sketchbook. I’ll have to check out the observing challenge. Thanks Roger!

  5. Time to make some updates to the scopes you now have and get back to writing this blog. I miss the stories and sketches

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