Backyard Observatories and Viewer Questions

Have you ever thought of building an observatory on to house your new telescope? Watch this hangout to learn about the characteristics of a good backyard amateur observatory including where to build it.

Published on 3rd Apr, 2018

Welcome to the next installment of Telescope Talk! In today's discussion, we're going to look at some backyard observatories. Why? Well, they make the decision to go out for a night with you telescope easier to make. Observatories let you keep your telescope setup and aligned all the time, which means you just walk out your back door, open your observatory and start looking up! We'll talk about what characteristics a decent backyard observatory should have, how much or how little you need to spend and talk about what others have done. We've also compiled some good questions over the months of doing Telescope Talk and we'll address some of them in this hangout. Some highlights from our discussion: The basic idea of having an observatory in your backyard is to protect your equipment and keep it setup for easy use next time you want to go out. This ensures that not only are things easier to get to: no polar aligning, no heavy lifting to get the telescope and all the associated equipment outside, etc. it also means you'll USE YOUR TELESCOPE MORE! Always a good thing. Having an observatory is also great for automated or remote observing. This way, you can stay inside cozy and warm while your telescope is outside in the cold collecting all those photons. When you go to build your observatory, build more than you need. If all you have right now is an 8-inch Cassegrain, build an observatory that will house your new 11-inch. You know you're gonna get one later :-) Don't build your observatory out of materials that store heat, like bricks and cinder blocks. Wood is the best material because it doesn't hold heat and it's relatively cheap and definitely easy to work with. Leave some comments below to let us know what you've done if you have built one, or if you have any questions, by all means ask away!