An astronomer from New York installed a telescope at an intersection and became the star of the city
The Park Slope man made it his mission to show New Yorkers paradise – and even the nightmarish city traffic could not stop him. The 82-year-old astronomer from New York set up a telescope at the crossroads so New Yorkers could see Saturn. The New York Post writes about it.
Joe Delfaus, 82, became popular after a large group of people gathered in the middle of Brooklyn’s Ninth Avenue to look through his telescope and catch a glimpse of Saturn.
Although one driver yelled “Get out of the way!”, other motorists took it in stride and slowly maneuvered around the stargazers.
Delphaus stood like a proud father as each man tilted his head and looked into the lens.
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“I can show them the skies,” he said, noting that his telescope is always of interest to the often wary New Yorkers.
“In an instant, they lose their vigilance,” the astrologer emphasized. People start talking to those around them. I think we all crave communication, and when you see someone’s eyes widen because they’ve never seen anything like it, you feel like you’ve made a difference.”
Delfaus, who has lived here since 1976, doesn’t always interrupt traffic to see the universe. When the Long Island native couldn’t get a decent view of space from the sidewalk, he wanted to pack up and head home.
But then he saw the perfect vantage point, in the middle of the intersection of Eighth and Ninth Avenues.
As soon as Joe moved his telescope, a queue began to form around him at the end of the indie pop concert, and the Cornell alum excitedly invited the crowd to take a look at the galaxy.
“He really was a kind of cosmic Zen Buddha who led a group of hippie kids who had just returned from a concert,” said Daphne Juliet Ellis, 26, who filmed the action for TikTok.
“I’m in my 80s and I wanted to do something meaningful with my life,” explained Delfaus, a former math and computer science teacher. “I can’t think of anything more meaningful than watching the stars with people.”
He wasn’t always interested in astronomy, but after talking to a man in a photography store in 1995, that all changed when a stranger invited him to attend a meeting of the New York Association of Amateur Astronomers.
Delfaus, who has been stargazing for 20 years, believes anyone can do it and “you don’t need a college degree or anything to see Saturn and these rings.”
“When people look through a telescope, they are all the same,” he concluded.
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