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Veil Nebula NGC6992

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Re: Tom Scott Mirrors

Started by flusk, 03/07/2005 08:21PM
Posted 03/07/2005 08:21PM | Edited 03/07/2005 08:23PM Opening Post

Tom is still here in Fresno and we see him from time-to-time. Last summer Tom gave our astronomy club (Central Valley Astronomers) a tour of his shop. He did say that he was scaling back and even thinking about getting out altogether after he finished his then current projects. I think he was working on a 20" and a 24". I haven't seen him since August, so I don't know exactly what he decided to do.

If you want to see Tom's shop, I posted some photos on our club website. Go to …on the menu on the left-hand side, click on Photographs, then click on 2004-07-31 Mirror Grinding. (the direct link to this page is: )

The 24" that Arthur mentioned, if it's the same scope we know as "Big Blue" and "The Blue Marvel," is a phenominal scope: conical mirror, lightweight blue fiberglass/foam tube, and a GEM that I am told weighs about 1000 lbs. Last summer, Tom and the owner brought it up to Courtright Reservoir (8200') for one of our primitive campout/star party outings (see ). They also take it to Glacier Point, Kennedy Meadows, etc. In this scope, the Veil Nebula looks like a shear silk scarf. I have never seen so much structure.


Posted 03/08/2005 06:42PM #1
I saw that 24" scope at RTMC in 1996, I think. The owner had unfortunately parked next to Steve Swayze's 40" dob, and there was a long line at the 40" and nobody looking through the 24". My wife and I went over to the 24", and the owner (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten) spent over an hour giving us a tour of his favorite objects. It was a great scope (and a nice guy!). We never got over to the 40", we were enjoying the 24 too much....

Posted 07/19/2007 04:01PM #2

Tom Scott definitely has made excellent telescope mirrors!

Back in the early 1980s he made some excellent mirrors for me, under the name Cross Optics.

Later he made some very large aplanatic Schmidt-Cassegrain astrographic telescope optics for Jim Riffle, of Astro Works. Learning how to make the large aspheric correcting lenses was a "killer," and almost took both Tom Scott and Jim Riffle over the "edge." But, Tom Scott eventually succeeded, and the scopes were completed. Seems like they were 24 or 25 inch aperture and something like f/6 overall.

Anyway, I am compelled to believe that anyone with a Tom Scott mirror has an excellent mirror!

Often I have viewed with the blue 24-inch [f/4?] Newtonian at RTMC. Very nice optics and beautiful image quality. The owner is to be thanked for sharing this wonderful scope!

Posted 01/21/2008 06:25PM #3
FYI, Tom Scott fans…

My son just revamped our club's website, so the new link to photos of Tom's shop is