Meet Ryan Goodson
My interest in building telescopes was initially sparked from a chance encounter with a member of Springfield Telescope Makers. Soon after, I experienced the laborious task of “glass-pushing”. Although fabricating a telescope mirror is something I will always be proud of, it was the mechanical process that most intrigued me (maybe because I was far better at that part of it!). Soon, all my free time was dedicated to studying telescopes and woodworking, or putting the knowledge and creativity to practical use by building the scopes themselves.
Building telescopes is, for me, one of the most satisfying avocations in the world. Taking a blank slate of wood, steel, aluminum, and glass, and turning it into a finished product is exhilarating. There are few things in life as satisfying as building a scientific instrument that will soon be used to show people the wonders of the universe. I believe that everyone has a calling, or something they were meant to do. I am satisfied that I have found mine!
Aside from building telescopes, I am also an avid amatuer astronomer. I typically observe from the mag. 6.5 skies of Upstate NY (about 45 minutes north of Syracuse) where I both live and work. Occasionally, I make the hour long trek down to Tully, NY to the Darling Hill Observatory to observe with others. The Darling Hill Observatory is the “official” meeting place of the Syracuse Astronomical Society of which I serve as the club treasurer. You can get more information about the SAS by clicking here.
Another relevant passion I have is restoring antique American made machinery. Aside from the telescope, there is nothing like a massive, cast iron, American made machine from the 30’s through the 80’s. I suppose these mechanical marvels are one of the motivations that drive me to build the finest American made telescope available!
I try to be as responsible as possible regarding all types of resources. This means I try to conserve as much wood as possible. When building telescopes, there is bound to be oddly shaped pieces of quality wood left after a scope is complete. Rather than trashing the excess, we use it to build other quality astro goodies like eyepiece boxes, various holders, adapters, observing desks, etc.