I made the 13 hour trip up to Cherry Springs State Park for the Annual CSSP Star Party hosted by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg PA, Inc. I went up a few days before the star party since it’s always helpful to get a good spot. Those of us that were there early on Monday night were treated to a fabulous night with SQM measurements >21.9! Overall it was an amazing streak of clear weather for PA with a total of 4 imaging nights. I was hoping for one or two so as not to set my expectations too high so I was very pleased with four nights!
I even did a little visual at low power with a 4″ refractor. LDN 1795 (large 50’x50’dark nebula in Scorpius) looked absolutely amazing to me at 19X. First time I had a WOW moment visually.
Moved the 68″ tall pier to the observatory deck this afternoon. Progress!
I didn’t get the pier into place until after dark so no pictures. It was a chore moving the thing since it’s quite heavy and I didn’t have any help but with the tractor I was able to drag it around and lower it onto the bolts after an hour….
The site has been cleared, I think I dug out 70+ stumps with the backhoe, 700 feet of electric cable buried, and almost 4,000 lbs of concrete dry mix poured for footers and the telescope pier. The deck is starting to go up and hopefully the 8″ Exploradome will be in place before the new year. After two years it’s hard to believe that I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel!
Site clearing is now well underway with a backhoe rental. Most of the site is now cleared and a new, more drive-able, road is in place to get to the site. Lots of clean up and grading to do but we’re getting there.
We’re coming up on the end of 2015. I had high hopes of getting more finished this year but all things considered, things are moving along. It shouldn’t be too long and our new garage with workshop will be finished which will allow me to layout imaging systems somewhere other than in our bedrooms…. From there, I hope to get the Exploradome up and running in 2016 with the OGS 10″ RC and U16 acting as the workhorse imaging system.
I am starting to pack up Campmeeting Observatory in preparation for a move to Knoxville, TN. It has only been a short 3 years that Campmeeting Observatory has been in operation but I am sure it will find a new home. For the time being, updates will be seldom as other priorities will take center stage and extensive observatory site preparation may be required.
Thursday night at Wagman was one of the most transparent nights I’ve ever seen at Wagman. The MW was easily visible and dipping further into the south than usual. I took a few pictures around the observatory to try and show how nice the view was.