Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Observatory And Mars

©2006 Richard Murray

This is my portable observatory which I finally repaired after a serious disaster last winter. This is a great observatory with only one serious drawback. In high winds it has a tendancy to act very similar to a hot air balloon. Even though I had it anchored down with six stakes during a storm last winter the winds kicked up to around 85 miles an hour, tore it up from the stakes, threw it over the roof of my house and into the neighbors back yard! Luckily no one was hurt. It's now secured with six heavy duty stakes and 5 sand filled jugs (amazingly, it only sustained minor damage).

I built the observatory from plans off the internet. The entire structure with the exception of the tarp is made of pvc pipe, glue and lawnmower tires. Total cost was about $200.

The photo to the right of the obseratory is of Mars taken with a webcam on 8/7/03 at 4:31am est. Mar's southern ice cap was at its peak when this picture was taken and Mars was one month away from its closest approach to Earth in 30 years.

Here's the link to get plans on how to build the observatory: Portable Observatory

Here's an enlargement of the Mars image:

©2006 Richard Murray

And here is a close up view of the Martian surface:


astrogalaxy said...

I've not seen this portable observatory before! It's very COOL and Stylo!

Rick said...

Thanks. I used this quite a bit in my front driveway before I built my observatory. It took about a half hour to set up.

Those are lawnmower wheels on the bottom rim and the rest is made from pvc piping and tarp.