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For Information on booking David for a Lecture please contact
Royce Carlton at info@roycecarlton.com

David's Lectures

A Nightwatchman's Journey:  My Adventures as a comet discoverer and skywatcher

I was on the way to my high school French Oral exam in October 1965 when I decided that I wanted to begin a search for comets.  Although I began the search on December 17 that year, it was not until 1984-- 19 years or 917 hours at the eyepiece later-- that I discovered my first comet.  Twenty-one finds later, I still feel that comets are more than just targets to be catalogued. 

Thanks in part to one co-discoveries, Shoemaker-Levy 9, we know more about the role that comet collisions have played in the origin and evolution of life on this planet.

I am still searching for comets both visually and with an automated CCD program.   This talk will be about my observing career and how my childhood fascination with the night sky led to a highly satisfying time under the night sky.


Through the Back Door:  A look at Photographic and CCD searching at Jarnac Observatory by Wendee Levy

This presentation explores the photographic and CCD comet survey at Jarnac Observatory.

Joining science and literature:  Shakespeare, Eclipses, and Changing Ideas of the Cosmos

On October 2, 1605, Londoners were treated to an almost total eclipse of the Sun at around the same time that Shakespeare's King Lear was exploring humanity's relation to the cosmos.  "These Late Eclipses in the Sun and Moon"  (a passage from the play)  begins a sophisticated discussion of that relation, based on real events in the night sky. This is just one example of the richness of astronomical allusions in English Literature that  I will explore in this presentation, which will be accompanied by illustrations and music.

A Time for Mars

A look at the exciting history of Mars, including Jonathan Swift's prediction of the discovery of two moons in Gulliver's Travels, Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, and the idea that life on Earth might have been seeded from Mars.  Are we all Martians?

Making Science Make Sense

How do we make science worthy of our passion and understanding?  This presentation offers some ideas, from the personal viewpoint of someone who is passionate about the night sky.

Visual Comet Searching:  A Requiem?

With the development of the major professional surveys, the golden age of visual comet surveys appears to be over.  This presentation will offer an informal summary of the accomplishments of visual programs, and their role in the evolution of our understanding of the world of comets.