Jump to content


Skyfog Observatory


Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Ags said:

Would you say it is recommended?

It’s a start guide rather than a full plan, but will guide your thoughts.

All diy observatories have differences, so a full plan or guide may not exist for your location.

You are welcome to my copy if you send me your address via a message. 
And I am aware you are in the Holland.


  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Still cogitating on this… My thinking has evolved from building a ROR to building a warm room / Astro shed with rollout pier in the north-east corner of our garden. We’ll construct a paved area extending south from the astroshed with the 2.5m high west wall of the shed extended down the length of the paved area. You may ask, why such a strange structure?

There are five issues for me the construction should solve: (1) exclude light intrusion  from the north, west (especially including the upstairs neighbors to the west who have no curtains) and south; (2) create storage space for Astro stuff that is scattered over the apartment; (3) improve ergonomics so I can use larger equipment; (4) provide a better spot for computer activities while imaging; (5) improve the southern horizon that is obstructed by trees, a very small warehouse and a large tower block.

By clearing the north-east corner, the street light to the south should be more obscured by vegetation, while the security light to the north will be blocked by the astroshed. The lights from the my own apartment and the upstairs neighbors will be blocked by the big wall/fence. The occasionally troublesome lights from the more distant houses to the east will be blocked by the eastern perimeter wall.

Obviously the astroshed will resolve storage issues, and with roll out onto the paving a heavy mount can be used, for example a skytee for visual and a proper EQ mount for my imaging.

The shed can include a small workbench for my laptop and power and network connection to the home. The workbench needs to be right next to the door or I would find it very claustrophobic.

Obviously locating at the north end of the garden will improve the southern aspect, meaning low planets will be accessible from a low pier/tripod.

I am not sure about Dutch planning laws, but fences can typically only go up 2m (is that only for boundary fences or also for fences internal to a garden???). However, the light shielding fence would be part of the astroshed structure, and sheds typically can go up to 2.5m.

It would be a painful project, as we have to sacrifice my favorite tree - a beautiful red crab apple - and we take down a pergola covered by two thriving grapes. I’m not sure the light shield wall wouldn’t be monstrous, but we can make it pretty with climbers surely :)


Edited by Ags
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did this sketch to calculate light ingress from upstairs neighbors, and figure I can get suitably protected by a 2.5 meter barrier just over 4 meters from the building line. The 2 white lines mark eye height when standing and a 2.2 meter space back from the light barrier for a turning circle around the scope.


So it does look doable. I don't however think a permanent barrier 2.5 meters high would work - it would block too much light from the apartment, and the garden would also be robbed of light. However a fence 1.8 - 2.0 meters high would be ok, and I can add a temporary light barrier on top while observing (I am thinking along the lines of a camping wind barrier which can be slotted into place along the top of the fence).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed. Not all obstacles to light pollution are fixed nor even solid.
Raise or lower a dark cloth blind on posts with pulleys only as needed.
Louvers block light from certain angles. Pass it freely from others.
Light blocking vegetation can be conifers in big pots on castors.
Just be careful about the force of the wind on your contraptions.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The house-side barrier I need kept getting higher, beyond the feasible height of a garden structure, so a row of leiboom trees are now part of the plans. They extend up to 3 meters with the lower 60% open and admitting light to to the rest of the garden and home.


Regarding the word "leiboom", the Dutch are in a real minority among European languages.


This will take care of the western aspect. The northern aspect is shielded by the astroshed. I have a bit of a concern to the west too; we may need another strategic tree.

Edited by Ags
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

We have been iterating through various garden redesigns, and we have reached a final design for the garden including astro friendly elements.


North is at top, the apartment is to the left, and the astroshed is top right behind a greenhouse. Next to the astroshed is a vigorous hazelnut that we are keeping. It blocks Polaris but polar aligning is not a big priority for me. The circle below the hazelnut is a 3m diameter circle denoting working area around the tripod.  To the left of the tripod is a curved line of espaliers. The working area around the scope is the bare minimum , but I think light ingress is blocked from all directions. 

The espaliers block the south-west, but that aspect is blocker in any case by a large tower block.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also decided on the telescope worthy of the build. I will be going for a GSO 250mm dob on an eq platform. Should be good for visual and for lunar and planetary imaging. I also fancy a stab at lucky imaging of some DSOs with the setup, along the lines of the efforts done by Emil Kraaikamp and others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.