Contact: Alan Hale, (505) 687-2075,



CLOUDCROFT ­ Astronomer Alan Hale, known primarily for being co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp which appeared in the mid-1990s, is announcing the raffle of the ³Star Trek telescope² for the benefit of the Earthrise project that he is developing.


The telescope, a classic Edmund Scientific reflector of mid-1960s vintage in mint condition, was recently donated to Dr. Hale¹s organization, the Southwest Institute for Space Research, by a colleague. ³My colleague suggested I try to sell it to raise funds for Earthrise,² says Hale, ³but I was able to do him one better when I took the telescope to the Great Bird of the Galaxy Star Trek convention that was held in El Paso in mid-November.² At that convention Hale convinced all the attending Star Trek cast members to autograph the telescope, a list that includes William Shatner, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig of the original Star Trek series, as well as several cast members of the various more recent Star Trek series. Also signing was Eugene Roddenberry, Jr., son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.


A photograph of the telescope, a list of all those who signed it, and information about the raffle is posted at


Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Earthrise Project, information about which is posted at Earthrise seeks to develop an astronomical educational and research center in Cloudcroft that is, in Dr. Hale¹s words, ³immediately adjacent to the site from which Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered.² Earthrise plans to provide several telescopes that will be available for usage by students both on-site and remotely, and ultimately seeks to be the nexus of a global network of such facilities that will encourage its participants to form international collaborations. ³I was inspired to develop Earthrise as a result of my recent Œscience diplomacy¹ visits to places like Iran and Zimbabwe,² notes Hale, ³and through Earthrise I am hoping to utilize the international nature of astronomy to break down international and intercultural barriers.²


Raffle tickets are available for $10 each, and may be purchased by contacting Dr. Hale either through the web site or via phone at (505) 687-2075. Anyone who purchases two or more raffle tickets also receives their choice of an autographed copy of "Everybody's Comet" by Dr. Hale, an autographed Comet Hale-Bopp poster, a copy of the "Skywatcher's Journey" audio/visual CD that features many of Dr. Hale's astronomical photographs set to music, or an autographed photograph of Majel Barrett Roddenberry (wife of Gene Roddenberry, who appeared in several roles in the various Star Trek series).


Drawings will initially be held for several autographed books by noted science and science fiction writers, including Isaac Asimov, Janet Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, David Levy, and William Gaubatz. All raffle entrants, including winners of these books, are eligible for the Grand Prize drawing of the Star Trek telescope. Drawings are scheduled to be held on Christmas Eve (December 24, 2003), and winners will be announced on the web site.

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