Southern Colorado Astronomical Society
Because of early science fiction that I read, I wanted to go to Mars when I got older. I thought for sure
then that would be possible not later than the year 2000, but alas, that was not to be.
Nevertheless, I constantly read about science and engineering and began my education in these
fields. I attended Wayne State University in Detroit for my bachelor’s degree. Then in the middle of
the night, I packed up my VW bug with what little that I could carry and moved to Colorado. I began a
job in the communications field and worked with it for several years. Not getting much closer to
space-related things or Mars, I decided to go to graduate school at CU. I completed my course work
after I left my communications job and received a master’s degree. Then I looked for work and was
offered a job with the Boeing Company in Seattle. The work there was very interesting because it
involved lasers and the design of commercial jets, but this still did not get me closer to space.

My next move was to the Martin Marietta Company (as it was called then and Lockheed Martin now). I
worked in a group that was a think tank. We were made up of several engineers and scientists and
a science fiction writer. Our only mission was to come up with wild, crazy space ideas that might be
profitable to the company in 15 years out in the future. Most of the time it looked like we were sitting
around shooting the breeze, but, in fact, fact, we were brainstorming ideas, which were then to be
looked at to see if they broke any laws of physics or broke the federal budget if they were to be built.
They usually did both, but we did come up with some ideas that actually became profitable to the
company in a lot less than 15 years.

Then, I decided to go back to graduate school to get a Ph.D., which I did while still working full time. I
did research again with lasers for my next degree and for my next job at Martin. Finally, I got to do
something that was directly space-related. I researched and help design laser communication
systems that could go into space. These are very interesting devices as they involve the space
environment and some astronomy and astrophysics. These devices permitted sending as much
data in a whole set of volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1 second on a laser beam. I left
Martin then to join Ball Aerospace in Boulder, having become somewhat known for my expertise in
space laser communications.

I taught part time at CU Denver for several years and decided this was a very exciting and rewarding
thing to do. Therefore, I began to look for permanent positions where I could continue. Somehow, I
learned the University of Southern Colorado was looking for someone in my field. I applied, got the
job and have just finished my 10 th year at the university which, of course, is now CSU Pueblo.  
During this time, I was able to obtain a $200,000 grant from the USAF Office of Scientific Research
and built the observatory, which the university and the SCAS use. We have had numerous student
projects done there. I also have become a member of the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in
Argentina. We are trying to find out where these strange things come from in space and how they
are produced. There are 17 countries working on this project and about 400 engineers and
scientists. We hope to build another cosmic ray observatory in Colorado some day that will cover
more than 6,000 square miles
There are over 100 billion galaxies in our known universe…WOW!  Doesn’t that give you reason to pause for even a second?  There
are over 200 billion stars in our own Milky Way galaxy alone…WOW!  Honestly these two facts alone go beyond comprehension but
at the stars and wondering at all of the splendor in the skies above.

I joined the U.S. Army upon graduation, spending 12 years traveling the world to exotic and sometimes not so friendly locations.  
During those travels I did pull an assignment at the renown White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.  This particular assignment
turned into a wonderful experience for many reasons, involvement in missile technology research and development, wonderful dark
skies in the middle of the southwest desert, and the opportunity to attend New Mexico State University were I finally did something
about my fascination with the stars, I began studying astronomy.  What a truly amazing experience.  I couldn’t wait to get to class as
every day I learned something new, something incredible, I was hooked!  Unfortunately after a few years at the missile range Uncle
Sam decided it was time for me to go back overseas to the big sand box and complete yet another tour in a combat zone, back to
back tours I would add.  It was then I discovered the other less than wonderful purpose of a thick college level astronomy text
book…it makes for excellent additional “armor” on the floor board inside of your Humvee, which at the time armor plated hummers
were not the norm.  My astronomy book was retired with honors upon completing my 3rd tour of duty in a combat zone, or what was
left of it.

After being honorably discharged (of my own choosing) from the Army I followed my pocket book into television and become a
Broadcast Engineer (the pocket book thing is a joke for those not in television).  I worked for the CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas for a
few years, then moved to Colorado, gaining employment at the NBC affiliate in Southern Colorado.  In a series of life changing
events (that I’ll not get into) I became very good friends with (and still am) the owners of I-25 Speedway where I eventually took over
as their Sales, Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations Director, still working full time for the television station.  Additionally my
then fiancée now wife and I started our own short track racing video production company, and eventually worked up to covering 8
different tracks up and down the Colorado Front Range.  

How things change.  My wife and I were married October of 2009 and in June of 2010 our son Connor was born.  Suddenly life
changed completely as I held our newborn child.  Priorities shifted in a mere moment of time.  The video production company
placed me out of the house and on the road 30+ weekends of the year covering racing and I knew I simply did not want to spend that
kind of time away from my son and wife.   With great reluctance we shut down our growing company to focus on raising a family, no
regrets.  In 2012 my wife and I welcomed our twin sons Alex and Ben into the world again reinforcing my commitment of raising our
amazing family and helping to create a better world for them to grow up in.

Trying to look into the future for the sake of our sons suddenly became my next big challenge, how to give them the head start in life,
help them make good decisions, provide an excellent education…the list goes on.  With video production and racing no longer a
factor I thought why not go back to something that is certainly on going and in the future a viable means of making a living, space.  I
purchased a telescope, started hitting the books, and began star gazing so that I might be able to inspire my boys, get them
interested in something that they stand a chance of making a meaningful contribution to society.  In the very least the opportunity will
be there for them to get interested in astronomy, whether they take that route or not will be completely up to each boy.  

I want a brilliant future for my children, I want to see mankind go forward into the next frontier, explore other worlds, I want for my
children to be involved in that process, I don’t believe I want for too much.  To be perfectly honest I want that for all children, the
opportunity to do better than those before them, it just so happens I enjoy astronomy so why not make that available to them.

I enjoy astronomy.  SCAS is a wonderful means of extending my passion to others in the hopes that at least one person will be
motivated to do something with their life structured towards Space.  Again I don’t believe I want for too much, just a better life for our
future, our sons, our community, our world.
Director of
Dr. William Brown
SCAS Secretary
Walter Russell
SCAS Treasurer
Tom Northup
I have always had a fascination with the sciences. I enjoy paleontology, archeology and
Astronomy has now become my favorite Earth Science. Now, I spend many nights, huddled
in my observatory, studying and photographing the wonders of the night sky.

second grade and a functioning light bulb in grade school. My adolescent experiments with
electricity, left a neighbors house with several blown fuses!

My first telescope was a Christmas present from my parents. A 3-inch reflector that opened
my eyes to an unseen world of planets, clusters, nebula and the crater filled moon. This first
telescope gave me hours and hours of great memories. My oldest son Brent rekindled my
interest in 2004. We spent many nights gazing through 4 and 6-inch reflectors. Then the
Meade LX200 10 inch Cassegrain arrived, and we observed over 50 objects in one night. I
believe it was at this point, that I became an astronomy addict.

In 2006, I met my soul mate Liana, a mechanical engineer and artist. With her insight,
talents and expertise we constructed the Night Sky Observatory.
It has become an instrument of learning, entertainment and research for myself and many
other budding astronomers.

SCAS has given me the opportunity to share my passion with other like-minded individuals.
Through the Outreach programs, I enjoy the chance to open some eyes to the vastness of
the cosmos. I always look forward to the camaraderie of fellow members. They challenge
my developing skills. They encourage my quest for knowledge. In return, I get the chance to
encourage and share my knowledge with an energetic group of astronomers.

The fact that 90% of the astronomers in the world are amateur astronomers inspires me.
Technology has progressed to the point where anyone with the passion and desire, can
make significant contributions to the field. My goal is to be an individual, who does make a

After all, there is an entire Universe to explore.
Alan Knight
SCAS President
Jeremy Bray