Help an Australian Astronomer

John F. McRae of Lewiston, Australia has been bringing us free views of the Moon and planets on Periscope.  Periscope is a free, live-broadcasting social media that links millions around the world.  (Learn more about Periscope here.)

Screen grab of the lunar crater Copernicus using Periscope to connect to John’s current telescope in Australia.

I’ve been enjoying John’s Periscope broadcasts for several months.  The conversation is lively and there are many who are excited about their first view thru a telescope.

There have been occasions when John would attract more than a thousand people to a single broadcast.

John has been sharing views of celestial objects for the world using a cheap telescope that has no tracking.  It has an EQ2 mount, and limited eyepiece selection.

The color of the planets is not as good as it could be if John had a nice set of filters.  The manual adjustment of controls creates “wobble” of our views.

On several occasions John simply had to stop his broadcast because he couldn’t see the cross-hairs in the “crappy” sighter-scope.

He would like to buy a better telescope that will give us much better views of the southern sky.  He’s like to get some nice filters.  So John has set-up a crowd-funding project at

John tells me:

“I have $1,000 of my own that I will put towards the purchase, and if I can reach the $3,000 crowd-funding target, (otherwise the project is null and void and no money changes hands) a suitable telescope and accessories will be purchased.”

John shares such wonderful images from Australia.  I’d like for him to have a better telescope to share images of celestial objects such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds that are below my horizon.

Because John lives in the southern hemisphere he can show us “northerners” a different perspective of the sky.

And since John is on the other side of the world, he can broadcast  during daylight hours in the US, Canada and UK and Europe.

Would you consider helping?

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 9.47.36 AM
John McRae, southern star-gazer

Download PERISCOPE for your device, and find John: (@vk5po)  You can see what he can do, even with the limited capabilities of the borrowed equipment.


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