Leslie C. Peltier

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"I feel it is my duty to warn others...that they approach the observing of variable stars with the utmost caution. It is easy to become an addict, and as usual, the longer the indulgence is continued the more difficult it becomes to make a clean break and go back to a normal life."

Leslie C. Peltier (1900 - 1980 ). Peltier became interested in the stars at a very young age which eventually led him to purchase his first telescope as a teen. He was a prolific variable star observer and discoverer of comets, having made his first comet discovery on November 13, 1925. He made regular observer submissions to the AAVSO throughout his life. Astronomer Harlow Shapley once described him as "the world's greatest non-professional astronomer".



Discovered first comet on November 13, 1925, and during his lifetime, Peltier discovered 11 more comets, and two novae.

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

From the age of 18 until his death at 80, Peltier contributed over 132,000 observations to the AAVSO. He never missed sending in a monthly report to the AAVSO with his last report was being filed by AAVSO observer Carolyn Hurless, that contained the observations he had made during the month he died.

Awards and Recognition

In 1947, Peltier received an honorary doctorate from Bowling Green State University. In 1980 the Astronomical League named the Leslie C. Peltier Award in his honor, and posthumously awarded it to him in his honor. In 1965, Mt. Peltier (a mountain in California, home of Ford Observatory) was named in his honor. Additionally, Asteroid 3850 Peltier is named in his honor.


Leslie Peltier authored three books: Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-Gazer (Peltier's autobiography which earned him Ohio Author of the Year Award in 1966); The Place on Jennings Creek (the story of his life at Brookhaven); Guideposts to the Stars: Exploring the Skies Throughout the Year

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