I’m finally starting to get the hang of this planetary imaging. Still not as good as I’d like but a big improvement on all previous efforts. Two shots taken a little apart so you can see the planets rotation.

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Over the past week or so I’ve been sorting out cables in the observatory and testing cameras. Still only on al alt-az mount without guiding, but a good enough setup to try a few things. More »

I tried taking some deep sky images last night for the first time in several years. Not an ideal setup for my C9.25 – altaz mount, no guiding, no PEC training, no electronic focuser, unmodded Canon 400d and a bright Moon. Given that, I’m happy with the result of 20x30s exposures on one of my favourite objects: More »

Well we finally got first light! ok it was sunlight reflected off the clouds but it counts!

The first job today was to drill down into the concrete base to anchor in the 12mm bolts in place. The local building suppliers had Rawl R-KEM which is a two part epoxy that comes in a 300ml tube, it mixes in the nozzle so its easy to apply. With the bolts in place the pier was put in place and leveled: More »

By the end of the weekend I should be able to get first light in the observatory!

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The shed part is pretty much complete now. Last weekend I made the door, got the rest of the weathersheeting in place, finished the roof, and got the wood preservative on. I also added a 2×3 to strengthen the beam with the castors so that the ends no longer touch the track; I’ve to do the same to the other side sometime, but as it stands I can move the roof easily with one hand.  More »

In between rain showers I’ve managed to almost get the building work completed on the observatory. Building the support for the roof and rails was easy enough though the beams were very slightly warped; this doesn’t matter too much as it can be corrected by placing the rails in the correct line.

The roof was trickier than I thought. I hadn’t tried to build a roof before and it’s quite easy to get things out of alignment and not straight. It’s not perfect but more than good enough for my requirements. More »

Only a few showers this weekend, which makes it probably the sunniest of the whole summer! So I managed to get two decent afternoons work done.

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This summer has been uncharacteristically wet. And it wasn’t until last Saturday that I got to take the wood out from under the tarpaulin and start working. The first thing to do was to get the floor joists in place. The longest part of that was ensuring the 2×4 frame was level. More »

About 10 years ago I decided to build an observatory. I’m finally getting around to doing it. My reasoning for building it has changed down the years. Initially I wanted to build it in order to have a serious imaging and research setup, now I want it for convenience. I want a setup that I will use – far too many good nights are wasted by not taking the scope out because I don’t have enough time, or it’s just too inconvenient to set up properly. More »