Nov 062016


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….

Nov 032016


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!







Jun 192016

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.

Dec 282015

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.


Digging out a few large stumps

Digging out a few large stumps

Aerial view of the observatory site.  Needs a lot of cleanup.

Aerial view of the observatory site. Needs a lot of cleanup.

Testing the OGS 10" RC

Testing the OGS 10″ RC

Nov 212015

Observatory site prep is still moving along slowly.  Pulling stumps is a long process but I’m getting there.  At least the summer heat is behind me but the limited daylight is making it hard to get much done on the weekdays.



Here’s what the site is looking like.  Starting to look a little more open.




Oct 132014

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.



Deconstructing the Observatory

Aug 202014

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.


Jul 302014

Development of our rural countryside is rapidly increasing due to emergent industries like oil and gas.  A single industrial site is often lit up like a little town on the map making one wonder if residential, commercial, or industrial development is the true light pollution problem?

Click on the Images below for an animation comparing Light Pollution levels in 2003 to 2012.

Greene County LP 2003 vs 2012

AAAP Greene County Site with Light Pollution growth from 2003 to 2012


Pittsburgh Area Light pollution growth from 2003 to 2012.

Pittsburgh Area Light pollution growth from 2003 to 2012.

Apr 242014

Two of us spent Wednesday night at the Greene County Observing Site.  It had been almost 6 months since we’d been there last due to this years cold and snowy winter.  As always the light pollution continues to grow everywhere so I took panoramic shots of the site in daylight and at night to show the current lights in the SE and S primarily.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take them from the same spot or at the same focal length so they aren’t 100% comparable but they give you an idea.


Greene County Observing Site

Greene County Observing Site at Night

Jan 032014

Being unemployed gives me a little more time to travel the countryside and give Bill Snyder a hand with his Astrophotography booth at some Art Festivals.  The show ran Dec 13th-Dec 15th, thankfully indoors unlike the last show where we nearly froze to death.  It’s a great opportunity to talk astronomy with the general public and get a snapshot of who is interested in astronomy.


Here are a few pictures of the King of Astrophotography, Bill Snyder.  He forgot to pack his cape and crown 🙂

Bill Snyder Sugar Loaf Chantilly IMG_7140

Bill Snyder Sugar Loaf Chantilly IMG_7135