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My Observatory


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I’ve had a roll-off roof observatory since early 2013, ground preparation started 6 months earlier, then the delivery got put back due to supplier issues. Originally I didn’t have pier but soon regretted that and retrofitted one the following year. All of this is documented on my web page here, so I won’t expand too much:



What the pictures don’t show is the adjacent street light and trees. This image is facing North, so you can see the light about 2 metres away and shining into the open observatory, and also the trees obscuring Polaris for most of the year. Polar alignment is possible but tricky in the winter.


So this is the view North from in the observatory at night:9F426582-929B-4F78-866C-613F736DD841.thumb.jpeg.804bff57c0dbcf44b4a78c5901f11697.jpeg

I get round this by erecting plywood panels on top of the walls. Pictures without and with flash:



It actually does a good job of keeping the light out, though under some conditions I have another panel that I put above the one you see, that keeps light reflecting off the dew shield into the guide scope when the scope is pointing high. I just have to be careful when it is breezy!!!


The panels are installed on all 4 walls, though the ones facing E, S, and W are much lower, just enough to hide lit windows in the surrounding houses.


My lowest useful viewing horizon due to adjacent roofs is 30 degrees to E, S, W and about 0 between NW and NE!


Observatory has mains power to 4 waterproof sockets, red and white bulkhead lights, Ethernet over mains, and a mini pc with monitor, keyboard and mouse. There is a USB hub and dew controller fixed to the pier.


Finally, the scope in action:


Edited by dwc
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  • 1 year later...

Terry, thanks very much for the kind comment.

The council have indeed now switched to LED lighting and it has very much changed the dynamic of the light pollution here. The new lights are much more controlled in the spread of light in that most of it is now directed downwards. But for my adjacent light, it is still quite bright, so I still need to use my screening.

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