HUT Observatory

John W. Briggs


J. W. Briggs handles a custom polar alignment wench that was original equipment at Chamberlin Observatory of the University of Denver, where he assisted Professor Edgar Everhart in cometary astrometry in the late 1980s.

John W. Briggs is Astronomer in Residence at the HUT Observatory near Eagle, Colorado.  John’s present work includes CCD photometry for asteroid rotation studies, solar system astrometry, and educational projects involving schools, science centers, and related organizations.  He is also active in the history of astronomy, especially regarding history of telescopes and related instrumentation.  Recently a visiting scientist at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, John served for many years as an instrumentation engineer based at the University of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory.  Among projects during that time were pioneering experiments with sodium laser guide “stars” now commonly used in adaptive optics; instrument commissioning for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey; field engineering for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Site Survey; and three visits to Antarctica, including a winter-over at South Pole Station for Chicago’s Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica.  In earlier days John served as a parallax observer at Wesleyan’s Van Vleck Observatory.  In residence at Mount Wilson, he observed chromospherically active stars for the long-running HK Project.  He also served as an editor at Sky & Telescope magazine in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is a past president of the Antique Telescope Society.  John conducts the Hartness House Workshop series in conjunction with the annual Stellafane convention in Springfield, Vermont.