Les Peltier – The World’s Greatest "Amateur" Astronomer

There are many interesting science and mathematical topics out there, so I am expanding beyond exoplanets as the focus in this blog. In addition to Web development, I am also a history major who enjoys finding the unheard tales. Lately I have been reading the book Strange Tales From Ohio. In it is a story about Les Peltier, an “amateur” astronomer who did some extremely detailed and vast work. Using leftover junk to build a shack to house his telescope, he also built a movable dome for the building out of roller skate wheels. Diligently, Les sent in his nightly data to Harvard, and after many years they sent him one of their old telescopes. He then became the only astronomer in the world to discover a particular comet, now known as Comet Peltier. Then Les went on to discover more comets and novae. I suppose he wrote during the day as he went on to author five books.

According to the book, a reconstruction of his improvised observatory, hosted by the Miami Valley Astronomical Society, can be seen at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs.

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