Welcome to a journey into our Universe with Dr Dave, amateur astronomer and astrophotographer for over 40 years. Astro-imaging, image processing, space science, solar astronomy and public outreach are some of the stops in this journey!
Orion’s Belt or the Belt of Orion, also known as the Three Kings or Three Sisters, is an asterism in the constellation Orion. It consists of the three bright stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Since we are located on Orion’s Belt, it was agreed to so name the observatory as mentioned in an earlier post. I decided since then to name the hill the observatory will rest on Mintaka Hill. The trail leading up to it will be named Alnitak Trail.
Astronomers living quarters. This was actually the first structure to arrive on the site. The deck was completed shortly afterward. From the deck there are great views from east to west looking south.
This is ‘Alnitak Trail’ which runs about 200 feet to the observatory from the house
The cement piers are done! I had to test the fit of the Bisque pier on the cement. The bolts all fit great and the steel base sits flat on the cement. There is a 3 foot cement pier for the bigger scope and 2 foot for lower payloads, e.g. smaller refractor, astrograph etc. Now it looks like the cement sits very high but remember the the actual floor of the observatory is at the same level as the top of the cement piers. There are 2 conduits embedded in each pier. One for electric and 1 for data. The foundation is now complete and we are waiting for BYO to come out and finish the structure
There is a trench that must be dug to run both electric and data from the house to the observatory
Nearly completed site work surrounding the observatory. There is more of this than you might think necessary to control drainage. There is gravel placed around the observtory and beyond that grading of the terrain to divert water around the structure. There is not a lot of rain here but they do get some precipitation and it often comes in large bursts. This is a view looking west from the edge of the clearing. You can see the foundation in the distance