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Hi everybody - I wanted to share my experience of designing and building my own observatory. It is a unique octagonal design and offers pros and cons to more common designs often utilised by the amateur community. If you are considering an observatory project, I hope it gives further inspiration and allows you to find a solution that works for your site, skills, budget and observing aspirations. The story is on my website, link here:
Tickets (free) are now available for the Birmingham University "Astronomy in the city" event on 6th March. Sounds like an interesting evening for newcomers like me.
The agenda includes
What to see in the sky this month,
A talk on super novae
Ask the experts
An observing season
And tea and biscuits!
I have a steel pier for sale. This was purchased along with a pulsar dome and believe it is an older Pulsar model. The pier sat in a yard, exposed to the elements for a few years before I purchased it so there is some surface rust and flaking paint but will clean up nicely. £250 and buyer will need to collect from Suffolk.
Once again we travel South in Europe, this time we visit Lisbon. Never been in Portugal earlier so this travel was really exiting. Lot of old culture to see and tasty foods. Maybe a bit higher cost than expected but still cheaper compare to Sweden where I live.
This time it was not only I and my girlfriend, we had also brought with us a friend. All three of us are interested in astronomy.
When I know we should visit Lisbon I started to search for some astronomy related. I found that there is an old observatory just 6 km from where we stayed. They also had guided tours, but should be booked at least two weeks before visit. This was a last minute travel and not enough time left.
Here is my mini report from Lisbon Astronomy Observatory:
It didn't worked out as expected, but you at least have the information if you visit Lisbon in the future.
I am putting this in Astro Lounge as opposed to DIY Observatories because, well, I probably won't be doing it (all) myself.......
I stuck my neck out at my societies AGM and raised the prospect of having our own observatory. Arguments against were expense, lots of folk have their own dome, location and security.
Arguments for included outreach, lots of folk want but can't have their own observatory, skills progression.
I was tasked with a feasabilty/ cost study before we decide whether to approach organisations for either funding assistance or permission to site an obsy on their ground.
To kick start the costing side of the study, I need to asses what is required (outside of a plot of land for the obsy).
My first thoughts are:-
Shell. I am thinking sustainable so a substantial wooden structure including a dome and warm room. 'Flatpack' with DIY assembly would reduce financial impact. Perhaps increase the warm room size into something large enough to become our meeting hall?
Power. Mains would be best but, would a solar panel/ battery combo suffice?
Pier. This would be one of the DIY part of the project and I am thinking a reinforced concrete pier with mount fixings to suit the desired mount though a steel pier is a possibility.
Water/ Drainage. As a society obsy, with outreach use a goal, somewhere to produce refreshing beverages (and to download the later result) may be desired. Mains and sewer or mains water and septic tank?
What have I missed?