Early this year I called up David Nagler, the President of TeleVue Optics, to ask if he's ever heard of the Philly Moon Men. On the other line was a man with a patient, enthusiastic voice, and I was impressed by the time he took from his routine to offer great advice and encouragement.
A month ago at the NorthEast Astronomy Forum, the Moon Men met David in person, and that's where we decided to begin an incredible partnership. David grew up learning the trade of optical engineering from his father, Al Nagler. Al is widely considered an innovator in the field of telescope optics, but what I love about Al is his dedication to astronomy as well. I learned of the Naglers' love for sidewalk astronomy, and of the many nights they've spent sharing their knowledge and their equipment with their community.
David spent the morning demonstrating concepts of telescope optics, and generously offered to let us take a TV-76 on our bike tour with us. This telescope is rugged enough for us to trust on a three month bicycle tour, taking on all sorts of terrain and each evening still pointing at the stars with lenses in exactly the same alignment. It is by far the most versatile and capable instrument I've ever used.
My heartfelt thanks to TeleVue and the Nagler family for sponsoring us on our epic tour. TeleVue optics are used by scientists and professionals to conduct their research. Although the Moon Men are amateurs, David wanted to enable our passion from the very beginning, and show us that anyone can become an astronomer if they are interested in the sky. I can't wait to share these views to thousands of people throughout our tour this Summer. We'll be keeping count!