- "There were more stars overhead than Doc Brown had even seen. It was quite remarkable — thousands of points of light, like a field of bright flowers in the sky. only now did he realize what kind of damage fossil fuels had wrought upon the dull night sky of 1985. / What, however, was even more remarkable was that he now had such a difficult time looking at the stars at all. That was what he and Clara had come out here to do, setting up the now-repaired telescope in the back of the buggy. And the stars were quite remarkable. It was only that they paled next to the presence of Clara."
- —From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, pages 133 and 134)
A telescope was an instrument for looking at objects at great distances. Originally used for terrestrial sighting, people started pointing them towards the stars.
When Clara Clayton was quarantined with diphtheria as an eleven-year-old, her father bought her a telescope and put it next to her bed so she could see everything outside the window. This ignited an interest in science and astronomy for Clara that would stay with her for the rest of her life.
By 1885, Clara owned a brass refracting telescope that became damaged when her wagon buckboard was thrown into Shonash Ravine. After Dr. Emmett Brown rescued her, she felt it was proper for her to have him repair it for her, and took it to him at his livery stable on September 5. When she showed Doc that it went out of focus and back, Doc realized that "everything becomes clear", and quickly snapped out of his lovestruck moment, saying that he would fix it that night. Clara reminded Doc that the Hill Valley Festival was also that night and he would not be able to work on it if he went.
Doc agreed and attended the festival where he met and danced with her. After the festival, Doc and Clara left together and watched the Moon from her house with her repaired telescope.
A large telescope was also mounted to the top of Doc's sniper rifle as a sight, which apparently enabled him to "shoot the fleas off a dog's back at 500 yards". Fortunately, much to the relief of any dogs that happened to be around Hill Valley at the time, Doc did not put this to the test.
- Back to the Future Part III
- Back to the Future: The Animated Series