From mid-November 2012 to mid-April 2013 I constructed a telescope from scratch … from grinding the mirror to building the tube. This site was initially conceived for family and friends to keep track of my progress. Early on I began to think the site could be helpful (and encouraging) for aspiring hobbyists.

The telescope was a six-inch f/7.73 Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount. First light was 26 April 2013 … and that light was bouncing off Jupiter and its Galilean moons down to the campus of Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

I’ve christened the tube the “Riccioli” after the eminent seventeenth-century astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598-1671). The mirror I designate with the initials of my grandfather: he first ground his six-inch telescope mirror in 1958; I remember using his telescope in the early 70s. This project began with the sudden inspiration in 2012 to attempt to refurbish his old telescope. The successor to his mirror and grinding efforts (dubbed by me the JTK1), this mirror is the JTK2.

As it’s turned out, the Riccioli is my first but not my last. And in the drop-down menu you’ll see a heading for my most recent creation, the Zucchi.


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