View Full Version here: : Observatory Position
31-03-2009, 04:45 PM
I want ti have a permanent place for my scope and stuff, the problem is i have a few trees around the property some can be cut back but others can't.
What is the best position to face to get the best views,once i get above 45deg it is pretty open my south is open my view west is blocked my view directly north is blocked but i do have some space north west and north east, directly east is blocked but i have space south east
31-03-2009, 05:12 PM
Sounds very similar to my problem back-yard Shaun. There is a new 2 story house to my NW that I would like to put a bomb under and an enormous cypress pine to the SE which is a haven for possums. It is also a total blackout for about 45 degs. of azimuth and 70 deg. alt. Other trees to the NE, my house to the west - oh shucks. need to live in some vast paddock somewhere dark.
In your situation, I would opt for a position giving me a NE outlook so that the setting sun will have a lesser effect earlier in the evenings. From a W.A. point of view this may mean more dust in the skies from inland which may be a factor which you will need to consider.
Certainly to the NE you will get to see the rising planets and to the SE, Crux etc., so I still think that might be the best position to adopt. Can all that be incorporated in your choice of site? Otherwise you may have to build a tower.
31-03-2009, 05:26 PM
S/SE and NE and NW are not to bad i was using stellarium to simulate where things would move from, i guess unless you are on open land you can't get to see it all. My front yard is the best spot of all but with all the street lights and cards that might pass by it makes it worse, plus i think trying to convince the other half to have an observatory in the front garden would be a bad move.
31-03-2009, 05:32 PM
Stelarium is a great program. Have you tried Astroplanner? It has a facility where you can simulate your horizon and see where the stars etc can be viewed around you.
31-03-2009, 05:41 PM
It's always going to be a personal choice. And once the choice is made
you either regret it or learn to adapt to it.
My setup has a lousy west...huge 200 y/o gums...obscured from about
My east had a big gum at the time I positioned my permanent dome.
Now the gum is gone.
At the time, all my Mars apparition stuff, 2001,2003,2005 was done
when Mars rose over that gum.
In hindsight, if I knew the gum would be gone, the dome would have
moved closer to that neighbours chopped down gum to get more of the west.
My North is all Adelaide skyglow, so M31 is a write-off etc.
My south is the Jewel in the crown.
Almost unobstructed views of our showcase sky.
Living the dream....I'm very lucky.
About the only downside is, as I said, no western sky, so no Venus/evening comets/new moon stuff etc.
But you adapt....you can't have everything.
31-03-2009, 05:51 PM
If you haven't already done so ... go and stand in your yard at night and see where the best view is ... take a compass with you if you've got one ... remember you will have a 1.8 metre or so wall in close proximity to you and to your scope when you set it all up so you don't get to see to the horizon ... unless you have a dome ( I can't afford one so a tin shed is the go with a rolling roof as you can see on my website )
If you have a good SE outlook you'll get good exposure to the Milky Way as it rises ... my obs is facing slightly NE mainly because that's the alignment of my house and I like things to line up ... I'd like to have it East/West ideally to match the Earth's rotation. My obs is 3x2.4metres so when I say facing a particular direction I mean along the 3 metre axis ... if that makes sense.
Anyhow good luck with your observatory Shaun ... you'll love it !
31-03-2009, 08:02 PM
hi shaun im surrounded by trees all around me approx 80metre circle im lucky being so close to coffs and a dark sight no other lights that helps ive set my pod so south is 30 deg tree height gives me good n/e/w around 18to20deg above horizon south doesnt worry me it rotates and i eventually see it thats my way it may help you
31-03-2009, 09:03 PM
Trees! Cut 'em all down I say, they're a menace! What do we need trees for? Besides breathing......Shade? NO, why would we need shade at night?:screwy:
Make sure you can at least see the SCP for good polar alignment. I usually plan all my imaging in an easterly direction above 30 degrees so i have a lot of time to get those long subs all night.
If you can't chop trees down, climb up with a lopping saw and cut a couple of branches out of the crown every month or two. The tree should handle it and just put more foliage out down lower. Once you have it at your chosen height, it isn't hard to maintain it, especially with Gums.
I put my observatory in my front yard. Council even approved it. I built the floor four feet up off the lawn so I can get up above the treeline a bit more. The scope on the pier and mount is almost ten feet off the ground.
My two cents...
31-03-2009, 09:46 PM
Yeah i am going to check it tonight with stellarium as i don't have a compass, i am pretty sure i know the best position just have to trim some trees.
The good thing is SE is pretty clear then there is trees to E but NE is clear, hey Mozzie i like the pod i was looking at them the other day on the website mind if i ask what it cost you?
I have looked at a few pre built ideas but as soon as you see used for astronomy the price is huge, i seen a roll away shed i liked it was 5k gees i could make it for less than 1k i think.
I have a shed i could convert it is almost in the right spot on a pad but i am worried about the heat, i wonder how those plastic sheds would go.
31-03-2009, 10:11 PM
Hey Mr bluescope, Steve,
I had a look at your website. I am duly impressed. I am a newbie and have only scratched the surface of this magnificent past time. I thought that photos like that were only ever possible from professionals using million dollar equipment.
Steve's Quote "a tin shed is the go with a rolling roof as you can see on my website )"
I also like your observatory. I am thinking of something similar. We're situated about 35 k's N of Brisbane. Storms worry me an example of their power is in the photos.
We have 2 acres here. With a number of Gums. Lost a couple of trees to a storm in Nov 08. (Like to lose some more) The photo is only one of several in the surrounding streets.
I have lots of 50mm water pipe to reinforce the observatory structure.
I'd like to get some close-ups of the roller mechanism you use on yours.
:):thumbsup: Cheers Marty
01-04-2009, 02:15 AM
I have been outside with my netbook and stellarium i have found the best spot, after falling off the shed in the dark the best location is right next to the shed, if i use the shed there is a street light that shines right on to the spot where i would have the roof open but 3 feet the other way it is blocked by the house.
I did a measure of the spot and it is 2.1x2.5 would this be big enought for my 8" newt to move around in when placed on an EQ mount?
I plan on setting up my equipment in the shed so the space listed is just for the scope.
01-04-2009, 03:19 AM
Should be enough space .. your newt would only be 1 metre in length ... am I right ?
01-04-2009, 03:27 AM
There nothing much to it Marty ... four fixed rollers screwed to each side of the roof and they simply run along shelving frame that I have screwed to the top of the shed walls. I'll take some snaps for you and post them tomorrow ok ! You may need something a bit more substantial by the looks of your storm damage ... maybe wooden tracks and supports concreted into the ground ... my structure is pretty light weight and is held on by padlocks at 10 positions. I'll still post the pics for you anyway mate !
01-04-2009, 09:38 AM
I'm thinking of using 2" waterpipe concreted into the ground and various other strengthening materials so that the roof doesn't blow off.
Looking forward to seeing the close ups. Thanks Steve.
Cheers Marty :thumbsup:
01-04-2009, 11:28 AM
I have always found the use of a street light removal device handy for those annoying, energy wasting devices. Use of any device between the .22 and .45 calibre should suffice. http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/../vbiis/images/smilies/winking70.gif As you are in country WA the noise will be probably taken as normal night spotting activities in reducing the local population of native animals.
If you are worried about waking the neighbours then a favoured option can be the tad illegal slingshot. http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/../vbiis/images/smilies/icon_smile_whistling.gif Use of your 8" Newt as a targeting aid could well be overkill and produce retinal burn, but would definitely look the biz. http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/../vbiis/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif
Hope this helps.
01-04-2009, 02:02 PM
Hey there Pegasus, :)
Use of any device between the .22 and .45 calibre should suffice.
In the mid 60's I was a high school junior. George and I were hitch-hiking home from a sports event; 10PM, dark.
A young man going the other way stopped to chat. He had a rifle in his hands. We immediately became wary. He said, "I'm gonna' knock out that b...... sodium street light."
"Er, why" I asked.
He replied, "It interferes with my telescope. I want to see the stars."
George and I continued walking. As one of several long breaks in traffic occurred, we saw a flash emitted from the rifle. Bang and bright yellow globules splash to the ground from where the sodium vapour lamp was suspended.
It was such a loud explosion :scared: that George and I bolted. The immediate area of the absent light was now quite black.
That's what I call a dedicated hobbyist.:screwy:
I sometimes wondered how many times that street light was replaced or through repetition whether the fool was discovered.
01-04-2009, 02:59 PM
Here are some pics Marty ............ I chose to use the 3 metre long shelving frame ( available at Bunnings and other hardware stores ) because it already had holes precut to enable me to fix screws and bolts anywhere without having to drill angle iron ... it was available in the lengths I required as my obs is 3mx2.4m and was easy to hacksaw to fit ... it was also very reasonably priced. The little fixed wheels were also very cheap from Bunnings. Another consideration for me when I originally built the obs was that I knew I would be moving and the whole thing needed to be easy to break down and reassemble requiring just a screw driver and a pair of pliers or spanner for the few nuts. The shed I chose was also held together with screws rather than pop rivets for the same reason. It came with a gable roof which I removed and then fashioned my own split roof out of treated pine battens and white colourbond steel to reflect the heat. Since moving here I have also insulated the roof prior to reassembling the obs. During my first 2 months in this location the temp rarely dropped far below 40 degrees ... I hope that is not the norm.
Anyway I hope this has been some help ... good luck building your observatory .... post some pics in the DIY forum.
01-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Regarding street lights ...................
Robert Gendler .... renowned astrophotographer ... states on his website that when he imaged from his home driveway ( before he built his internet controlled observatory in New Mexico ) he had an offending street light at the end of his driveway. His solution was to climb a ladder and cover the light before he did his imaging sessions ;) ... saves on bullets and makes no noise. Ofcourse you would want the cover to be fire proof I would imagine ... I don't know how much heat those lights generate.
01-04-2009, 03:18 PM
I like some of those ideas. I have quite a good range of tools to work with either metal or timber.
The photos really do show exactly what I wanted to know.
The locks are a nice touch too. Thanks for that. I have some projects that She Who Must Be Obeyed wants finished first.
Sometimes its better not to be handy.
01-04-2009, 03:25 PM
No worries Marty !
01-04-2009, 04:28 PM
You will be ok now we are heading towards winter so -5c wind chill factors will keep you cooler.
Where were you before you moved?
01-04-2009, 04:34 PM
Hey the colder the better as far as I'm concerned ... I've got my fingerless insulated gloves and my balaclava and ugg boots and don't forget my IceInSpace beanie. I love the cold clear winter nights ... don't want any wind though. The average minimum temp for Toodyay area in winter is 2 degrees :)
Actually I'm thinking of improving my warm room setup at the moment before winter sets in. Presently I just have a curtain ... time for some ply wood sheeting with a sliding roof and door I think.
I moved from East Victoria Park !
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