After moving to Arizona (2002.09.24) I built a "sliding roof observatory" with buried cables to my office. The SRO looks like this (looking southwest):
Looking southwest at the "sliding roof observatory." The Minor Planet
Center has assigned this observatory the site code G95 with a name of "Hereford
Arizona Observatory." (That's what the HAO on the fron door stands for.)
The foundation is 8x10 feet, and the fixed portion (below the tan tarpaulin
roof) is the lower part of a $280 garden shed. The tarpaulin covers a PVC
pipe frame mounted to 2x4s with wheels that ride along L-bracket rails extending
to the north. The roof tarp is held down by bungee cords; it may look insubstantial
but it has withstood 60 mph winds as well as monsoon rain. The Huachuca Mountains
in the background are the highest in Southern Arizona. Miller Peak (left)
and Carr Peak (right) rise to 9466 and 9220 feet. My observatory is located
at altitude = 4656 feet (1419 meters), latitude = +31:27:08" and longitude
= 110:14:16 West. [2005.08.20].
Hereford Arizona Observatory (looking northwest).
This is a Meade RCX400 14-inch telescope. The tube is mae from low-thermal
expansion material which minimizes the need for refocusing as the night cools.
The CCD back-end assembly cost as much as the telescope, and consists of
a focal reducer lens, a tip-tilt image stabilizer (SBIG AO-7), color filter
wheel and CCD camera (ST-8XE, 1530x1020). Note the wireless weather station
in the background. I sold it in the Fall of 2007.
This is an old view of the HAO looking southeast from my house roof. The roof is open, showing a Celestron 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain Computerized German Equatorial mount telescope (replaced in Spring 2006 with the Meade RCX400). Note two conduits that go underground; one provides electrical power to the HAO and the other contains 4 "signal cables" for controlling the telescope and equipment. The signal cables are 100 feet long and go to my house office. The USB cable for the SBIG ST-8XE CCD uses a signal level booster. The HAO is on an 8x10 foot concrete slab. 2005.08.20
Shortly after getting the Meade RCX400 telescope (April, 2006) I had to
use bungee cords to secure wweights to balance the telescope.
Moonlight pictureof my SRO. The moon is full, it has just snowed on the
mountains and the wind is blowing over the mountains causing cumulus clouds
to take on the shape of lenticular clouds. One star is easily visible.
The bright star is Beta Cetus, magnitude 2.0; stars as faint as 5.0 can
be seen in the original, full-resolution image. [2002.12.18, 10:26
PM, Nikon Coolpix 990 camera, 4 8-sec exposures with subtraction of 4 8-second
Set-Up in 2001 (Santa Barbara, CA):
Before moving to Arizona I lived in Santa
Barbara, California. Here's a picture of that telescope
Meade LX-200, 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, with equatorial wedge. Atop the LX200 is a Meade ETX125EC (5-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain) that serves as an autoguider when used with a Meade 216XT CCD imager. The LX200 is seen here with a Meade 416XTE CCD imager (later replaced with a SBIG ST-8XE). Dew hoods are used on both telescopes. Orion is in background. [2001.11.18, Nikon Coolpix 990, ISO400, widea angle lens, 8-sec exposure with dark frame subtraction]Return to AstroPhotos web page.
This site opened: September 16, 1999. Last Update: June 27, 2007