The Star Guide

   "The Universe for Everyone"
Biography
The Star Guide is an Educator and Amateur Astronomer.  More than fifty years of teaching experience.  In addition to a teaching credential he has a Masters of Science Degree in Human Resources Management.  He retired from the Department of Defense in 1995 after teaching Radiological Control Fundamentals, Nuclear Physics, and Occupational Safety, Health, and Environmental Control Courses to civilians at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California.  When working for the Department of Defense, he was instrumental in developing the procedures for radiation exposure control and accountability of radioactive material at Mare Island Naval Shipyard that was adopted by the Department of the Navy for use at all U. S. Naval Nuclear Repair Facilities.  He also evaluated the performance of personnel in training exercises in simulated radiological control environments and during simulated radiological control accident and nuclear reactor accident drills.  Since his retirement, he has taught science, math, history and English at Napa High School during the 2000 - 2002 school years.  He has since retired from the Napa  School District with 13 years and continued to substitute as a guest teacher.  He was appointed in 2002 to 2013 by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA as a Volunteer Solar System Ambassador to host their Outreach Program on missions and discoveries in astronomy for NASA.  He is currently a Volunteer Earth Ambassador trained in 2013 by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to present Climate Change to all schools (K through 12), colleges, museums, and through public appearances.


Cliff is involved in marketing and promoting astronomy equipment.  He personally evaluates the performance of equipment and prepares consumer reports for leading astronomy publications.  As a technical writer and author he has published  articles on astronomy equipment in Astronomy Technology Today.  Equipment on articles evaluated and businesses promoted can be seen on he "Marketing and Promotion" page.
Constantly looking up in the night sky at an early age, his interest in astronomy grew.  In 1950 he built his first telescope from plans in "Mechanics Illustrated" magazine.  It was a cardboard linoleum tube mounted on a wooden saddle, complete with a 4 1/2" Newtonian Reflector mirror purchased from Harry Ross in New York.  On the first night out, while observing the Moon at 100X magnification, Cliff observed a small dark mass pass between the Earth and the Moon.  The mass appeared dark and reflected no light as it traversed from the Moon's horizon to its terminator and disappeared from view.  He plotted its approximate position on paper and mentioned it to his father who said, "It was probably a bug on your lens."  But Cliff knew better.  To this day he knows that what he had seen was an Earth Crossing Asteroid.  Had he known who to call that evening, he could have been credited for the discovery of the asteroid and had it named.  The asteroid would have been the first discovered by an amateur astronomer.  In the late 1950s, astronomers began to classify asteroids that crossed the Earths orbital path.  Over 500 have been classified as Near Earth Asteroids.

Cliff now owns a professional grade computerized telescope with Advanced Coma-Free optics manufactured by Meade Instruments Corporation.  The optics are similar to the optics used in the Hubble Space Telescope and shows breath-taking detail in wide-field views.  The telescope is permanently mounted in a fiber glass observatory with a dehumidifier to remove moisture and dust from the air.  He has participated in the search for Killer Asteroids and comets as a volunteer to assist in the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) Team Program in locating objects that are a potential threat to the Earth.  He has now turned to researching Space Weather and Climate Change and uses the Meade Corporation's Coronado SolarMax 90mm II dedicated double stacked Hydrogen-alpha filtered solar telescope to monitor prominence, sun spot activity, and the potential threat of solar flares and CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) which can erupt toward the Earth.  Such solar activity could cause a Super Solar Storm with the effect of an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) in the Earth's atmosphere that would take out all electrical grids world wide.  A solar super storm that hit the Earth on September 1, 1859, created an EMP that caused all telegraph lines to arc.  A telegraph operator was nearly electrocuted.  The northern lights were seen all over the world as far south as South America.  A smaller solar super storm struck Quebec in Canada in March 1989 that destroyed all their electrical grids and transformers that caused all high voltage and electrical lines to arc and catch fire.  Over $2,500,000,000.00 to repair the equipment.  Cliff states, "Should a major solar super storm hit the Earth, all electrical grids, transformers, and micro chips would be destroyed.  There would be no way to pump gasoline for cars or use electrical equipment for possibly more then a year.  That means you would be walking or riding a bicycle to get from one place to another - no water, no way to control temperature, unable to purchase food, take a bath, etc. . . .unless you had a  well to draw water from.  It will be total chaos for human kind.  A faraday shield around equipment is the only way to protect micro chips from being destroyed.  Just try sending a text or use your cell phone wrapped in aluminum foil.  Cell phones operate on microwaves and can not penetrate the aluminum foil."

Collecting fluorescent minerals has also been his interest since the 1940s.  It all started with a trip to the Natural History Museum in San Francisco, California, where he saw the fluorescent colors in minerals exposed to ultra-violet light.  He purchased his own short-wave ultra-violet light from Ultra Violet Products and began his search for fluorescent minerals.  He would go with his father to his Uranium mines in Northern California and began collecting specimens of secondary Uranium deposits and Tungsten ore samples of Scheelite and Powelite.  His high school science teacher encouraged him to participate in the 1952 program of Science Achievement Awards for Students sponsored by the American Society for Metals involving five other countries.   He wrote a thesis on "Fluorescent and Phosphorescent Minerals" and was notified in October 1952 by the National Science Teachers Association that he was selected for a second place award.  He was presented the award on the National Television Station KRON  Channel 4 Program "Science In Action."  He continues to collect fluorescent minerals found throughout the world and has won several awards with his displays.  The "DeLacy Collection" has been added to this website.  Those who are interested in viewing fluorescent  mineral click on the link above.  Several colorful minerals under shortwave length fluorescence are still yet to be added.

In 1951, Cliff achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 64, Vallejo, California.  He earned 38 merit badges and 2 bronze palms.  He became a member of the Camp Timberwolf Improvement Committee after leaving the U. S. Marine Corps in 1956.  The committee was a group of parents and volunteers who helped build the Boy Scout summer camp on Lower Bucks Lake in the Plumas County National Forest near Quincy, California.  His love for the outdoors was inspired by the beauty of the Bucks Lake Wilderness Area.  He was an avid bow hunter for many years. He enjoys fly fishing for trout and also enjoys fishing for steelhead, salmon and blackbass.  He was involved with Scouting for more than 22 years and became a Scoutmaster for Troop 78 in American Canyon, California and later for Troop 64 in Vallejo, California.  Teaching his Boy Scouts how to live in the outdoors was his goal to help build their character and appreciate the beauty of the unspoiled wilderness areas. 


In 1958 he captured UFOs on an 8mm movie camera.  An article was posted on the front page of the Vallejo Time Herald News paper in January of that year and has been credited as the third person to captured UFOs on a movie camera.  He has been asked by several organizations to present the film and discuss the objects seen.  The National Investigations Committee on Unknown Air Phenomenon was unable to identify the objects along with other research corporations.  While teaching swimming for a group at the Benicia Plunge in Benicia, California in the summer of 1958 the pool managers wife saw two egg shaped objects about 4 feet in length, 2 feet in diameter approximately 300 yards away following the river in a westerly direction . . . they were approximately 200 feet above the telephone poles.  I observed them and noticed no wings, no noise, no means of propulsion.  They had to be operating off of the electromagnetic force of the planet and traveling around 100 mph.  They appeared to be silver in color.  They were UFOs and I never reported them.  I only wished I would have had my 8 mm movie camera to capture the objects.  I did draw a picture of the objects as I remembered them and still have that drawing in a scrap book.

Teaching has always been his passion.  He is a certified water safety instructor and has taught RedCross swimming and life saving courses for the Benicia Recreation Program 1957-1958, for the Boy Scouts of America, and in the U. S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, California.   As a former guest teacher in the Napa Unified School District he promoted the NASA Outreach Program on space missions and discoveries at every opportunity and encouraged students to get involved in the STEM Program.

During 1985-1992, he and his wife were the owners of "Celestial Systems - The Astronomy Headquarters of Northern California."  They sold telescopes, accessories, binoculars, minerals, fossils, books, science toys, and science related equipment.  At that time he taught Astronomy to 3rd Grade to 9th Grade Students attending a course in Astronomy in the  Napa Valley College for Kids Program.   He has held many private star parties for birthdays , family get-togethers, Napa Valley Wineries, private businesses and organizations in Northern California.

Astronomy is very important to him.  He knows that several of the young students he teaches will some day travel into space.  A former sign he created and posted above the entrance to his science store in 1985 read, "The Future of the World walks through this Door, For they are Your Children whose Dreams and Knowledge will lead Us to the Stars."

       "Life exists throughout the Universe as we know it and do not know it."   C. DeLacy 1957
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