With over 40 years of expertise and knowledge in the realm of Amateur Astronomy, Gary "Bam" Barabino founded the Vega Astronomical Observatory back in August of 1970. Of recent, Gary has a wealth of projects on his plate to complete, such as the restoration of the Vega Astronomical Journals, which were ravaged in the wake of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. In addition to the tedious task of restoring the journals, "Bam" will soon begin working on the telescope of his dreams, a 14" f/7 (Coulter Optical) Fork Mounted Newtonian reflector. Gary's input has been very valuable in generating interest in our WebHub throughout the world. So please continue to stay tune for updates to Gary's homepage, "Gleanings from the Vega Astronomical Observatory".


Gary "Bam" Barabino of the VAO (Slidell, LA branch of VSC) holding his 6" f/8 Konus Refractor

The Vega Sky Center "VAO Astronomical Journal" Restoration Project

VAO Astronomical Journals Restoration

The VAO Telescope Collection

The VAO Telescope Collection

The Vega Astronomical Observatory - The Katrina Experience

The VAO Katrina Experience

The Vega Sky Center "VAO Astronomical Journal" Restoration Project

The VAO 4" f8.6 Jaegers Refractor


HELLO FELLOW STARGAZERS! My name is Gary Barabino Sr., also known as “Bambina!”. My astronomical interest began back in the summer of 1965 at age 12, and by 1970 Mel and I founded the Vega Observatory in the Desire Housing Projects in New Orleans. We started with a couple of small telescopes - a 60mm Refractor of the “Vari-Power” type (15x, 30x, 45x, and 60x), followed by a 4" Selsi Newtonian reflector. We began making sketches of the celestial objects we looked at and decided that an annual Journal was needed because the sketches were increasing in number. The 1st volume covering the year 1970 was finished, and we have continued to keep them every year hence. An impressive library of the Vega Observatory's Astronomical Journals added up from 1970 to 2004 thirty-four Volumes were finished in early 2005.Then in August of that year my home in the Lower 9th ward was inundated by flooding from Hurricane Katrina, and all of the journals were severely damaged under 11 feet of water. When we knew for certain that the storm was headed our way, we had to evacuate the city, heading east for a few months. Once I was able to go back to my severely damaged home, I was able to retrieve all but two of the journals. Though they suffered great damage, I can restore them. I also lost three scopes to the storm-80mm   f/9 Refractor, 5" f/9 apogee refractor, and 4.5" Jason Newtonian. Since the storm I have four excellent Telescopes-12" f/5 GSO Dobsonian, 8"f/5.6' Konus reflector,6" f/8 Konus Refractor, and 4.5" Tasco Luminova (the first scope I got after the storm. Recently, I was able to acquire the optics for a14 1/4" f/7 telescope. These are mirrors made back in the 80's custom mirrors by Coulter Optical Company and when I am settled in a home, a new Vega Astronomical Observatory will rise. Thanks to deals made on eBay I have amassed quite a collection of scopes. Mel and I will get some of the more recent ones onto the site. I am Bam holding the 6" f/8 Konus Refractor. I will also be posting some of the projects I've been working on as well.

To see some of the projects and goings on at the Vega Astronomical Observatory, just check out the items below...

Sincerely, Gary "Bam" Barabino     ..."Clear Skies to All !"