A Historical Preservation Project Performed by:  Gary Barabino

Gary Barabino surveys the damaged 1976 volume of the VAO Astronomical Journal.               Close-up of the damaged 1976 volume of the VAO Astronomical Journal.

In the two photos above, Gary Barabino (the author of the VAO Astronomical Journals) looks over the Hurricane Katrina damaged 1976 volume of the journal in disbelief prior to restoration. The ongoing efforts on Gary's part to restore the journals will undoubtedly preserve the most important segment of the VSC's history.


This has been the most important project concerning the Vega Sky Center since post Hurricane Katrina. The restoration of the VAO Astronomical Journals began back in the spring of 2007, and has continued since. As of this writing I have restored 21 volumes (1970 through 1991) of the 34 editions that were completed at the close of 2004.The first six (1970-1975) were made of the larger sizes (11" x 14") as the restoration began and had to be reduced to standard note binder size (8.5" x11") that started with the 1976 volume. During this work each journal is meticulously broken into 12 monthly sections- January to December. The sections start with "Planetary Configurations", which is a daily event log of solar system object, moon phases etc., and is headed by "Date of Event" (DATE), "Time of Event" (TIME in Universal Time) and addition to the Event itself. Another section entitled "Key Astronomical Events" highlights major astronomical events for a month, such as an eclipse, planetary opposition, or elongation. Next is the "SkyLog" section, which is my written record of VSC related activities. Following this is the "Telescopic Observations" section, which portrays the monthly-recorded telescopic views of various celestial objects. Finally, I include a monthly sky map dated for mid month and solar system ephemeris courtesy of the program "Your Sky" for which the twelve monthly sections make up each volume. To enhance the preservation of the journals going forward, each of the pages within each volume have been placed in sheet protectors so that delicate historical observations can be protected. Each of these notebooks is a treasure trove of information, and I am always looking forward to getting to do the next one. My colleague and Webmaster Mel Dawson of Riverview FL, Director of the Sirius Observatory, is and has always been a major contributor to these Astronomical Journals. Mel has an outstanding Fork Mounted 10 f/5.6 Newtonian Reflector that he himself constructed and I was blessed to perform "first light" (the Lagoon Nebula) through it. I will be adding updates on the restoration program as it progresses.

Gary "Bam" Barabino Sr.