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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?
I am thinking about organising a Stargazing Club in my area. I just wanted to put an expression of interest on the forums to see if anyone would be interested in an astronomy group South of Reading, say in the area of Spencers Wood, Arborfield, Eversley and Highfield Park.
My intention would be to run a group that would get together on a semi-regular basis between say September and May. It would also provide a local network that can get together on a more ad-hoc basis when weather conditions are more favourable.
I would like to make arrangements for a venue in the vicinity near some reasonably dark skies to accommodate us - but before I do this I would like to get an idea of what (if any) interest there would be in such a venture.
Please post below or send me a private message if you are interested.