View Full Version here: : Finally, an Observatory
21-09-2007, 04:21 PM
I have to be the luckiest person. :D
The other week a total stranger came up to me at the shops while I was getting some eclipse photos printed. He liked the photos and asked if I was interested in Astronomy. Then he asked if I had an observatory. I said no, one day though I hope to.
To cut a long story short, this fellow has given me his 4.5mt Astrodome. :eyepop:
It's in his backyard here in Kilcoy. He no longer needs it because he is converting his very large shed into a roll off obs.
It needs a few repairs done before it can be up and running, but hey, who's complaining.
Today I organised a crane truck to pick it up this Sunday morning.
The slab will have to wait until I get my tax cheque back.
I'll have to get the crane in again to move the dome onto the slab, but I can start on the repairs right away.
Here's a picture of the beast, a panorama of the 15degree horizon taken from EP height, and a photo of where she's going to be sitting. The rock marks where the pier will be.
Some of you may know this most generous man, his name is Glenn Lang.
Ironically, in the 2005 Astrofest group photo, he standing next to me on my left.:rofl::rofl::rofl:
21-09-2007, 04:24 PM
Lucky, lucky, lucky
But then some people deserve it
21-09-2007, 04:32 PM
Who's a lucky bugger then. :lol: ;)
Good onya Jeanette. What a fantastic present. And good on you Glenn where ever you may be. :clap:
21-09-2007, 04:47 PM
You lucky person you!
21-09-2007, 04:53 PM
Good find JJJ, keep us informed of the progress.:thumbsup:
edit: and I forgot to say thanks Greg, a generous offer.
21-09-2007, 04:54 PM
That's great news, JJJ!:thumbsup:
There's a lot of people around here who are envious! (Me included!;)) I'm sure you'll appreciate it!
21-09-2007, 04:58 PM
LOL I'm as happy as can be!
Greg on the other hand.... say no more, we all know how non astronomy minded spouses can be.
But what the hell, I'm going ahead with it anyway. It's fortuitous that it's the Eclipse Photo's that are paying for the crane truck and half the bobcat hire.
21-09-2007, 05:09 PM
Way to go jjj, just brilliant.....4.5 meter is a fair size...good on ya...
21-09-2007, 05:56 PM
Funny how this happens, I got my old dome from asking a guy at work if he knows someone with an observatory, mind you mine was $250 and was in worse condition.
21-09-2007, 07:00 PM
This is the kind of story that should be on TV news instead of the regular negative stuff!
fabulous stuff! It does sound like good Karma!
21-09-2007, 07:20 PM
That's great news Jeanette!!!!!!!! :cool:
Fellow astronomers helping fellow astronomers :thumbsup:
That was a very nice gesture Glenn. :)
21-09-2007, 07:31 PM
well done JJJ I am completely Jealous
21-09-2007, 07:44 PM
Next comes a pier and Eq mount....(where's the dollars smilie Mojo???):whistle:
21-09-2007, 10:41 PM
Ohhh, I don't think so yet Phil.
I'll have work up a few brownie points at home before I think about that.
(though I'm digging a hole for the pier after the ground is leveled)
21-09-2007, 10:53 PM
Goods onya Jeanette:thumbsup:great to see you have got things started:):):)
22-09-2007, 01:46 AM
Congrats Jeanette, that's fantastic, please do keep us posted on progress with more pics, etc .. and Glenn should we ever meet somewhere remind me to buy you a few beers, you're obviously a decent bloke!
22-09-2007, 01:48 AM
Congrats jjj, and hats of to Glenn.
What a wonderful thing to do.
22-09-2007, 06:44 AM
Wow – this story has blown my socks off! Congrats Jeanette and for Glen – well done, it is terrific to stumble across such acts of kindness and generosity.
22-09-2007, 07:43 AM
I am really pleased for you jjjnettie. Having an observatory means you can do astro work without worrying about any change in the weather or constantly setting up and breaking down.
Glenn's gesture is what we need more of in this increasingly selfish world.
I congratulate you both.
22-09-2007, 08:08 AM
fantastic Jeanette, right time, right place and the right person!!
You are going to have so much fun when you get it all set up!!
22-09-2007, 10:40 PM
Tomorrow morning I'm getting up early to pull down part of the front fence so the truck can get in.
I'm meeting the driver in town at 9.30am, it shouldn't take more than half an hour to load it on. So it should be here by 10.30.
I don't know how long his tray is, so it might have to be done in two trips.
Glenns wife must be ecstatic, finally getting a backyard. I think there was a lot of pressure there for him to get rid of the dome.
I'll take a few photos.
22-09-2007, 10:44 PM
23-09-2007, 01:17 PM
It's been a busy morning but it's finally arrived. :thumbsup::D
Poor Greg, he didn't realise how big it was. He is decidedly not impressed. :whistle:
The driver took photos of it on his truck, he said it's the oddest thing he's ever had to move.
23-09-2007, 01:24 PM
Ahhh the joys of going down the road and seeing one of them on the back of a truck. :( Why did I ever sell mine :(
23-09-2007, 01:27 PM
We drove to my place on the back roads. Me driving in front flashing the hazards and waving to cars to slow down and move over.
Hairy scarey when a truck came flying around a blind corner.
23-09-2007, 05:09 PM
wow, thats great to see that going to a nice home. Glen 5 star award!! JJJ you need to dedicate the first image taken in the observatory!!
23-09-2007, 05:59 PM
Whats its name, an observatory has to have a name :)
23-09-2007, 06:22 PM
Wow what a fantastic story Jeanette
It's great to have a step by step picture show as everything evolves.
Really exciting stuff :thumbsup::thumbsup:
Look forward to pics of the next stages
23-09-2007, 06:24 PM
I'll probably name it something boring like "Mary Smokes Creek Observatory" or "Royston Observatory".
Unless someone can come up with something more exciting.
23-09-2007, 07:12 PM
Jeanette, Let Greg know about the extra room that you will have throughout the house once you move into the observatory, and that at four metres plus there would be more than enough room for his swag as well as your astro stuff.
Best Wishes Greg.
23-09-2007, 07:42 PM
23-09-2007, 08:55 PM
Good score Jeanette,
Glenn Lang was an official, if not president of the Sun Coast Astronomical Society (SCAS) until the blood sucking insurance companies bled the club dry to collapse. Glenn was also a member of the Qld Astrofest organising committee for several years, including 2 of our first years. Very keen astro-imager, he was one of the first I knew doing imaging with modified security cams.
What has he been up to lately, jjj?
23-09-2007, 09:10 PM
All his scopes are packed up under his house. He is taking a couple of years off to spend time with his family.
Though he does have plans to do a complete makeover on his HUGE shed in the backyard. Put in a mezzanine and convert the top part to a roll off roof observatory.
But now the other half of his yard is free he will be doing a bit of gardening. He said that he is going to be planting fruit trees where the dome was.
I'll let him know that you were asking about him.
25-09-2007, 09:28 PM
I spent yesterday with a broom and a big bucket of soapy water and scrubbed and scrubbed the dome. The grey outer crusty layer came off eventually.
I repeated the process again this morning trying to get the mould out of the dimples in the fibreglass.
Then darling husband got out the high pressure water gun for me to use, wow, I wish I'd used it from the start. ( I'd forgot that we had one)
But it positively gleams now. So very very white.
Spent a couple of hours glueing down the fibreglass that is peeling off the domes roof. In the long run, it will have to be removed though redone properly. But for now it will do.
I went over the inside with a cobweb broom, and once I scrub down the insides, I'll go over the interior with surface spray. The dome is home to quite a few Red Backs as well as other species of spiders, and I don't want them finding their way to our house. ( The truckie who moved the dome for me was an arachnophobic and I had to save him a couple of times from nasty spiders who were looking at him the wrong way)
Also fixed the broken hinge on the front opening of the dome.
I'm in the process of organising replacement rollers, the ones that lie flat, and have oiled the upright rollers and got them working again.
Phew, no wonder I'm feeling a bit weary tonight.
25-09-2007, 10:27 PM
Astronomical Observatory :whistle:
26-09-2007, 09:48 PM
Thanks to Astroron for putting me in contact with the chap who actually made the dome originally.
Gordon will be able to point me in the right direction with the renovation.
26-09-2007, 09:58 PM
well done ,did he have a red suit on.....cool..
That's a beauty JJJ, great to see it's gone to a good home and no doubt will get many years of use.
I look forward to the progress photos as it all comes together.
PS. I see the clouds followed the observatory to your place as well.
27-09-2007, 12:43 AM
Excellent, I'm so happy for you ;)
29-09-2007, 01:06 AM
I've got 2 words Jeanette....
29-09-2007, 05:56 PM
Steve, you can read my mind.
A First Light Star Party.
A swim in the creek earlier in the afternoon, a BBQ late afternoon, a couple of drinkies then we'll fire up the Espresso and Granita machines to keep us going all night long.
We've had quite a few locals ask when it will be up and running, they seem keen to have a look, but I'll keep that opening night separate from First Light.
29-09-2007, 10:39 PM
I can see another business opportunity JJJ - the JJJ coffee and Photon Swill bar.......coming from a galaxy near you sooon:whistle:
26-11-2007, 09:56 AM
Finally, at last, I got someone to come and level the dirt. For 2 months I've been waiting for this.:thumbsup:
Next step footings and pier hole.
26-11-2007, 10:02 AM
Ooooh, I can feel the excitement building up. Way to go JJJ, looking good!
A good start Jeanette, it's always a good feeling when you can see things happening and progress being made.
26-11-2007, 10:39 AM
looking good!!!! it won't be long before you're cracking a bottle of champagne over the bow and giving it a name! first light will be a treat!
26-11-2007, 10:52 AM
WOW!!! That's great Jeanette! Doesn't look like it will be long now before you can use it!
You've cleaned it up well too! It's positively GLOWING!
Will you be laying a concrete slab and pier?
26-11-2007, 06:51 PM
Great to see that installation has started. :thumbsup:
Must be an exciting time. Look forward to your progress pics
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