A trip to the local hardware shop resulted in some Cuprinol 5 Star Complete Wood Treatment which is used to impregnate the wood and act as a fungus killer. I liberally applied this to one section of an inner wall, as per instructed, painting on four coats. While it was well ventilated when painted on (the roof was rolled off …

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The Observatory Roof

The roof is basically made of two triangular side pieces separated on the “top” side by five 2-inch x3-inch cross-beams. Two other beams, one each between the
other apexes of the triangles, were added to make the structure more rigid.


The wheels running in the rails

Four wheels were positioned and marked on the bottom side of …

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All the coach screws were removed and the three wall frames taken down. I lifted the floor and re-cut it so that it would fit within the inner boundaries if the wall frames rather than being flush with their outer edges. Lifting the floor was more difficult than anticipated as the heads of some of the screws had been damaged …

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Having installed the pier and leveled the top plate (as described in the previous article), I made sure that everything was rock solid and that I could easily polar align the telescope before beginning construction of the observatory itself.

First Ideas For An Observatory

At the time I was considering building the observatory I checked out a variety of plans …

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Not According to Plan

This is where I first went wrong. The widest tube I could find was 90mm aluminium piping. I sank this into concrete that was 60cm deep (I couldn't dig any deeper - the soil was thick compressed clay). The hole I dug was 60cm square. The tube was then filled with concrete. I custom built a …

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If you own a telescope, you're familiar with how long it takes to set up your scope for an observing session. How many times, though, have you found that just as everything is ready, the clouds roll in? Or worse, it starts to rain and you make a mad dash to get the scope under cover possibly knocking something over …

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By Tim Carr

Even those people who know nothing about astronomy (and there are plenty of them, it would appear) have heard of Galileo and how he changed our view of
the heavens.

They've probably heard of Copernicus, Newton and his apple and maybe even Kepler, the codifier of the laws of planetary motion. But just how many of them …

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By Tim Carr

If Nicholas of Cusa and Ulugh-Beg weren't famous then this man certainly was, and still is. The "father of modern philosophy" and brilliant mathematician has an honoured place in European history but what you might not know is that he also tried to reconcile the church and the Copernicans as to which world-view was correct.

In 1612, …

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By Tim Carr

In 1676 a thirty-two year old astronomer from Denmark stood up in the Academy of Sciences in Paris and announced that he had made a discovery. Some people in the scientific community, such as Newton and Halley, paid attention to him; some, like the director of the Paris Observatory, Giovanni Cassini, didn't. But what Romer had …

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By Tim Carr

The great Mongol empire was not noted for its scientific achievements and with good reason. But in 1428 Tamerlanes' grandson Muhammed Targai Ulugh-Beg, who was governor in part of central Asia, established an astronomical observatory at Samarkand.

As the telescope was still centuries away, astronomers had to content themselves with naked-eye observation. He published a …

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