"It's All Lost To Me Now, Like Tears In The Rain"
                                                                                              Gary Numan

The evening started out innocently enough.  Comet LINEAR was on my mind.  I started the camera up, plugged in the computer, and went to crank the roof of the observatory back.  Now, ordinarily, I have a protocol I go through after each observing session.  First, I park the mount and rotate the OTA into a horizontal position.  Then I roll the roof shut.  Well, last time I observed I decided to move the scope to a vertical orientation (after the roof was shut).  I had read somewhere this would help the lubricants in the scope, or something like that.  This, however, left the CCD camera precariously in line with rafters in the roof.   As I cranked the roof open (not paying attention to the scope orientation) the CCD camera caught on a rafter.  I felt the resistance, and assuming it was just the rollers catching on the rails, I cranked even harder.  As the force became too much, the corrector plate shattered in a horrible crunching sound.  I wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn't come.  Now, it's off to Celestron.  I am confident they will get me up and imaging as quickly as possible.  Let this be a lesson to me!  Fortunately, I have a spare C8.  No wide field imaging for awhile, but I needed to concentrate on f/6.3 imaging anyway.

Well, after only five weeks (and two major holidays) my OTA is back from repair. My hat's off to Celestrons repair facility (and a special thanks to Rodney and everyone else at CI).  Preliminary tests indicate all is well optically and mechanically.  It was a long wait, and I am glad to have my good friend back in one piece again!  Ironically, it has been mostly cloudy since the disaster occurred.  And now, to the stars!