A Community Observatory for Plains

     

     After talking with a few community members, the question is, What if a public observatory is located in the Pool Park? A 10-foot dome with a research-grade telescope on Pat's Knob (6,675 ft.) to the south and remote software control from a small building in the park for school and public use? The projected cost is between $30,000 and $35,000 with grants to cover part, or most, of the cost. 

     The observatory would be open throughout the year for families, students, teachers, local researchers, and guests who stay in Plains for a day or two to visit the observatory.   

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Dad & Kido at Telescope.jpeg

Place a 10-ft astronomy dome and telescope on Pat's Knob (6,675 in elevation) and communicate via microwave to a 12x12 ft building in the park for all-season public and school viewing.

Milkyway over Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.jpeg

Milky Way over Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.
-Credits: DZ Photography-

Meade-14-Inch-ACF-LX200-Telescope-2_2000

AutoStar telescope and observatory.

The software would allow observers to:

  • control AutoStar functions from a computer or laptop

  • control the entire observatory over the Internet

  • take long-exposure or interval photographs

  • download comet, asteroid, and satellite data 

  • download system firmware updates, weather sensors

  • a database of 49,000 stars and deep space objects 

  • on-screen display and star chart-printing features of a planetarium program

  • enable the Hubble Guide Star Catalog

  • choose any object by name or number

  • enable custom catalogues

  • add new catalogues

  • flip the star map for correct orientation as you observe through the telescope

  • enable the night vision mode

  • click on objects in the sky map, and telescopes automatically move to those objects

  • generate AutoStar Tours of favorite objects

  • use the program to keep observing logs

  • create observing lists and download them to the AutoStar database 

  • "Talking Telescope" software converts AutoStar text to synthesized speech 

Orion nebula 8 inch scope.jpg

Orion nebula was photographed with an 8-inch mirror telescope.