Nancy and I decided we needed a permanent observatory.
First thing I did was design our logo (that was the easy part). The stars in the logo are WZ Cassiopeia. This is a double star in Cassiopeia. The picture was taken by the Mt. Palomar Telescope. WZ Cas is a variable carbon star in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia. It varies between magnitudes 6.5 to 8.5 with a period of 186 days. The star is of a deep red color and attended by a bluish companion, which is separated from the primary by 57.68 arcseconds.
Nancy and I attended a "Society For Astronomical Sciences" Symposium and a group from California presented a paper about an observatory that they were building in Landers, California.
I e-mailed the author of the paper and he sent this really nice video about their construction.
To download video, Right Click this link and select "Save Link As"
I visited lots of web sites and did a lot of reading and came up a design.
We decided on a roll off roof.
We wanted room for two telescopes.
We wanted room for a work area with at least one computer, probably two computers.
I did not want to bend over every time I entered the observatory, so the door had to be at least 6 foot tall.
I found these plans on the Internet. This is the plan for Jim Collins Meadow View Observatory in Chico California (Jim's web page).
This is pretty close to what I wanted to build.
I wanted to build the observatory myself, but Nancy knew it would take years, so she suggested we use Doyle Ray for the concrete and framing work. Doyle is the owner of RBI Construction and a very dependable, knowledgeable contractor. Doyle built our house and barn.
We contacted Doyle, showed him what we wanted to do, and he agreed to do the job. Unfortunately he was booked up until after the first of the year. I figured that would give me lots of time to get the ground ready and start on the steel work. I was going to do the welding, the steel work, and the electrical.
Doyle called on November 4, 2014 and asked if he could start. I asked when, and he said "tomorrow".
I really wasn't ready, but I figured we may as well start and see how things went.
Select the "Page 2" link to see some of the construction pictures
© 2014 Eric Nelson