2012 March

Observatory Plans

Observatory Plans

stardate: 13032012

Observatory Plans

Weathers been a bit rubbish lately, but it’s given me time to think about the observatory.

I’ve got the dome sitting on the lawn which I’ve given a good clean, it just needs a coat of paint.

The base part that the dome sits on needs to be built and so does the concrete pad the telescope sits on, so I turned to the computer to make a plan…

Here are the plans…


My skills as a handy man are almost non existent, and I’ve never concreted before. But that’s ok, I’ll somehow figure it out.

I’ll probably need a hand putting the dome on, and the concreting for the pad, but I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them.

My neighbor was kind enough to find a post-hole digger for me, so I’ve made some holes. Not sure if they are perfectly aligned, but I’ll try and get some beams into position tonight, so I can concrete in the 4 main posts.

I’ll post some pics if I manage it!

Oh, and on a different topic, I went to the Auckland Astronomical Society meeting yesterday at the Stardome Observatory, and listened to Stu Parker describe his supernova discovery process. It was an awesome presentation and talk. I’m really feeling inspired now to get all this up and running and start doing some cool stuff. He’s contributed to science quite a bit and worked with professionals from around the world, I’d love to be able to do that. He’s done really well considering his main profession is dairy farming!

It’s looking quite nice out, so I might be able to do some observing tonight if its clear…

Kirk out.

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Good Night Observing

Good Night Observing

Stardate 04032012

Great night observing!

Just as I suspected, the year I get my Telescope is the worst summer in recorded history… check out this article.

that Murphy has a lot to answer for…

We had a massive downpour a couple of days ago, loads of wind, and then… the skies cleared and it fined up. Made for fantastic seeing, no dust particles or pollution in the air…

So, I got out my DBK planetary camera and had a go at imaging the Moon and Jupiter.

I used the camera in prime focus mode, took a bit of fiddling to get the focus right – although I didn’t use FocusMax (I probably should have), just focused manually.


I had a quick go at Mars, but there was too much heat coming off my roof! – If I’d left it until the early hours and used my 3x Barlow it might have worked, but I had work the next day, so I thought it best to work on easier targets. Mars is at opposition right now however, so I really should give it another go soon…

The pictues in the image gallery are the best ones I took, I stacked them in Registax v6.

Quite pleased with the result.

– Kirk out.

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