When I'm not building Iron Man, I build my space observatory.

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  1. #1

    When I'm not building Iron Man, I build my space observatory.

    Hi guys,

    Just something that might interest some.

    I've been building Iron Man for a few months now (Build thread in sig below), but truth be known, this is a secondary project to my main passion, astrophotography.

    I built an observatory in my front yard a few years ago, but at 3 metres in diameter, it just lacked the room to swing a cat. So, for the last couple of years, I've demolished it and have been hard at it building one at five metres in diameter instead.

    I have a website dedicated to it, so please, go enjoy the photos and stories of the build!


    Below: Here's where I'm at currently.

    1. Four sheets to go!!

    2. Doors closed. Weather skirt still to be fabricated and assembled between top of wall and bottom of dome.

    3. Nearly fully enclosed.

    4. Doors open showing floor space.

  2. #2
    This is awesome, man. Great job. And great pics.

  3. #3
    wow. Thats incredible !

  4. #4
    This makes me wish I had a house not an apartment. I would LOVE to have one of these.

  5. #5
    Cheers gang!


  6. #6
    1. Telescope installed - fire extinguisher fitted as priority!

    2. Preliminary calibrating on the moon.

    3. "FIRST LIGHT" through the ASIGN Observatory II telescope! A very quick shot with only the DSLR on the scope, but enough to check the optics.

    4. Crop and different processing of the above.
    Last edited by Sandbagger; Dec 26, 2012 at 6:23 AM.

  7. #7
    thats awesome o.O
    Big investement but seems to be worth it!

  8. #8
    seriously this is so cool. Please post more photos as you take them!

  9. #9
    Sandman this is just beautifull!!! As a photographer myself I always dreamed of doing astrophotography so seeing this being done by one of our own is great. Like Anna said keep the pics coming

  10. #10
    Awww, thanks croo.

    I just need some time to myself to finish it and get started on the astrophotography proper.

    Here's a sample of what has come out of this scope a couple of years ago when I had it in the old observatory.

    Horsehead and Flame nebula 2hrs 40min exposure

    M20Trifid Nebula 4 hours 30 min

    Southern Pinwheel galaxy M83

    NGC253 Silver Coin Galaxy in Sculptor_2hr30min

  11. #11
    Enjoy the video of this fully armed and operational battle-station!

  12. #12
    i have the carl saganist boner right now

  13. #13
    All the cameras and cables installed now. Mount aligned to the planet's axis and ready for imaging. Now to wait for that pesky moon to go away and have a clear night!!

    1. The mighty photon hunter!

    2. Looking out to the heavens.

    3. Peering into deep space.

    4. Watchful warrior.

  14. #14
    emergency fire extinguisher in case of solar flar somehow lighting us on fire? XD

  15. #15
    YAY!! Finally imaging again! Clear night, no moon, no clouds and DARK DARK DARK SKY!!! Going for Messier 42 - The great Orion Nebula tonight!

    I've been out of the deep space imaging game for a couple of years now, so this will be interesting trying to re-learn everything and apply the last two years of regular photography processing skills.

  16. #16
    Here's one more from last night. Now to stack and process the actual DSO frames!

  17. #17
    ASIGN Observatory II from around 11 metres off the ground.

  18. #18
    The flashing arrived today!! Fabricated perfectly to my measurements and diagrams.

    Installing the weather-proof skirt around the dome.

  19. #19
    This is phenominal!!! does the dome rotate or is it a stationary observatory?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigersgrace View Post
    This is phenominal!!! does the dome rotate or is it a stationary observatory?
    It rotates mate. Not much point to a stationary dome.

  21. #21
    1. Flashing (weather skirt) installed. Peeling the protective plastic off all the sheets now.

    2. First coat of light-absorbing matt-black paint on the inside.

  22. #22
    Ah you are still with us. Me and Mike we wondering where you were. Observatory is looking good man.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by drack View Post
    Ah you are still with us. Me and Mike we wondering where you were. Observatory is looking good man.
    Yeah, still here mate. Still waiting on some stuff from hobbyking to finish the helmet. The shed has been over 50 degrees so no going in there to do the suit until the season cools a bit.

  24. #24
    You lucky thing, we have been in the minuses lately. Although still managed to get some rondo and bondo work done. My helmet would almost be finished but I am unhappy with the teeth and how they are set so ripping them out

  25. #25
    This week our friend and family electrician spent some good hours in the observatory with me, planning the lighting, powerpoints and distribution board. The cabling has now all been run, ready to connect all the hardware.

    As well, this week I got a lovely $50 donation from a Canberra local, which I was able to spend at Fletcher Insulation in Hume on a few bags to insulate from heat and sound. It is instantly cool in there now and OOOHHHHH SOOOO QUIET!!

    Full construction page here.

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