About being TheRitz

Foto: Duco de Vries
Foto: Duco de Vries www.ducodevries.com 06-22329270

Foto: Duco de Vries

TheRitz’s real name is Maurits Polak and I am from Amersfoort in The Netherlands and also I am from the year 1976. My interest in astronomy came to be in the Eighties. In 1986 I visited the Space Expo ’86 in the Utrechtse Jaarbeurshallen. In between a mockup of Spacelab, real spacesuits, the lunar rover of the Apollo missons, Wubbo Ockels and now out-dated equipment I decided to someday, when I was a grown-up, buy myself a real telescope.

For two decades I did not care for what was going on in the heavens. But in 2009 all that changed thanks to an impulse purchase of a 70 mm Bresser Skylux refractor soon followed by a Celestron C6-150/750 newtonian telescope and a Canon 350d DSLR. All of this on a EQ5 mount with a 1-axle motor drive. This again was quickly replaced by a 6″ Meade newtonian on the infamous LXD75 mount. And then, in 2011, I sold all of it to get into visual astronomy and the purchase of a 12″ Meade Lightbridge truss dobsonian. The astro virus had struck! By 2017 I already ended my short love afairs with a 12″ Lightbridge and a 10″ Sumerian Optics travel dobsionan just to end up using a 8″ DIY dobsonian telescope. Talk about reverse aperture fever! (edit 2019: when I’m old I’ll get me a 27″ or bigger F2… with adaptive and active optics on a goto platform #sweetdreams)

From Augustus 2010 until the end of 2014 I was board member of public observatory Sterrenwacht Midden-Nederland. In 2017 once more for a second term. It’s great to spend time with like-minded people and even more to share my passion for all things space and astronomy related with just about anyone who wants to learn something about it. As of Q3 2017 I am again board member of the observatory but I also spend a lot of time mountainbiking, bikepacking and cyclocrossing and trying to bring to life a large official IDA Dark Sky Park smack in the middle of our small and very light polluted country.

This site is here to (b)log about astronomy. Doing cool astronomy stuff with simple and often cheap (or even free) hardware or software is something I like.  And also I like to share my experiences observing under light polluted urban skies. Keep it simple and stick to your budget are two solid pieces of advise when it comes to astronomy!