Glenn Chaple has been an avid amateur astronomer since the summer of 1963 when a high school friend showed him Saturn and the double star Mizar with a small reflecting telescope. The interest led him 6 years later to a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. A 3-year stint at the Alice G. Wallace Planetarium in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, was followed by more than 30 years as a secondary school science teacher.
Chaple has spent many thousands of hours exploring the night sky with a variety of telescopes. For many years, his standby was a 3-inch reflecting telescope with which he saw all of the Messier objects, more than 100 asteroids, and 1,500 double and multiple stars. His fascination with double stars led to his first astronomical writings, penning a column on double stars for Deep Sky magazine, edited by none other than current Astronomy Editor David J. Eicher. In addition to Deep Sky, Glenn also wrote the “What’s Up” column for the children’s astronomy magazine Odyssey, and has written the “Observing Basics” column for Astronomy since 2002. He is co-author with Terence Dickinson and Victor Costanzo of the Edmund Scientific Mag 6 Atlas and author of the book Exploring With a Telescope.
In 1980, Chaple joined the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Since then, he has made over 75,000 variable star estimates. Although he pursues variable stars with anything from the unaided eye to binoculars to a small rich-field telescope, his primary variable star tool is a vintage 13-inch Dobsonian-mounted reflector.
Besides astronomy, Glenn enjoys distance running (“My marathon days are long over — it’s 5K road races now!”), playing baseball in an over-40 fast-pitch league, and fishing. He lives in north central Massachusetts with his wife, Regina, and is the proud parent of two grown sons and “grampy” to two future astronomers, Katie and Sam. He is a lifelong Red Sox fan.