posted by: Aaron McNeely
Hurray! I finished the observatory the week before school started. Looking back, I am astounded by the number of sweat-drench afternoons I spent working on it. I built the entire structure by myself. I also installed the metal roof and the vinyl siding. My father-in-law modified the steel door, and he also prepared the angle-iron runners for the roof.
I obtained plans for the observatory, as well as the metal wheels for the roof, from Backyard Observatories.
The roof is smooth and easy to open.
The south wall features a fold-down top for access to lower sky altitudes.
I can easily run two scopes at once: Left, 7-inch Meade Maksutov, right, 102mm Vixen achromatic refractor.
Behind the plywood cover is an attic fan. At the top you can see one of the hooks I use to fasten the roof. Also, note part of the angle iron track.
The attic fan. It faces east and isn’t visible from the house. I also installed a vent in the north wall for ventilation.
Red and white light on demand. I also have four outlets and an ethernet cable installed, but I haven’t hooked up Internet or a computer. In many ways, my observatory is a refuge from all of that.
Owning an observatory is a great convenience. It is easy to go out an observe for just a few minutes if I wish and not need to setup and break down equipment. Also, I can leave things setting out and clean up the next day, I just need to close the roof and lock up. Thanks.