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Astronomy Team

This team maintains the Musk Observatory


Peter is an Astronomy Professor at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and serves as the coordinator for the Musk Observatory.

Peter Detterline is an avid astronomer whose interests cover a wide range of the astronomical spectrum. On the education side, he teaches astronomy to people of all ages as Director of the Boyertown Planetarium, and runs a dual credit astronomy class for juniors and seniors at the school. He was a mentor for 30 Boyertown High School students chosen by NASA to work as “Martian Meteorologists” for the Mars Exploration Rover mission. He is also a professor of astronomy at Kutztown University and has worked with the Tzec Maun Foundation in providing state-of-the-art Internet telescopes in New Mexico and Australia for student use.

In research he has coauthored numerous papers on eclipsing binary stars published in Astrophysics and Space Science and the Information Bulletin on Variable Stars. He also actively contributes to the International Meteor Organization (thousands of observations). His interest in archeoastronomy has led to a patent on a” Rock Fashionable Calendar Horologe” which is the discovery of a reproducible calendar stone used by early man. He also runs a blog called the Night Sky Notebook, which covers monthly must see astronomical events.

He is a founding member of the Mars Society and is responsible for the design, implementation and documentation of the Musk Observatory. He first visited MDRS as a member on Crew 10 and led a refit crew to move the observatory to its new location. He continues to work with Mission Support as Astronomy Lead for crews that wish to use the facility.


Gary A. Becker has had a lifelong passion for astronomy, photography, astrophotography, and sky watching.  As an educator and director of the Allentown (PA) School District Planetarium for 38 years (retired 2010) and currently adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, Gary has taught astronomy from the preschool to graduate levels under the electronic as well as the natural sky.  An ardent traveler, Gary has hosted numerous popular tours to observe comets and eclipses and has taken urban students on field experiences to the Southwest to view the heavens from some of the darkest regions in the US.
Gary Becker’s 54-year interest in astronomy and his career as an educator have provided him with a natural avenue for writing.  He has authored the book that his Moravian College astronomy students use, founded the website as an educational outreach for his pupils and the public, and has for the past 16 years been writing a homespun, but informative weekly column called StarWatch which is syndicated and appears in 25 newspapers nationwide.  He is also astronomy consultant for a feature film to be released at Christmas 2014.
Gary resides in eastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, a retired English teacher who also enjoys writing, and with their two spunky pet rabbits, (Wild) Skye Blue and Sundance DeShea.


Haritina is a horticultural engineer and holds a masters degree in environmental management. Her other expertise includes biosecurity; information management, astronomy, communication, public speaking and management. She is also an enthousiast StarryTeller and has a strong interest in cultural relations and international security.  

Her goal is to promote scientific education using space sciences.

To inspire people to use curiosity driven exploration. To encourage them to discover who they are and to follow their dreams. To share her belief that culture is merely a set of instructions handed down from our ancestors to ensure our best survival. That culture is shaped merey by geographical constraints, not worth going to war over it but worth understanding how it can make us stronger in a global society.

To know that extinct is forever and progress can only be achieved if we share knowledge and work together, with clear goals. 

More than anything her wish is that people realise we are really made of stardust.