Observatory is located near Adamsville, Texas at the edge of the Texas Hill Country.
My folks were nice enough to let me build on their ranch property, so in the summer of
2010 the guys at Backyard Observatories constructed the 12x16 roll-off roof observatory.
Since that time, I have spent many months outfitting it with all manner of cameras,
weather monitors, and automation technology.
The main goal for the observatory is remote imaging -- that is, doing astrophotography
remotely from my home in Dallas, Texas (or wherever I happen to be). As much as I'd like
to spend my nights under the stars, sometimes life dictates otherwise, so having a remote
observatory under dark skies ensures a steady stream of image data! Also, large aperture
astrographs are heavy and require even heavier mounts. For this reason, having a permanent
set-up is ideal for the "big guns".
The other reason I wanted to build an automated observatory is for the shear challenge of it.
Sure, it is possible to actually rent time on automated scopes, but I wanted to do it for myself
and learn some things in the process. And boy have I learned some things, yow!
My buddy Phil Jones has decided to partner with me on this
project and is contributing his 12.5" PLaneWave astrograph, along with Apogee U16 camera.
For images and equipment decriptions, see the
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"How did Bucksnort get its name?"
Well, the observatory is built on an old deer trail. Many nights I get startled
by a loud "SNORT" as the deer pass by and disapprove!