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Quote:Just wondering - why not use a cylindrical shape instead of a dome? Other than the fact that domes are cool...Just giving this a brief amount of thought, a cylinder (actually a segmented cylinder obviously) would be much easier to build, by several orders of magnitude. It could be capped by simple plywood with some support ribs. It could still be rotated on a track, and adding the viewing slot would be easier as you could just remove part of one of the segments, not cut though a bunch of tria's in a dome...Thoughts?
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Quote:..at least it eliminates the need for the complex dome shape and that building nightmare...
Quote:Quote:..at least it eliminates the need for the complex dome shape and that building nightmare... thanks for the sketches! My first thought, being from Maine, would be the "snow load" considerations for both the flat top dome and the flat top warm room area. -Tim
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Quote:I like simple cylindrical shapes. Here's my little sketch.
Quote:Gastrol, wouldn't the whole building have to rotate based on your design?
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Quote:Stashed away somewhere I have some papers written about wind tunnel testing of enclosure designs which demonstrated fairly conclusively that the most efficient (or least inefficient) aerodynamic shape is a flat-sided cylinder with either a flat or sloping top, such as used by the VLT, JCMT, Subaru, et al.Due mainly to uplift factors, the classic hemispherical dome shape was either second or third best choice. (I will try to find links to those papers.)
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Quote:As much as I love domed observatories I have to say that in most cases for amateurs, it is my opinion that low-mass roll-offs with good ventilation are more practical, more affordable, more reliable and more effective.
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Quote:square edge creates turbulence and becomes a point where wind energy is transferred to the observatory structure, usually creating vibrations with a number of different and often interfering harmonic periods.
Quote:Kielder Observatory is really cool. Do be honest, domes are a bit dorky looking. Only thing I do not like about Kielder Observatory are the doors. Sliding doors will look way better. Something like Subaru has.Quote:square edge creates turbulence and becomes a point where wind energy is transferred to the observatory structure, usually creating vibrations with a number of different and often interfering harmonic periods.Amateur observatories are relatively tiny structures. If square edges are so bad, why are we not living in mud and/or brick iglu
Quote:That depends upon the owner and operator.A large professional organisation such as ESO may consider its observatories to be machines, but the OP (and most others posting here) probably views their observatory as being part of their hobby.
Quote:The discussion appeared to be mainly centred around the idea of amateur astronomers constructing cylindrical style enclosures rather than the more traditional domes.Various studies by professionals indicate and conclude that the classic dome enclosure may not be the best design or choice for an observatory, with cylindrical or semi-cylindrical designs being more efficient in many ways.Such structures have been employed very successfully by the likes of ESO et al, and there appear to be few valid reasons why amateurs would or should not also adopt the design instead of the traditional dome.Whether or not the very expensive professional observatories should be considered to be "machines" is a little beside the point in this case, IMO.
Quote:Yes, that's the point: for the most part, direct comparisons between amateur and professional observatories is - dare I say it? - pointless.However, the advantages and disadvantages of the basics of the enclosure designs being discussed generally apply to both professional and amateur users alike.