After nearly 30 years in this hobby, we have learned a lot. Equipment comes and goes. Our first telescope has morphed itself into the 20th. Many sets of eyepieces have graced our eyepiece boxes over the years. However, the ultimate question is still not answered. Where is the best place to observe from?"
The search for a new astronomy home was started in a post on CN in June of 2010.
By the following year we had discovered our new home, purchased the property, and started the big job of moving our home and observatory to New Mexico, under some of the best skies in the country, where you can expect 300 clear nights a year, unbelievable transparency, , decent temperatures, and great seeing. A second thread on CN talked about our findings of locating the new home.
We had lived for 40 years in Florida, but sold our place at the Chiefland Astronomy Village in February of 2012, and by March the move west started.
We now are living at The New Mexico Astronomy Village, a brand new place just starting out. Already five astronomy families have purchased land, and before long more astronomers will be moving here and building their own observatories. There is already one 24x24' roll off next to us, with more planned before long.
After getting the basics finished, there is now time to start the build of our new home for our 42" driven Dobsonian, affectionally known as the Beast - mainly because it weighs 1600 pounds, and when struggling to build it it earned that name. Lots of photos will be posted on a page on my web site as construction continues, so if you want to learn how to build a fiberglassed wooden dome, you might want to check it out now and then. Jeannie and I expect to have the Beast back in operation in a couple of months, and are quite excited to have the big scope working under skies that are far superior to where it was for the last 10 years.
As an added benefit Mike Lockwood has the mirror in his shop for a refiguring and recoating job while the new home is being completed. We can't wait for first light, and to be able to invite friends over to share the views.