In Response to: The Stargazers [6]

My major at Princeton was economics, but my favorite course was an elective, Astronomy 301, a general course on astronomy. It was taught by the incomparable professor John Q. Stewart ’15 *19. His lectures were outstanding and I still have my notes. He predicted that man probably would reach the moon in “a reasonable number of years.”  

On Dec. 8, 1948, he invited the class to visit the Halsted Observatory and look through its Alvan Clark 23-inch telescope. This instrument later was sold to the U.S. Navy, which eventually donated it to the school district of Greenville County, S.C. I first visited the telescope at the school district’s Roper Mountain Science Center in 1989, and as I was climbing up the staircase to the eyepiece, the resident astronomer asked me whether I had ever looked through a telescope before. I replied, “Yes, I looked through this telescope in 1948, when it was at Princeton University.”