Our recipient this year is a visual observer with a difference: she makes meticulous logbook entries, including sketching what she sees at the eyepiece. And she shares them with us on Facebook, and on the Astro email group.
She does this for a noble purpose, right in line with our mission: as she said on a Facebook post on the Centre FB page exactly one year ago:
“I am thinking that this year I am going to start sharing my visual astronomy logbook entries in this site. I am hoping to motivate people new to the visual astronomy hobby by sharing my experiences. This way others can learn what is up in the sky, what can one see from the city etc … I hope that other visual astronomers will start sharing their observing sessions too.”
And so she did.
Keeping logbooks and sketching objects seen through a telescope has a long and honourable history, of course, going right back to Galileo.
Indeed, if Galileo were to come back today and become a member of our Centre—which he undoubtedly would—he would be amazed by our astroimagers, and I’m sure he would sign up for our Astroimaging cafes.
But he would want to go to dinner with the sketchers.
And sit right next to Berta Beltran.
It is my honour to present the 2021 Observer of the Year award to Berta Beltran.