| Stonebelt Stargazers
|"The advancement of amateur astronomy in south central Indiana"|
Stonebelt Stargazers News
Bill Johnson - President
Gregg Meade - Vice-President
Bill Johnson - Secretary/Treasurer
With the elections of officers in March 2009 we enter our 10th year as an established astronomy club. The last nine years have been a torrent of activity. Over 16,000 people have been to one of our programs or those we have participated in. None of this would have be possible without the efforts of so many energetic and dedicated members.
We schedule several public programs throughout the year as well as many private events for clubs and organizations. Our annual membership over the past few years has stayed at about 30.
Stonebelt Stargazers is incorporated in the state of Indiana
A 501C not for profit organization.
Stonebelt Stargazers is a member society of the Astronomical League.
In 2001 won a national award for our Astronomy Day program.
We have built good working relationships with both Spring Mill State Park and the Wonderlab in Bloomington. We continue public outreach from these locations with 11 scheduled events for 2008.
We have received grants from the Lawrence County Community Foundation for the purchase of equipment and material used in our programs and presentations.
Fran Morrows' visit to Morrow Observatory October 27, 2004
Wednesday brought only cloudy skies for the lunar eclipse viewing at Morrow Observatory at BNL High School. There was one thing that was perfectly clear though, and that was the love and dedication that Dr. Robert Morrow had for his family, his work, and his hobby of astronomy.
Fran Morrow, widow of Dr. Morrow, shared her thoughts and memories of how she and her husband met and moved to Bedford. Robert was a man of total dedication to everything he set his hand to do.
Though Fran confessed no knowledge of telescopes, she exhibited a great memory of the projects her husband worked on. One story was of a piece of glass he was grinding for a telescope mirror. For over a year he worked every morning before going to the office, and again each evening, perfecting the curvature of the mirror. After the final polishing was finished, Bob took the glass to the faucet to rinse it. When the water hit the glass it fractured and made the glass useless for a telescope mirror. Fran told of the devastated look upon Bob's face as he brought the mirror upstairs to show her.
Most people would have given up and went on to other things, but not Bob. He ordered another blank piece of glass from Corning and started again. He finally finished the telescope and it is one of two that are now housed in the observatory at BNL High School that bears his name.
After Bob passed away Fran had to decide what to do with the telescopes. She contacted a professor at Indiana University to come and look at them. Upon first sight of the telescopes the professor was in awe, and wondered why Bob had never contacted the University to share information. Fran told of how Bob was solitary in the pursuit of his hobby and rarely spoke to anyone about it. She offered to donate the telescopes to IU if they would place then at a dark site. The University wanted to place them on campus but Fran felt the true beauty of the scopes would be lost with the light glow of Bloomington.
Someone mentioned to her that BNL High School might be interested in them. So an agreement was struck that they would be donated with the stipulation that they be made available to local astronomers and other groups and be housed appropriately. So we see how fortunate we are to have such an asset to our community.
Fran thanked the North Lawrence school corporation for making the telescopes available to the community and to the Stonebelt Stargazers and Mr. Lowell Bailey for their efforts in bringing astronomy to the public.
She dedicated the eclipse event that evening to her late husband and closed with a verse that was read at his funeral: "Robert J. Morrow, he loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night".