CFAS History


The Central Florida Astronomical Society was born on November 21st 1977. The stated purpose of the organization was "To promote and advance the interest, activities and individual appreciation of astronomy and related Arts and Sciences"

The first board members were:

President - Charles Cole
Vice President - Dean Fletcher
Secretary-Treasurer - Joy Fox
BMAL - Richard Fox
BMAL - James Koch

The CFAS Trust was initiated on 7/3/1981 by funds bequeathed from the estates of Cyrus and Emily Fernald and adopted by the CFAS board on 8/12/1981.


Early Web Pages

If you want to have some fun check   Just type any web address and it will take you back in time.

For CFAS Old timers click here*/


Robinson Observatory and CFAS

In 1968, Tinsley Laboratories built a Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope for the University of South Florida's observatory. The telescope had a 26-inch (0.66-m) primary mirror, and this telescope was used until the astronomy program at USF closed down and merged with the Astronomy Department at the University of Florida in 1982. At that point, the 26-inch telescope was dismantled and placed into storage in Gainesville.

Fast forward to 1990. The Central Florida Astronomical Society (CFAS) learned of the telescope's condition and went up to Gainesville to see if it could be salvaged. CFAS began working with UCF to bring the telescope to Orlando, and an agreement was reached whereby UCF would build an observatory to house the telescope and CFAS would move the telescope and restore it to operating condition. Thus the seeds of telescopic astronomy at UCF were sown. CFAS moved the 26-inch telescope from Gainesville to UCF on February 13, 1992, and began restoring it.

The telescope was installed in June 1995; the mechanical assembly was completed and the optics installed a few months later, in September.

By 2004, it became clear to both UCF and CFAS that the Tinsley telescope was no longer able to provide the quality observing experience that it should without significant repairs and upgrades. UCF students and CFAS members had been valiantly dedicating much time and effort to the preservation of the Tinsley, but the time and funding situations finally forced the issue. It was decided that, instead of finding financial support to repair the Tinsley, it would be more cost-effective to create an entirely new and more modern observing setup at Robinson Observatory.

More Robinson Photos

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