Howard Leslie DeMastus


Howard Leslie DeMastus

Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Death 4 May 1983 (aged 53)
New Mexico, USA
Burial Mayhill, Otero County, New Mexico, USA
Plot DSCN0533
Memorial ID 79863926 View Source
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Howard DeMastus was one of the researchers from the Solar Dept. of Harvard College Observatory at the Sacramento Peak Observatory in Sunspot, NM, from August 1954 through July 1974. During this time, he wrote reports and summaries of the atmospheric conditions at the observatory for the Air Force Geophysical Laboratory at Hanscom Field Massachusetts. Howard published several articles and scientific journals on their findings. Howard's primary research centered around solar flares and the effect on the earth's atmosphere. The observatory where he worked was erected in 1950. The Grain Bin Dome at the Sacramento Peak Observatory was the first telescope dome that was built in Sunspot. It's rumored that the Observatory ordered the grain bin from a Sears catalog. A 6-inch prominence telescope was mounted on a 10-foot spar inside for observing the limb (edge) of the Sun. From March 1951 through 1963 daily flare patrol images were taken from the Grain Bin. Additional or newer telescopes were installed in 1952, 1955, and 1957. In 1963 the solar patrol duties of the Grain Bin were transferred to the then newly built Hilltop Dome. He had a scholarship or award named for him through the observatory.

Howard was an accomplished pianist. In 1984, after his death, the William Dowd harpsichord he owned was donated to New Mexico State University by the Dunn Family. William Dowd started his workshop in 1958 after splitting with partner Frank Hubbard. The workshop produced 30 harpsichords a year. The French Original Dowd French Double was much in demand had a long waiting list for customers. Reference given to this harpsichord indicates that it may have been made by Dowd in 1962 and was the 29th such to be made by him.

Howard served in the USMC from 19 Jun 1948 until 10 Jun 1949.

Howard was the son of James Lester DeMastus and Gladys Irene McQueen. He never married. At the time of his death, he was survived by his father, sister Audrey, his step-mother Mildred, two half brothers and three half sisters.


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