Jokes and funny stories related to astronomy and astroimaging

A spiral galaxy walked into a bar for a drink. The barman threw him out and said "You're barred!"

What do you do if you are driving along and you see a spaceman? Park in it man!

This is sad but unfortunately true - A customer aged 90 years old went in to the Widescreen Centre in London for some gear and told the owner, Simon that he had bought a Meade ETX system from another place (shop will remain nameless in case of litigation), this wasn't that bad but they went on and told him that he had to get a laptop computer in order to use it properly. - Not a way to encourage people into astronomy let alone a man of 90

A customer rang the telescope shop from where he had bought a 2x barlow lens saying he couldn't get it to fit into his star diagonal, the shop owner ascertained that he had tried both with and without the 2" adapter which the man assured him he had and the customer said he would bring it in for a replacement. He drove 30 miles and gave the "faulty" barlow lens to the shop owner who promptly took the protective plastic cap off and inserted it into the nearest star diagonal, the customer turned red with embarrassment and probably wished for a big black hole to appear. It can happen to the best of us.

A little ditty to Edmund Halley

From the public, his discovery brought cheers.
From his wife, it drew nothing but torrents of tears.
"For you see," said Ms. Halley,
"He used to come daily;
Now he comes once every 70 years!"

Why wouldn't you want to give Saturn a bath? Because he would leave a ring round the tub.

"It's a good thing the guy in charge of naming galaxies was into chocolate bars and not Chinese food. Otherwise, the Milky Way might have been named Moo Goo Gui Pan, and who wants to have to learn about that?"

Picture this if you will. It is Thursday late afternoon on the day before Astrofest 2008 when all the exhibitors are just finishing setting up their displays of telescopes, binoculars, cameras, books and anything and everything to do with astronomy, a man wearing a woolly hat (the hat is of no significance whatsoever) comes in and asks one of the people in the main hall "Is this where the teddy bear conference is?". Perhaps he was looking for Ursa Major! --- This actually happened

This is a quote from the autobiography of one of the most loved and respected people in the world of astronomy who I met and had a quick chat with at Astrofest and he was delighted for me to put this on my site:-

"A biblical society once pressed me to attend a meeting in Selsey, mainly to show that Darwinian evolution is rubbish, Creationism is true, and that this can be proved by studies of the bible. I did go, but I kept a low profile until I was asked to speak. I fear my address did not go down too well, because I pointed out that the bible can be interpreted to mean almost anything, and that by using selected quotes from the New Testament I could give conclusive proof that Jesus Christ was a scratch golfer. He was adept at finding lost golf balls: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find' (Matthew 7, 7), but he did occasionally fluff a drive: 'And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth' (Mark 4, 5). He must have managed the occasional hole in one: 'Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy' (Luke 6, 23), but has compassion for the poor wretch who takes thirteen at a par four hole: 'Wherefore comfort one and thee with these words' (Thessalonians 5, 18). if your opponent has the temerity to ask if he may borrow a club: 'Give it to him that asketh thee' (Matthew 5, 42). Finally, he was not a slow player: 'Look behind, I come quickly' (revelations 3, 11). Straightforward enough, but I didn't feel that the audience was entirely on my wavelength, and I wasn't invited to their next meeting."

This was of course by Sir Patrick Moore, one of the great astronomers, musician, comedian and cricketer (demon bowler who could still hit an occasional winning innings). He admits to being not very good at golf though. He is a real character in every sense of the word.

If you get fed up with looking at Uranus, try looking at Mars instead .... she probably won't mind!!! --- courtesy of Strongman Mike Sidonio (the worlds strongest astrophotographer)

This is another funny but true customer story from a telescope shop - A customer had bought an Astrotrac the day before from the shop, he rang the shop for some advice and the conversation goes something like this, "Hi, I bought the Astrotrac from you yesterday, got it home and I have taken it to pieces, what do I do now?" - I'm not sure what the reply was but if anybody can think of a suitably witty reply then please send it to me and I will gladly post it with this story with acknowledgement to the sender

My friend Simon at the Widescreen Centre in London was talking to a customer who was interested in a Celestron Nexstar 8, he asked the customer if he has children or a dog as the system is top heavy and could easily be knocked over, the customer tells him that he doesn't have children, he says he has a dog though but it isn't interested in astronomy!

It's amazing how one word misplaced can turn a completely innocent question into one that makes the mind boggle, anyway this happened earlier today as reported by Simon at the Widescreen Centre in London --- A customer telephones and asks him if he has got an air pollution filter for a Meade telescope.

While helping out on the Widescreen Centre stand at Astrofest we had some Lunt solar telescopes on display, one of the other exhibitors came and had a look and he said "Now that looks like a lot more fun than PMT" --- Was this a slip of the tongue and perhaps he meant PST or does he know something about solar imaging that the rest of us don't know!

Is this political correctness gone mad? --- I recently took an image of M 97 (The Owl Nebula) and M 108 and when I posted it to the internet I quite innocently thought I would use a play on words and call it the "The Owl and the Pussycat". On the word Pussy is replaced by ***** and when I tried to open the thread on a computer at work it came up with a block message saying that the word "Pussy" wasn't allowed, heaven knows how cat lovers manage on the internet!!!
This is not an astronomy joke but it is a true but funny story as to why the Microsoft spell checker should never be trusted --- My friend Simon and his charming Russian wife Elena run the Widescreen Centre in London where I get all my gear, they also have a busy film department where they transfer 8mm film to dvd. Elena was typing a letter to a customer about his collection of 8mm films on his family and she typed in the letter that she thought the collection of films was "treasurable", she wasn't quite sure as to the spelling so ran the spell checker and it didn't recognise "treasurable" but came up with an alternative which she chose. Luckily she got Simon to check the letter before sending it otherwise they would have lost a valued customer or perhaps unwittingly got MI5 and MI6 involved as the word chosen by the Microsoft spell checker was "Treasonable"
My friend Simon at the Widescreen Centre in London does get some strange requests on occasions and today was no different, a customer who has a Meade telescope came in and asked Simon if he had Bob's nuts, I think we all know he meant Bob's nobs for easy collimation of his telescope but I think his request sounded much funnier
My friend Simon from Widescreen Centre in London was doing a stall at a recent exhibition when a woman asked to have a look through one of the telescopes, Simon pointed at some people a good distance away and she had a look and stood up in surprise and said "They look very clear and sharp but I can't hear them!" --- Now come on all you telescope manufacturers, you are developing telescopes with sharper optics, mounts with more accurate drives, so how about a telescope that can allow you to hear things from far away

This is not really an astronomical joke but it is a funny thing that happened at the recent NLO exhibition in Sidmouth, my friend Simon from Widescreen Centre in London was running a stand there and he was having a very lengthy and meaningful discussion with a scoutmaster (dressed in full regalia) who had his entourage of scouts with him, on Ha solar viewing. The conversation was going quite well when all of a sudden the alarm on the scoutmasters watch went off, at which he looked at his watch and with a look of alarm on his face said "Oh! I must go, it is beaver time", and left. Now I am sure that there is an innocent meaning to this but it was the way it came out.

Sometimes you don't need a joke but an untoward request or comment from a customer in your shop to make your day, this happened at the Widescreen Centre in London when a woman came in and said she wanted a TeleGizmos cover for her husband --- I suspect she may have wanted the 365 day all weather one

You couldn't make this up if you tried - A man walks into the Widescreen Centre shop in London wearing Hawaiian shorts, TWO anoraks and Harry Hill style glasses, he wanted to try the Vuzix 3D glasses but didn't buy them because they looked silly

A customer at The Widescreen-Centre in London rang the shop owner Simon, doubting that a pair of Quantum 7.4 25x100 binoculars that he bought were a genuine Helios product, he said that according to the specifications they are supposed to be 'Nitrogen filled' but on inspection he couldn't see anything inside them .... Just as well I suppose otherwise he really would have cause to complain

More funny customer stories from the Widescreen Centre in London --- One customer rang the shop and said that his dog had eaten the cover from his Radian eyepiece and wanted to know if he could buy a replacement. Simon didn't have the heart to tell him that they didn't sell dogs

And another one ....... An 83 year old customer rings the shop to say he has woken up and there is a large pair of binoculars in his bedroom, he doesn't know where they came from, he can't lift them and he doesn't know what to do. He then starts telling Simon about his son and a very strange conversation ensues, it goes like this......."My son's in the Ukraine you know, teaching the natives".......(Simon)"I'm sorry sir, what did you say your name was?........."Andy Turd"..........(Simon)"I'm sorry sir, could you please repeat that?".........."Undeterred, completely undeterred. I tried to stop him from going but he wouldn't listen" ---- The conversation went on but it was this snippet that reminded me of the sort of sketch that the Two Ronnies used to do

My local telescope shop have two 8" SCTs in the window, one a Meade and one a Celestron, a man had been looking at them through the window for a few minutes and then came in the shop and asked how much the "loudspeakers" in the window were. The shop owner really missed a golden opportunity as he could have have sold them along with a very good 18" dobsonian subwoofer