(IAAC) Introductions.

Hello friends:

It is good to hear about you and know about your development, equipment,
observing sites and preferences. Maybe our friend Lew could find the way
to save all these presentations so we can have any reference as there
should be at least some hundred people awaiting to say something and to
share their observations.

This time is my turn. I got interested in the heavens as far as I have
memories: maybe started at four years old when I liked to sit alone at
night in my backyard in Moquegua, south of Perú, looking the stars. I
have some clear images of myself stared and overwhelmed by the sight of
the Milky Way. In his youth my father traveled long distances by horse,
riding by night and sometimes herding animals, so he knew how to find
their way in the dark. I marveled at his stories about what represented
the stars. As soon as I could I put my hands in an old pair of
binoculars that belonged to my grandfather. This was a galilean type and
was built and used in a war between Perú and Chile in 1880. At school I
tried to build some telescopes but I never got enough quality. Only when
I was at the University my mother bought me a 60 mm f/13.3 Asahi
Telescope which is the only one I have now besides a good pair of 10x50
Sakar binoculars. For almost 20 years I did not know of any other "crazy
man" that liked to spend whole nights looking tha stars. I traveled
alone to many different places (250 km the fartest) bringing my 10 kg
telescope box until some two years ago when I read in Astronomy magazine
about two other people in Lima, Perú, who wanted to meet other crazy men
to share the hobby. Almost simultaneously, through Internet I knew of
other more than 300 around the country interested in Astronomy.
Presently I have a club of some 4 or five people that regularly meet
each new moon to observe the stars. I am still fighting to have the cash
enough to jump to an 8" schmidt Cassegrain but it is always some dollars
away and never can put my hands on one. However I had countless pleasent
nights with my 60 mm and I have two notebooks with the annotations and
drawings of what I have seen. Surely they are not as interesting as what
I read in the reports of what you have seen with greater apertures.

I like to see any kind of celestial object: I have reports on solar
observations, planets, nebulae, galaxies, double stars, etc. but not
variables [only recently I have had enough information to discern the
light variations]. I prefer deep sky observing, but in any good night I
try to see whatever is above my horizon. Any way, you cannot do much
with 60 mm aperture.

All the recent nights in the center of Perú the sky is completely cloudy
due to "El Niño", but I patiently await the clear and dark nights under
the stars.

Celso Montalvo
12o S; 77o W.