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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Is it worth establishing an observatory?
      #5521590 - 11/15/12 05:16 PM

We live in a light polluted area (city lighting not neighborhood lighting) in the relatively far Chicago Northwest suburbs. Since I cannot travel to observe due to physical limitations, is it worth while establishing an observatory in my back yard?

Thanks in advance!


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5521722 - 11/15/12 06:51 PM

I have seen amazing astrophotography done in light polluted regions. Not sure how visual observing would be.

Tony


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Startraffic
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5521758 - 11/15/12 07:17 PM

Aquarist,
Yep, yep, yep, I've had a SkyShed POD-XL3 for the last 4-5 years. My observing time went from 1-2 time a month to 3-4 times a week (whenever the sky was clear). I'm less than 15 miles from DC. google my coords 39.138274 -77.168898

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898
Alt 518ft ASL


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Startraffic]
      #5521821 - 11/15/12 07:55 PM

Thanks much! My wife is primarily a visual observer. I also really like visual observation but hope to learn how to do AP as well. Planned equipment, by the way, is an AP 1600GTO mount with a Planewave CDK 17 scope.

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shawnhar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5521857 - 11/15/12 08:21 PM

Quote:

Thanks much! My wife is primarily a visual observer. I also really like visual observation but hope to learn how to do AP as well. Planned equipment, by the way, is an AP 1600GTO mount with a Planewave CDK 17 scope.



Good lord man! with 34 grand between the scope and the mount, I hope you learn to do AP as well!


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Erik30
member


Reged: 10/16/12

Loc: Cottage Grove, MN
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5521873 - 11/15/12 08:30 PM

Quote:

Thanks much! My wife is primarily a visual observer. I also really like visual observation but hope to learn how to do AP as well. Planned equipment, by the way, is an AP 1600GTO mount with a Planewave CDK 17 scope.




An Observatory with an alarm system and a hungry German Shepard sleeping inside... Nice setup!!


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Erik30]
      #5521878 - 11/15/12 08:38 PM

Actually, Blue, my Shiloh Shepard, weighs in at 154 lbs. He loves intruders and can make it to the back fence in a little less than 4 seconds. No alarm system though!! Yes, I know the equipment is not cheap, but I have always wanted to do this and you cannot take it with you.

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Erik30
member


Reged: 10/16/12

Loc: Cottage Grove, MN
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5521907 - 11/15/12 09:01 PM

A Shiloh... You don't see to many of that breed... Big dogs that look just like a GSD, only more hair!! (Depending on the coat) I love the German Shepard line and have only had a couple chances to see/meet a Shiloh.

Anyway, I think if "I" had that setup I would build an Ob.. You would use it a lot more as Startraffic has pointed out. And with the investment for the mount and scope I think it is an insurance measure also.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Erik30]
      #5521943 - 11/15/12 09:23 PM

Blue is the short hair variety (as opposed to the long hair variety). Looks more like a wolf than GSD primarily because the back is level rather than sloped. Shoulder is 31 inches which means he is able to table surf.

The observatory will allow me to make a permanent mount and also will provide better cooling than taking the scope from inside to outside. (It does have fans, however) Since my physical abilities are diminished, life will be a lot easier and more observation days should result.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5522090 - 11/15/12 11:04 PM

Definitely worth an observatory. If you can drop 34k on scope/mount, an observatory is a cheap investment to ensure you get your money's worth out of it. I went from 5-10 days a month with my mount outide to just about every clear night available with my current setup.

Good luck!


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mikey cee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5522105 - 11/15/12 11:16 PM

Cash is one thing going into debt...entirely different animal with that tidy sum. Killjoy Mike

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5522137 - 11/15/12 11:50 PM

With an observatory and automation hardware and software you don't even have to be awake to do imaging. Combine that with narrow band filters and you can take spectacular images from the heart of the city.

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StarWrangler
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Three Rivers, MI U.S.A>
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5522152 - 11/16/12 12:08 AM

Hi Aquarist,

Click on the kink below my name to see a wide
varity of alternative observatory designs and soultions.

Alan O.


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StarWrangler
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Three Rivers, MI U.S.A>
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5522156 - 11/16/12 12:12 AM

My wife and I live in Albuquerque nm and we are
suprised to see stars and even Orion in the middle of the city.

If I had a house here instead of living in a apartment
I would have an observatory.


Alan O.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: StarWrangler]
      #5522332 - 11/16/12 06:56 AM

Quote:

My wife and I live in Albuquerque nm and we are
suprised to see stars and even Orion in the middle of the city.

If I had a house here instead of living in a apartment
I would have an observatory.


Alan O.




Wow, great information sources! Thanks.


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1617
member


Reged: 04/28/06

Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5522412 - 11/16/12 08:17 AM

Absolutely. Get in touch with Scott Horstman at Backyard Observatories. He'll get you set up and you won't even know you're near the city.

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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: StarWrangler]
      #5522490 - 11/16/12 09:11 AM

Quote:

My wife and I live in Albuquerque nm and we are
suprised to see stars and even Orion in the middle of the city.

If I had a house here instead of living in a apartment
I would have an observatory.


Alan O.




Move to Grants, NM.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5522495 - 11/16/12 09:16 AM

Here is Neil Fleming's webpage. His imaging was done from downtown Boston. Mostly narrowband, but it can be done with excellent results.

As far as an obs is concerned and especially considering the size of the hardware in your plans, a 10X10 rolloff roof would be terrific! And it will make it MUCH easier to decide if you're going to get out. I have an 8X8 and regret not making it 10X10.

David


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bunyon
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: JJK]
      #5522498 - 11/16/12 09:20 AM

I'm an observatory forum lurker who hopes to one day become a participant.

My only 2 cents here is that, in my opinion, an observatory is more important for AP than visual. Precise tracking isn't necessary for visual work but if you wind up having to go through polar alignment every time you image (ahem, as I do), it gets to be a pain and can seriously cut into data acquisition time. With an observatory, you can spend a moonlit evening getting the polar alignment, balance, etc. nailed and not have to deal with it again.

Also, I've found simply getting a little older makes hauling all the gear out less fun. If you have more serious physical limitations, it would give you some relief in that regard as well.

So, like the others, it sounds to me like it would make a lot of sense for you to have an observatory. Cheers.


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Jeff B
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/30/06

Re: Is it worth establishing an observatory? new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5522550 - 11/16/12 10:02 AM

Quote:

We live in a light polluted area (city lighting not neighborhood lighting) in the relatively far Chicago Northwest suburbs. Since I cannot travel to observe due to physical limitations, is it worth while establishing an observatory in my back yard?

Thanks in advance!




Yes!


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