As part of Orion's 40th Anniversary celebration, we reached out to some of our most loyal and long-term customers to help us look back and share some of the experiences they've had with Orion Telescopes & Binoculars over the years. Since 1975, the Orion team has been proud to offer superb customer service and support to our valued customers. Let's hear what longtime customer Ronald Dzurilla has to say.
Orion: Do you remember how or when you first heard about Orion Telescopes & Binoculars?
I was about 15 years old looking for astronomy books at the local library when I found a copy of Sky and Telescope Magazine. While reading the magazine, I came across an advertisement for Orion Telescope. Fascinated at the idea of getting a "real" telescope (not the small refractor toy I previously received as a holiday gift), I contacted the company for a product catalog (yes, hardcopy, there was no internet at that time). And joy, it arrived about two weeks later.
Orion: Please share one of your most interesting or memorable stargazing experiences.
INTERESTING STORY: Still 15, using my allowance and birthday gift savings, I purchased the Orion Telescope 6 inch Newtonian with a worm drive mount. As manufacturing wasn't what it is today, I had to wait a period of time for my scope to be built (mirrors ground by hand etc.). During the long wait, I had the opportunity to go on a school trip to the Hayden Planetarium -- which was right up my interest alley. As one does, you see exhibits, films, and touch meteorites. But there was something there that just shocked me. It was a 6-inch Newtonian telescope with a German worm drive mount. It was as big as I was. The first thought that came into my head was that my parents were going to kill me. I had never seen one in person before and it was a lot bigger than I had imagined. So being the perfect son, I didn't say a word to either of my parents. Then one day four Orion Telescope boxes arrived before I got home from school. I walked into my house and my parents tried to hide the boxes so that I would start my homework before "playing" with the telescope. Needless to say, I finished my homework in record time. And I'm alive to tell about it today.
STARGAZING STORY: It was a bitterly cold winter night, my Orion 6" Newtonian and I have just viewed the Orion Nebula and, I think, Jupiter. As this was my first winter with the new scope, I wanted to find the great Andromeda Galaxy M31. I turned to my trusted guidebook "The Telescope Handbook and Star Chart" by Neale E. Howard. I'm searching the charts for star clusters, completely bewildered that I can't find the corresponding clusters in the night sky. After some time it occurred to me: things are hugely further apart in the sky than in my book. A simple realization that changed my entire perspective and floored me with awe. It was at that moment that I began to understand the vastness above. Finding M31 later that night was my astronomy awakening. It's been a boy and his Orion telescope ever since.
Orion: What advice would you give to beginners who are interested in the hobby of amateur astronomy?
Don't tell your parents how big the telescope is gonna be - or your spouse! If you are an explorer, you are going to love this hobby as it allows you to explore the sky for planets, nebula, and galaxies. As the sky constantly changes, you will always have something to search for and explore. It's a lifetime hobby.
Orion: Which Orion product do you most often recommend to fellow amateur astronomers?
Recently I purchased the Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope and the Orion StarShoot 5 MP Solar System Color Camera. These products are of high quality and are excellent for intermediate astronomers. I use the StarShoot 5 on both the Astroview 120ST and my hydrogen- alpha solar telescope. This is my first experience with a CCD and it has opened my eyes, allowing me to see so much more. Another defining astronomy moment Orion Telescope has given me. It takes wonderful pictures and videos. (Unaltered images attached). I'm extremely happy with both my refractor and my StarShoot. I highly recommend each of these.
Orion: Do you have any memorable experiences with Orion Customer Service you would like to share?
Recently I asked Customer Service a question about my Orion StarShoot 5 MP. Through Orion's interactive on-line service, I received my answer in the most courteous, professional and knowledgeable manner possible. I was provided the information I needed, and was greatly impressed with the caliber and speed of response. Almost forty years ago I wrote Orion Telescope for a catalog and one arrived quickly. Almost forty years later, Orion Telescope Customer Service remains spot on.
Today, everyone at Orion is proud to continue our tradition of providing customers with the best service and support under the stars. We couldn't have reached our 40th Anniversary without help from customers like Ronald Dzurilla, and you too! Thanks for joining us, here's to 40 more years of affordable stargazing the Orion way!