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Started Construction of the Edgewood Skies Observatory

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#51 ClownFish

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 02:58 PM

Last week I ran the power and network cables, added the insulation to the walls and ceiling, and drywalled it all.  

 

134470162_10158142963452858_3611952733615570969_o.jpg

 

Then this week I tape and textured it, painted and coated the concrete floor with non-slip coating, and added the baseboard and door seals.    Now I just need to tie in all the electric outlets and ceiling light, and add my furnishings.

 

138819616_10158162758027858_7267561058900859815_n.jpg

 

I also added a camera on top of my C11 to ride shotgun, so I can monitor the dome tracking while imaging.  To prevent infrared lights from interfering with my images, I used a regular planetary camera (ASI462MC) which is so sensitive that no IR lighting was needed.  

 

Dome-Cam.png

 

Here's a video of the dome camera in operation.   https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be


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#52 archer1960

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 04:50 PM

We put an offer on a place in Edgewood yesterday. My setup won't be nearly as nice as yours, but I can't wait to get it running...


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#53 archer1960

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 07:44 PM

How is the seeing usually? I imagine the transparency is great, given how dry it is...



#54 ClownFish

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 07:50 PM

Transparency is excellent, but seeing in this part of NM is not as good as it used to be.  The jet stream has shifted and now flows over this part of the state often.  I would say I get one or two nights if excellent seeing a month.  The rest is generally average.  But in the daytime, the seeing is usually excellent - thus the high number if solar observatories here.


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#55 archer1960

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 11:51 AM

Here in southern New England, we get maybe a handful a year, and it always seems like they're on days of less-than-great transparency due to high thin clouds.



#56 ClownFish

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 12:56 PM

Here in southern New England, we get maybe a handful a year, and it always seems like they're on days of less-than-great transparency due to high thin clouds.

 

We had a night of exceptional seeing and transparency last week and so I captured two hours of the Horsehead at 1953mm focal length.  

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  • 97C0D7C5-EAEB-4B19-8590-FBC1C75B4438.jpeg

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#57 shark-bait

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 01:36 PM

We had a night of exceptional seeing and transparency last week and so I captured two hours of the Horsehead at 1953mm focal length.  

 

No mistaking that is the Horsehead!

 

Amazing.



#58 archer1960

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 03:49 PM

Wow!



#59 ClownFish

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 03:31 PM

The lovely Horsehead as shot from the New Mexico Cosmos Observatory.

- Hα: 42 x 180 sec
- OIII: 58 x 180 sec

 

  • Scope: Celestron C11 EdgeHD at 1953mm focal length (f/7).
  • Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro
  • Baader 3.5nm Ha filter
  • ZWO OIII filter. (I'm saving up for a Baader one)
  • Mount: iOptron CEM120 EC2
  • Guide Camera: Lodestar X2 with a ZWO off-axis guider
  • Focuser: Esatto 2" electronic focuser
  • Control: KStars/EKOS
  • Post:  PixInsight

 

Horsehead CN.jpg

 

 


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#60 ClownFish

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 01:56 PM

I added a nice weather strip on both the inside of the dome, and outside of the plastic moulding.  The two brushes on the weather strip touch, and keeps out all dust. Works great!

 

Weatherstrip dust.jpg



#61 ClownFish

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 03:59 PM

I've finished my observatory filtered-air positive pressure system.  I need this to prevent the fine New Mexican dust from entering through the Dome’s opening between the dome and support structure, and also the cracks along the shutter.  I have a dusty dirt country road upwind of the dome, and cars kick up the dust which then blows all over the dome, and enters it.

 

The system uses two 12-volt marine ventilation fans, that move 540 CFM of clean air from outside.  The filter is an aluminum electrostatic washable filter, although I will be replacing that with a paper HEPA filter later.  The intake is eight inches in diameter and the output are each four inches (x2).  I power it off two 12volt Marine deep-cycle 100 AH batteries that are charged by two solar panels.   I am going to get a timer, and turn it off between midnight and 5am, when I am not using the dome.  If I am using it, I turn them off as soon as I open the shutter.

The first video shows the system in operation.  It’s quite loud but fortunately I don’t do much work in the dome itself, so it’s not a huge issue right now.  Plus at night when I am using it and the dome is open, I turn off the air system.

The second video shows testing.  It works great!  What would be cool is to build a RPi controller to have the system slow down when there is no wind, and then speed back up when the wind speed increases.

Here's the pump being built.  I have since added a weather seal and lid.  Four hand-knob bolts secure the lid tightly.

227723217_10158608506052858_4391435678987984418_n.jpg

 

Here's the installation video, showing the system running:  https://youtu.be/CYYdD8mqo2s

Here's a short video showing testing done with an open flame:  https://youtu.be/KzZqeMaPiC8


 


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#62 ClownFish

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 02:13 AM

I am working on the Eagle Nebula, but the wildfire smoke and NM monsoons has stopped me from finishing it.  I have about 1/2 of the exposures I wanted.  I am not sure if I will be able to finish it this season.  

 

Eagle-new-cn.jpg


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#63 Taylor

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 09:12 AM

Great to see you back and posting your amazing astrophotos. I remember seeing your film astrophotography with your Meade SN way back in the day when I was still a college student. 


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#64 ClownFish

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 07:41 AM

M51-Lum+RGBHA-CN4.jpg

 

Needle-RGB-CN.jpg

 

 


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#65 ClownFish

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 07:41 AM

HO-CN.jpg


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#66 shark-bait

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 07:59 AM

Great to see you back and posting your amazing astrophotos. I remember seeing your film astrophotography with your Meade SN way back in the day when I was still a college student. 

With slide film no less!

 

Those pictures he posted with Meade SN is the reason I am into AP now grin.gif.   I went out and bought a Meade SN10 and an Olympus OM-1 in the early 2000's and never looked back.  I still have that SN10 BTW.


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