I'm an amateur astronomer based near Cleveland, Ohio, USA. My interest in astronomy started in 1980 when I was in high school and has continued to this day. Like many amateurs, my first telescope was a small refractor. Over the years, I have purchased and built many larger scopes including a 20" truss tube Dobsonian pictured next to me in the photo below.
I have been a member of the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society since 1982. This astronomy club has members from all over Northeast Ohio and does many star parties for the public every year. Click on the Events button at the top of this page to see a list of programs that CVAS will be presenting this year.
My interests as an observer have changed over the years. I started out observing the Moon and planets then migrated to fainter objects as my scopes grew in size. Comet observing has long held a fascination for me. To date, I have seen over 120 comets, including some at more than one apparition.
Light pollution and fickle Northeast Ohio weather can limit the opportunities for observing faint objects such as comets, but I discovered that variable star observing is rather well suited to my observing location. Since 1989, I have made roughly 20,000 visual magnitude estimates of variable stars. Most of these estimates have been reported to the AAVSO.
In 2002, I started using a CCD camera to image variables and perform photometry on the images. CCD photometry allows a star to be measured with roughly 10x better accuracy than visual methods, but is more time consuming. Nevertheless, I have made a few thousand CCD observations of variables since 2002. One unexpected advantage of a CCD camera is the ability to penetrate light pollution. With a CCD camera on my 8" scope, I can reach a fainter magnitude from my suburban backyard than I can visually with my 20" scope at a dark sky site. For this reason, I mainly observe with a CCD now instead of visual observing.
I have also used my CCD cameras for photometry of other objects, such as asteroid occultations and eclipses of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. My occultation reports are submitted to the IOTA.
I created this web site to showcase some of the results of my observing programs. Use the "Variables" or "Occultations" buttons at the top or bottom of this page to view the respective pages for each program.