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help with pier location for AP in the backyard

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#1 woodscavenger

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:58 PM

I have the AP bug. I am going to put in a pier for my AVX mount. I need advice on the best location in my yard. I have a large yard, about 1 acre with 2/3 as the backyard. As seen in the google earth photo I have a large shop (2 stories tall) along the north edge. I am surrounded with trees to the north, east, south with the house (one story on the west).

In the photo I have two location options.

A) Southeast corner of the shop off the back porch. Easy electrical access, covered concrete back porch for chair, laptop, heater, etc. View of sky would lack anything in the north. East and west would have about a 20 degree limitation as would the south. No polar star access.

B) at the west end of a current grapevine (the grey line going east-west in the middle of the yard. I would place the pier about 3 feet toward the house in line with the grapevine posts to limit the visual impact on the yard. It is about 30 feet from the shop. Electrical access harder but not insurmountable. Further away from the back porch. Sky view by compass degrees is 0-90 degree with about 50 degree tree restriction, 90-290 about 25 degree tree horizon, 290-0 about 70 degree horizon due to the shop.

As for the wife the "A" location would be less intrusive.

If I place it at location "A" will I really be missing many backyard, redzone targets in the Northern sky that would make site "B" worth the distance?

Since I have yet to see a full year of astronomy I don't have a good feel for different AP targets that will scroll across the sky in their celestial dance.

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#2 Thirteen

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

If it were me, and I had the option, I'd place it in view of polaris. That way you would never miss any northern targets. The observatory forum may offer additional advice.

#3 tazer

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:41 AM

Since I have yet to see a full year of astronomy I don't have a good feel for different AP targets that will scroll across the sky in their celestial dance.


I'm also considering putting a pier in. What I find to be really helpful is to get out at night, stand in the spot where I want a pier and note the stars close to the horizons. I then go inside, load up Stellarium and note the elevations via the alt/az grid and then the declinations using the equatorial grid. Next I'll enable the nebulae/dso markers, set the time to midnight, and then cycle through the months so I can determine what will be visible and when.

#4 Footbag

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:30 AM

If it were me, I'd try to make sure I had a view of Polaris, but I wouldn't sacrifice the Southern View for it.

In general, if you can see Polaris all of the Northern targets will come around at some point. The Southern targets are really the beauties.

As was said above, you could probably use then Moon and Stellarium to see what kind of southern views you will have.

I was doing the same dance with my observatory, and put it where the southern views would be best. Since I have lots of trees, I don't get a lot of southern targets, but I can catch enough to keep me happy. I thought I was going to have a good view of Polaris, but my roof obscures it. Not as big of a deal as it could be, as I'm permanent. Maybe it takes 5m longer when setting up.

#5 woodscavenger

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:13 AM

Not much input from this forum. Is there a way to bump this into the Observatory forum? I didnt see that forum when I posted this.

#6 Madratter

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:55 AM

Mods can move it.

I was very reluctant to say anything without seeing the actual sight lines in person. But from the photo, I would have said something just to the right of A. More at the corner of the building.

#7 Mr Greybush

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:09 AM

Mods can move it.

I was very reluctant to say anything without seeing the actual sight lines in person. But from the photo, I would have said something just to the right of A. More at the corner of the building.


This question will be moved to the obsy section thank's :)

#8 Alex McConahay

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:08 AM

Some general guidelines are available, but it is hard to apply them to a photo.

Seeing Polaris is not as important in a permanent installation, since the northern objects do come around, and (since you are permanently polar aligned) you do not need it to aid your nightly polar alignment.

There are more interesting objects in the south.

You do not need to worry about objects that are lower than about 30 degrees from the horizon--generally you won't be imaging things that low.

(And besides, as far north as Idaho, Polaris is pretty high, and you should be able to see it from nearly anyplace.)

Site the observatory such that it does not have to look over any heat sources (like hot roofs) if possible.

Analyze any light domes from neighboring towns and such. No use siting for a clear western sky if there is a big light dome there.

Alex






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