James Paulson's roll off roof observatory at the Sunridge Observatory site, taken in the summer of 1986, housing a 10 inch f/5 Cave Astrola Newtonian reflector telescope

Monday, May 25, 2009

Observatory Planning 101

At the top of this blog, you will see a photo of my observatory that I built in the spring and summer of 1986 to house my Cave Astrola 10 inch newtonian telescope. It worked well, but it's almost 2300 miles from where I now reside. With plans to bring the telescope to Kentucky comes the need to make plans for how to best utilize it and learn from the previous construction how to do things better.

I've not made any blueprints or sketches yet, but it will likely be very similar to this one in design. Initially, it will begin life as a deck with a pier sitting on concrete, since the location that I can best use for an observatory sits on a sloped area of the yard. I have marked out a space using rebar that is about 8 by 12 feet. The new observatory, when completed, will have a small porch on it about 4 feet wide and 8 feet long.

I dream of an observatory wired fully for electronics conveniently located at the pier, with safe and accomodating red lighting, security, and the ability to do remote imaging from indoors one day. I envision an observatory that is architecturally attractive, maintenance free, and easy to use. It must blend in with the overall scheme of the landscape and existing pool and relaxation decks.

But the one thing that I do not intend to do is rush the construction. This will be a carefully planned endeavour that will begin with transporting the telescope, and will be done in segments as it can be afforded.

The one thing I am most looking forward to is that it will be at home, not located at a place 12 miles away at minimum, and with that, it is certain to be used most every clear night and really add to my enjoyment of this hobby again.

I'll post more as things come together.

1 comment:

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