The Dog House Observatory
June 5, 2009
On my 50th birthday, I watched this observatory being built at my home just north of Guelph, Ontario, by Wayne Parker’s crew from SkyShed. The observatory was a 50th birthday present from my wife Gail. Wayne and I sat on a couch on my driveway and talked (actually he mostly talked, and I mostly listened). We had a gas! I built a fully insulated warm room inside the 12’x14′ observatory. The pier is filled with construction sand and attached to concrete footings set about 2m deep into the ground. There are storage benches along the north wall, and overall it’s a nice place to hang out as well as to image the sky.
Having an observatory has completely changed my astronomy experience. I spend relatively little time setting up and closing down, and can take advantage of very small windows of clear sky to capture images.
The last thing to automate is the roof, including an all-sky camera to detect when clouds roll in.