Observatory Types (amateurs)
Also called observatory dome, it is mainly composed of four elements:
1. Dome (It is often carried out in a glass-polyester laminate of about 1cm thick. A large slot in the base and light color avoid excessive heating of the dome)
2. Window with single or double sliding cover.
3. Lockable door, usually optional (it helps not having to climb the observation window to enter the observatory)
4. Automated : the rotation of the dome and the opening of the observation window can be motorized. This engine can be assisted, controlled by computer. It is also possible to control the dome fully remotely via internet. The software may be connected to some weather stations and to control the dome over time. A special sensor, mounted on the drive systems of the dome, is connected to the dedicated driver software which continuously measures the position of the cupola and controls the motors, to match the position of the telescope.
A tent observatory to protect his astronomy equipment against weather and stray light during night observations in the countryside or in the mountains. It weighs only a few pounds, mounts easily and is usually ready to use in about ten minutes.
Also called hybrid observatory, it is more difficult to climb, but better than a tent protects from weather observatory. It is generally used for longer durations. For example, if you have a garden, but we do not want the observatory will be mounted throughout the year. Or if we leave for several days in the countryside, in a second home on the occasion of astronomical or other meetings.
Why have an observatory?
1. It allows to leave his telescope in place, not having to disassemble and then reassemble. This is especially useful for astrophotographers who often spend a lot of time to install their equipment.
2. It protects against stray light and weather, and especially against the wind that stirs the instruments.
3. The rotating platform domed observatories can guide the telescope in all directions and effortlessly. The window offers a ray telescope vision clear to the zenith.
Where do I place it?
The ideal is to build it in a corner of the garden, away from all public lighting, with at least a quarter of clear horizon to the south-east or south-west. Otherwise, a terrace or a large balcony can do the trick. But beware, cement or paving the ground have the annoying tendency to store heat during the day and releases it during the first hours of the night, causing turbulence in telescopic images.