4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Star-gazer setup in University City

Hey Matt,

I grew up in the University City area. I’m a grownup now, but I still go back up Regents and then up Pennant Way from time to time to visit Mom when she makes her tamales. On my last visit I noticed a mini observatory up on the hill at those two cross streets. It looks just like the Palomar Observatory. Is that some rich guy’s eccentric toy or a legit research facility?

Sponsored
Sponsored

— <3’s Mom’s Tamales

John Bassler is neither rich nor eccentric...but he does have a pretty sweet observatory right in his University City backyard. As for how he came by it, well, it had almost nothing to do with staring longingly at the stars and wishing there were some way to get a better look at the mysteries of the night sky. Bassler works with Coldwell-Banker and he got the observatory, in working condition and complete with one of the more powerful telescopes in SD County, as the product of a real estate deal gone quirky. At the time, he thought, What am I going to do with this? He tried passing it off to some universities, but all the local schools that might be interested already have their own observatories. During a collegiate astronomy class, Bassler had spent a few nights in an observatory. He got to thinking about his situation. It took a little engineering, but he managed to get the observatory installed behind his house in such a way that it doesn’t rattle and shake when trucks pass by on the nearby roads. The vibrations would throw off the focus of the sensitive telescope. Over time, he’s come to like having it in his yard, even having a little get-together every year for friends to partake in an evening of stargazing.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Frogmen sleuths used by Bill Koch against other yachtsmen

Editor's picks of stories by Bill Salisbury
Next Article

La Jolla Institute for Immunology studies the affects of Alzheimer’s in women

“Women have different vulnerabilities to AD, and also different protections against it.”

Hey Matt,

I grew up in the University City area. I’m a grownup now, but I still go back up Regents and then up Pennant Way from time to time to visit Mom when she makes her tamales. On my last visit I noticed a mini observatory up on the hill at those two cross streets. It looks just like the Palomar Observatory. Is that some rich guy’s eccentric toy or a legit research facility?

Sponsored
Sponsored

— <3’s Mom’s Tamales

John Bassler is neither rich nor eccentric...but he does have a pretty sweet observatory right in his University City backyard. As for how he came by it, well, it had almost nothing to do with staring longingly at the stars and wishing there were some way to get a better look at the mysteries of the night sky. Bassler works with Coldwell-Banker and he got the observatory, in working condition and complete with one of the more powerful telescopes in SD County, as the product of a real estate deal gone quirky. At the time, he thought, What am I going to do with this? He tried passing it off to some universities, but all the local schools that might be interested already have their own observatories. During a collegiate astronomy class, Bassler had spent a few nights in an observatory. He got to thinking about his situation. It took a little engineering, but he managed to get the observatory installed behind his house in such a way that it doesn’t rattle and shake when trucks pass by on the nearby roads. The vibrations would throw off the focus of the sensitive telescope. Over time, he’s come to like having it in his yard, even having a little get-together every year for friends to partake in an evening of stargazing.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Q&A’s Diamonds & Pearls: an intro to oysters

“Diamond” activated charcoal gives it a texture more than a flavor
Next Article

The $100,000 gamble in Mission Hills

Editor's picks of Reader stories by David Steinman
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close