Building the Observatory

Overview

I have been interested in astronomy since I was a young lad.  The idea of planets, stars, galaxies and nebulae always intrigued me and in 1957 when BBC television started to air its “The Sky at Night” programme it only added to my interest.  I never had a telescope for much of my young adult life whilst supporting a family.  Later I started to make observations using a pair of large binoculars.  It was only after meeting Robyn and moving to East Sussex that I bought a Meade telescope and started doing more serious observing but I never got to do any imaging as most of my work was done from a second floor balcony which did not provide a particularly stable platform.  I had decided to move with Robyn when she retired and returned to New Zealand and bought myself a Celestron CGE 1100 telescope and mount to bring with me.  We moved to New Zealand in February 2011 and started looking for a home.  Tauranga had been suggested by Robyn as the town to move to as it would provide access to reasonable cultural and social events as well as not too light polluted skies.  Though the light pollution status has deteriorated due to the port installing extremely bright sodium lights in 2013.  The BBC had started to publish a magazine in conjunction with its Sky at Night programme and it had contained a serialised article on building your own observatory and I brought those plans with me.  I have placed the plans here for anybody interested in building their own observatory.  We moved to a property above Welcome Bay and in 2012 I set about building my observatory.  This is the timeline to that process.

I’ve dedicated the observatory to our dear friend Trich Bowman who died of Motor Neurone Disease in 2009.  

May 2012

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